A few weeks ago when clearing out my project drawer (New Year’s Resolution No. 1) I found these two Love Chicks tucked away under some felt. With Valentine’s Day looming I emailed the design room at Rowan to see if they would like them and “Voila”, (as Aurelie would say) here they are!
Vince and Valerie are closely related to Gordon, Jamie and Hugh, whose story I am about to tell.
Way back in 2008 I was working as the Rowan Design Consultant in John Lewis, Aberdeen. Having worked as a freelance designer pre-children, this was my first job back in the knitting fold and I loved it! Rowan were preparing to launch the new Purelife brand and the first product under this new label was a beautiful organic cotton, naturally dyed and ethically produced.
This yarn was gorgeous (So sad it is now discontinued, but I do have a few balls stashed away!) Perhaps a pattern that could be given away free with the yarn purchase would help promote sales? Keen to start designing again I picked up my sketch book and began to doodle.
At the same time as this imminent yarn launch, three celebrity chefs, Gordon Ramsay, Jamie Oliver, and Hugh Fearnley Whittingstall were appearing in a debut TV show called The Big Food Fight. Hugh was starring in 3 episodes called Hugh’s Chicken Run where his investigations took him behind the chicken shed doors attempting to change the way Britain consumes chicken and highlighting the benefits of organic poultry rearing.
It seemed only logical that my design should be for organic chicken and of course they had to be named Gordon, Jamie and Hugh!
I remain very fond of my little friends. The pattern promotion encouraged sales to such an extent that Rowan decided to publish it (along with a few other farmyard friends) in The Organic Cotton Kid’s Collection. Thank you Hugh, Gordon and Jamie, and to Marie Wallin at Rowan for giving me the chance to get back to my roots.