Classic, ritualistic, with a modern edge for redefining an old medium, Kerri Westlake, creator of Westlake, is all about pushing expectations. Westlake is a line of handmade knitwear, designed and created by Kerri herself in Toronto, ON.
“Each hand-knit piece is quite time consuming to create, so I need to be really organized to make sure I can also edit photos, update my website, order supplies, and complete all the myriad other things involved in running a business. I'm constantly striving to achieve the perfect balance between logistics and creativity."
“I'm inspired by the challenge of a medium that's often seen as old-fashioned, to create minimalist, modern staple pieces. I love natural fibres, and the yarns I choose directly influence the Westlake pieces they become.” In the summer, Kerrie grows an edible backyard garden and experiments with dyeing yarn with homegrown plants. "This totally fuels me through the rest of the year of non-stop knitting.”
"The ritual of knitting an average of 10,000 stitches a day has become part of my daily rhythm."
Kerri has developed a system that helps her connect with customers and rewards her hard work. “The ritual of knitting an average of 10,000 stitches a day has become part of my daily rhythm. I'm almost never not knitting, so it's second nature at this point.” She says “This is definitely the most rewarding when I'm chatting with a customer or passerby from behind my craft fair table, and they don't even realize I'm knitting until part way into the conversation! It seems everyone has some kind of knitting story too, whether it's a childhood memory or recent personal project, and I love connecting with people over this traditional skill.”
Some must have knits (if you don't already) include; the Estuary Ribbed Beanie, knit from an absolutely "buttery soft, fair trade blend of baby alpaca, silk and Merino wool" Kerri shares. If you ever have problems with hat hair, the Quarry Braided Headband in baby alpaca and Merino is a total classic- so easy to slip on if you're running out the door in a hurry.” Pair this up with a layered look ensemble (Kerri’s favourite fall trend) and you’re set for the rest of season.