Exposed to knitting at an early age by both her mother and grandmother, the knit and color bug didn’t captivate her until after college when Toby went to work at a café that was home to a regular knitting group. When her mom became a member and the group learned that Toby didn’t knit, they took it upon themselves to turn her into one of their own. Not surprisingly, she turned out to be a natural. Shortly afterward, she started working in a local yarn store, where her on-the-job training confirmed her natural talent. Her ability to problem solve served her well and the craft continued to hold her interest. Shortly thereafter, she enrolled at the London College of Fashion, determined to become a knitwear designer.
While studying in London, she found herself distracted by the abundance of knitwear she saw on the street. Fascinated by the names of the London tube stations, she made it her business to learn about their origins. These two influences led to her designing a shawl collection named after the various stops: The London Underground e-book.
Toby is a young, contemporary woman, but it's obvious that she has the interests of an old soul. It's evidenced in her combinations of traditionally beautiful stitch patterns, classic design and color. She claims that it’s color that enchants her most. Often, the beautiful and varied mix of tones in hand-dyed yarns “tell” her what they want to be, and she has been known to sleep with special skeins near her bed in order to dream up ideas for new designs. This endearing approach to inspiration is something that a lot of knitters can identify with, no doubt.
Toby’s ideas continue to flow and come from a range of sources, including the Tarot deck, music, literature, and locations, near and far. Since she makes her home in the upper Hudson Valley, there is no shortage of brilliant color ideas. For confirmation, take a look at her Red and Gold cardigan pattern.
She enjoys interacting with the knitting public and teaches techniques classes and conducts knit-a-longs for her own design. Please join us at Knitty City on April 16, 6-8PM, as we welcome this vibrant talent. She will be bringing her trunk show and sharing the inspiration behind her designs. Her patterns will be available for sale, as well.