Designer to Love: Sylvia Watts-Cherry

By Ann Shayne
January 29, 2021

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40 Comments
  • Thanks for featuring Ms. Watts-Cherry’s works in this post. Her designs are superb and I have purchased the yarn kits for two of them. I look forward to taking her virtual class next Thursday!

  • So inspiring. Really brightened up my day reading this!

    • Agree!

  • Wow! Just wow!

  • Thank you—remarkable, fabulous, amazing, inspiring!!!!!

  • Truly creating a masterpiece on stitch at a time. Marvelous! And Dougie MacLean is a great oval artist.

  • Very interested to discover another fantastic knitting designer – the Caledonia sweater is now on my ‘must do’ list.
    And Dougie Maclean singing Caledonia brought tears to my eyes, oh dear.

  • Sylvia sounds like quite a force. What an artist.

  • What a cool lady! You just want to be part of her world. For me it will start with the Caledonia jumper. Just perfect.

    • Ditto to everything! Thank you, MDK, for featuring this inspirational designer.

  • So amazing ‼️

  • Oh man. I love that Caledonia!

  • I always love being introduced to new-to-me designers. Even more on my to-be-knit list (which if I continue at my usual rate will take me into my 70s if I stop adding to my queue).

  • Wow!

  • Delightful Thankyou.

  • What an amazing designer Sylvia is. Thank you for the wonderful article. Now I want to take her Vogue Live class.

  • Wow. what a day brightener Sylvia and her designs are! Thank you for introducing her, love her designs and colors choices. Her smile and energy are infectious.

  • Scottish nostalgia plus African vibrancy? Holy cow! (No, that’s Indian.)

  • I saw Sylvia’s Village Life sweater at VKL 2019. It was a jaw-dropping, show-stopping masterpiece that made it impossible for her to proceed from point A to point B without being stopped by many adoring fans! I am excited to learn from her in a virtual class next Thursday.

  • Sylvia is an amazing designer but more than that, she’s one of the loveliest people you’ll ever meet. Her lessons will keep me in good stead as I start the Flying Kites pillow.

  • Stunning! No more words escape me.

  • You remind me that the Amaka gloves have been on my must-make list since I first got my copy of Warm Hands. And now Caledonia is on the list – in fact, it may jump the queue!

    • PS: and her Tortoiseshell intarsia pullover, cover story from Pom Pom Quarterly Autumn 2020, also in the queue. She’s just bursting with brilliance!

  • Wow, I love all these designs. Thank you for introducing me to Sylvia’s work. This article is wonderful.

  • These are works of art, every one of them! I love the African themes. They remind me of some textile painting works I saw in South Africa and Zimbabwe, only they are even more wonderful in knitted intarsia. I will be following Ms. Watts-Cherry going forward. Thank you for highlighting her.

  • Awestruck!

  • Wow. Fantastic. Um, other superlatives here. Just because I don’t enjoy doing intarsia doesn’t mean I can’t appreciate it from a safe distance. Thanks for this.

  • Such unique knitting! More than just “pretty “!

  • WOW. thank you for introducing me to Sylvia

  • There is a fiber connection with Dougie MacLean. Twenty years ago Dougie MacLean & his wife Jenny owned the Dunkeld Hotel in Dunkeld, Perthshire, where he grew up. Jenny was a spinner and knitter, and one night a week (I think it was Wednesdays?) local knitters and spinners gathered in the hotel bar, often with live music. Dougie alternated tending bar with playing the fiddle with other local musicians. I had met Dougie in Rochester NY after a concert he gave, through a mutual friend, but I was too shy to speak to him, so sat very quietly knitting in the corner. I was doing my best to be invisible until a lovely and lively Scottish teenager came over and started chatting, she turned out to be Dougie’s daughter, and eventually brought her mother and father over to join our conversation. It was a happy, music-filled evening, probably the way Wednesday evenings generally passed in that hotel bar in Dunkeld, at least when Dougie wasn’t on tour.

  • Wow! I need to keep my eye on this designer.

  • I adore Nubian Queen. It reminds me of a bust my oldest sister has had forever. She got it in Lebanon when I was a tiny tot (she and her husband had a good friend from there and they would spend quite a bit of time in Beirut with him and his family). I have been drawn to the piece my whole life and now I could knit its cousin. Sadly, I am a bit afraid to do so because I do not want to be accused of cultural approbation. Maybe I can wear a button that says, “appreciation and respect, not approbation” when I wear it? At any rate, that sweater sings to me in its strength and beauty.

    • appropriation, not approbation. I obviously cannot spell this early!

  • These designs are wonderful!

  • I loved this article – the Dolores Keane version of Caledonia is special. Worth listening to. Haunting.

  • I had the pleasure of sitting next to Sylvia at Vogue Knitting Live NY last year and asked her about her amazing Nubian Queen cardigan. She was full of pride describing how it was her daughter’s skill in creating the graphic and downplayed her knitting it up. We had a great chat about intarsia. Just a lovely gracious lady. I’m happy to see she’s getting notice. It’s well deserved.

  • Ah inspiring and so much ‘LIFE’ in them. Thank you for sharing

  • I would love a print or canvas of the village cardigan. Is that possible? Does she sell prints?

  • Her colors and designs are bursting and lively, and all her patterns look gorgeous when worn. While I don’t know yet if I’ll move beyond my intarsia anxiety, just looking at her work is inspiring and joyful! And maybe taking one of her intarsia classes is just the thing to get me over the hurdle. Also, I hope my eventual retirement will be as exciting as hers.

  • From the time I saw the Nubian Queen sweater I have not been able to put into words my reaction to Sylvia’s designs. They stir something inside of me on a very deep level. Her designs are powerful, magnificent, and awe inspiring.