I have been a super fan of Donna Wilson for years and years, way before we even started chatting about the chance of working together. She's creative, fun, professional and makes really, really great knitted bits that will always make you smile.
Our collaboration brings together three of her brilliant designs with our special Secret Linen quality and I couldn't be happier to have had the opportunity to work with her. I'm now an even bigger fan and pleased to say she's a good friend too. Get to know our new friend Donna...
Describe what you do in 3 words
Design, knit and mess-make.
What’s the best thing about what you do?
I love everything about what I do, even the boring bits. I think I’m super lucky to be able to do what I want, and know that if it does get boring it’s up to me to make it exciting again. My absolute fave part of designing is to see a new design for the first time, finished and made. Normally from a drawing or file that I’ve sent off. It’s the best feeling ever (and the worst if it doesn’t work out).
What makes you get out of bed in the morning?
My boys! I am not allowed to lie there in thought anymore, I’m usually getting jumped on by the kids before 7am!
Can you tell us the best piece of advice you've ever received?
Follow your heart and make sure you do what you want to do, which was advice from an early age from my Mum.
We LOVE all your ‘creatures’… how did these come to be, and which is your absolute favourite?
These were developed when I was at the Royal College of Art. I wanted to make something out of the fabrics I was knitting. Then in between first and second year, I decided to make long leggy dolls, that are now called ‘Donna Dolls’. My tutor at college encouraged me to take them around some shops, and so I took a batch to Coverture. They sold 20 a month which paid my rent throughout college. The Donna dolls got less conventional and the ‘creatures’ were born, and to my surprise they sold out at my show and I have never stopped making them!
Any secrets to share with aspiring knitters?
Be original. It’s so easy to get distracted by what others are doing, especially on social media, but don’t compete - create!
What does a typical Monday morning look like for you?
I don’t think I have a typical day, which is one of the perks of what I do. There’s not real routine but it always starts off with getting kids ready, dashing out of the messy house, trying to answer emails and lots of cups of tea. Depending on what time of the year it is, I might be designing, or thinking more about the website and show side.
Are you all about long lie-ins or up with the lark?
Oh, for a lie-in! I dream of lie-ins! Or even better a pyjama day!!
Instagram or Twitter?
I’m much more a visual person so it’s definitely Instagram for me, and I’m kind of obsessed with it. Sometimes I have to ban myself.
What's on your bed today?
It’s the blah blah bedding set! And one of my own forest floor throws.
If you had to have the same thing for breakfast every morning what would it be?
Pancakes and maple syrup. I think I have loved this from childhood. My Mum and Dad went to Canada, bringing back a huge bottle of maple syrup. It was love at first taste!
Who would you invite along to your dream midnight feast?
I think it would be my brother and sister, who are in Scotland, and I don’t see enough of, and a very good chef to make the feast amazing.
Tea or Coffee?
No coffee. I used to be a coffee addict, but I got the jitters so it's now lots of tea (and builders strong tea please).
What’s the favourite thing in your home?
Apart from my kids and partner…
Oooh so many favourite things, but it would have to be my Lindsey Adelman light! A real treat to myself, as she’s a super talented American lighting designer. It has blown glass bulbs and a metal branch like structure and it’s in our hallway, my favourite part of the house.
Clean sheet Friday or clean sheet Sunday? (Harriet and I disagree)
Sunday. I’m too exhausted on a Friday to do any housework!
Do you have a bedtime ritual, can you share it with us?
I’m a bath person, so I’d soak in a late-night bath for hours if I could.
You’re off for a weekend camping… What one luxury would you take from your bedroom?
A nice fluffy duvet, much nicer than a sleeping bag.
Tell us a secret?
I can still do a cartwheel.
Who should Molly meet next?
Beci Orpin. I’m a big fan.