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Knitwear special: Finding the Needle in North Yorkshire

May 18, 2014
Crete Colour & Stitch Block Jumper, £195.

Crete Colour & Stitch Block Jumper, £195.

If ever there’s a county that needs its knits, even at the height of summer, it’s Yorkshire – and Lizzie Cawthray of Needle is passionate about creating beautiful knitwear pieces that are versatile enough to wear all year round.

The current spring/summer range offers lightweight knitwear pieces that take their inspiration from the beautiful rural English coastline where cool blues, pretty pastels and bold brights all play their part.

Needle founder Lizzie Cawthray.

Needle founder Lizzie Cawthray.

Last year, at the age of 27, the North Yorkshire entrepreneur Lizzie launched her knitwear label, Needle, offering a modern capsule collection of sweaters and cardigans in Italian luxury yarn.”

“Being from the North, knitwear is quite important, because we wear it most days,” Lizzie said. “But there’s not a lot of exciting, good quality knitwear out there, so I wanted a range that was fun and interesting, but nicely made, fit looked at carefully, but not outrageous prices – achievable prices.”

Kos Multi-Stitch Jumper in Coral or Blue, £145.

Kos Multi-Stitch Jumper in Coral or Blue, £145.

Lizzie, who grew up in Ilkley and Harrogate, worked at UK modern heritage brand LK Bennett for two and a half years, as part of a clothing product development team, specialising in knitwear. While there, she worked alongside designer Emma Baressi, who had previously worked at Burberry. When, in 2012, she planned to set up Needle, she asked Emma to join her as chief designer. They came up with a capsule collection of 12 styles, all made in Italy, at a factory near Florence.

Ithika Lace Hole Striped Jumper, £135.

Ithika Lace Hole Striped Jumper, £135.

Lizzie now lives near Harrogate and travels daily to Needle’s head office, which is near Northallerton. She says she wants Needle to reach out to a wide age range. “The market is 30-upwards,” she said. “The yummy mummies, and the older yummy mummies, and the yummy grannies.”

No shortage of takers, then, for this new luxury Yorkshire brand.

All knitwear available at www.needleboutique.co.uk and at Upstairs Downstairs in Ripon and at Susan Gaunt Boutique in Harrogate.

 

 

 

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