Natalie Warner | Designer / Teacher / Writer
Needles, thread and yarn have been part of my life for as long as I can remember. My mum, grandma and aunties were all keen knitters, crocheters, dressmakers and embroiderers; they introduced me to the wonders of haberdashery from a tender age. My very first sewing box and pink Tomy knitting machine are still in the attic!
My initial career path focused on the humanities. After completing my BA (English Literature) and MA (Medieval Studies) at Royal Holloway, University of London, I worked as a research assistant at the University of London for six years before realising that I ought to be doing something far more creative. In 2009 I began the process of rediscovering my first loves – arts, crafts and music – completed a diploma in design at the London College of Fashion, and became a much happier person for it. Music is something I keep for myself to enjoy, but I love sharing my passion and fascination with clothing and textiles with other people.
My career switch
I switched from research to teaching in 2010, and since then I have gained two teaching qualifications: the PG Certificate in Academic Practice (University of West London, 2017), which conferred Fellowship of the Higher Education Academy; and the City and Guilds Level 3 Award in Education and Training (Morley College, 2020). My specialisms include knitwear design and design development, garment construction, garment fitting, pattern cutting, hand and machine knitting, and crochet. Past and present employers include Guardian News and Media Group, Morley College, Rowan Yarns, Sew Over It, University of West London, Vogue Knitting and Woman’s Weekly.
Designing kicked off in 2013 with the Frosted Flowers collection, and in early 2014 my first commissioned design, the Falling Leaves sweater (previously the Leaf and Moss Stitch sweater), was published in the February issue of Knitting magazine. I haven’t stopped designing since!
My life today
Most of my day-to-day life comprises teaching pattern cutting and garment construction, designing knitting patterns, writing, and public speaking and appearances. I would NOT have imagined this for myself back in 2009! Every day I’m glad to have left Bloomsbury behind – although it was terrifying at the time, it’s a wonder to contemplate how much I have changed personally and professionally. It hasn’t been easy – and still isn’t sometimes – but it was definitely worth it.
You can view a gallery of images on my dedicated designs page to see more of my creative work, and if you’re a knitter, I have an online shop full of patterns. If you’d like to work with me or see examples of my expertise, I recommend viewing the Services Guide or watching some of my Guest Appearances.
Finally, I decided I should also create a space for the thoughts I have about what I make and do for a living, and that decision led to this site and blog. As well as posting here, I am pretty active on Instagram; that’s the best place to find me on a regular basis. There I share snippets of my day-to-day life, gardening and other projects. I look forward to seeing you around and about!