My love of arts and crafts began as a child when my mother set up a craft club each week for myself and two of my friends. I was totally captivated and the seed was planted! My lovely mother also taught me to knit. She had so much patience as I dropped my stitches more often than I knitted them for quite a while. I left school and studied at art school for 6 years. I spent my first two years at art school experimenting with many arts and crafts. I finally chose textiles and spent a further 4 years studying knitwear design at art school in Brighton, England. It was a very special time spending every day in such a creative environment.
I left art school with a BA Hons Degree in Fashion and Textiles.
I have worked as a freelance knitwear designer for the last 20+ years designing for designer labels, high street stores, and colour and fashion trend forecasting studios and have loved every minute of it. I have also been employed as a visiting tutor at four art schools where I have taught knitwear design to students on BA degree courses.
I also had a dream to set up my own baby and childrens knitwear label. I followed my dream and set up my first knitwear label, rocket clothing back in 1995. I have run rocket clothing alongside my freelance design work for most of my career.
My rocket collection of classic baby knits has sold to adorable childrens boutiques and gift stores across the UK, Europe, and the US.
It was a very exciting day when Harrods Knightsbridge agreed to sell my knits.
I have also had lots of fun selling my rocket knits at arts markets and craft fairs across the UK. I have met some wonderful and interesting people along the way.
I have spent most of my life living in Wimbledon London, but now live in Oxfordshire with my partner and our two highly amusing children.......who, as you can see..... don't stand still for a moment!!
We live in a vibrant Oxfordshire town, that is steeped in England's textile history. We are so lucky to be living in this beautiful listed house that was built in the mid 18th century for the owners of a textile factory. This is our little piece of this textile history.
I work from home and use one room as my studio and another as my yarn store. My studio is the room to the right of our front door. I like to think that in some small way, by running my textile business from this historic house, I have returned it to its roots.
Since leaving London and starting a family, balancing my work and home life is so important to me. I lived and breathed rocket for 14 years and loved every minute of it, working long hours designing my knits, working with a talented team of outworkers, and supplying shops and individual customers with my rocket knits. But.....now that I have my lovely young family I try to create that healthy balance between work and home life that we all strive for. Enjoying this time with my young family is so precious to me that my knitwear business has evolved into a family friendly venture. By selling pdf knitting patterns of my designs instead of finished handknits my work is less pressured. I have been selling PDF knitting patterns of my designs since 2009 and currently have four knitting pattern collections for customers to choose from..... Rocket Clothing London, Little Pickle Knits, Jessica Rose handknits and Pure HandKnits. New designs are added to these collections regularly. You can find all of these here at lindawhaley.co.uk.
I am also the designer behind the latest Rowan baby book 'Cherish'. My second Rowan book 'Blossom' is scheduled to be published in May and focuses on pretty contemporary knits in floral tones for girls aged 3-7 years.