CHERRIES ON TOP
Knitwear Designer & Teacher
'Colour is how I express myself'
Cherries on Top is a knitwear design brand created by Sylvia Watts-Cherry.
Sylvia designs in texture and colourwork and has a special interest in intarsia. She is inspired by the African textiles and carvings of her Nigerian heritage as well as cables from her Scottish upbringing.
In addition to design, she offers workshops to beginners and intermediate knitters.
I am a UK designer who loves bold patterns and striking colours.
A few years ago, I had a eureka moment when I visited an exhibition of African textiles at London’s Southbank; I was immediately drawn to the beautiful patterns and strong colours and decided I wanted to try to recreate some of what I saw.
Since then, inspired by colour and texture, I’ve been dreaming up my own designs, many of which are drawn directly from the colours and symbolism in indigenous African textiles and artefacts - you may have seen my Nubian Queen pullover on Instagram.
My identity is important to me and I like to draw influence from my Nigerian/African heritage and Scottish upbringing in my designs. Through my work, I aim to remember the contributions of people from African heritage to the creative world, while enriching the current knitting community.
As well as working as an independent designer, I have designed for PomPom Quarterly and Knit Now magazines, and Warm Hands, a collaboration between Jeanette Sloan and Kate Davies. I also appeared as a finalist in the UK Channel 4 programme, Kirstie’s Hand Made Christmas Jumper competition.
I have also enjoyed teaching at yarn festivals in the UK and overseas.
Before diving into the world of knitwear design I had my own company offering maths and science tuition, a useful background for my new foray in pattern writing and grading! I love working with cables, and intarsia allows me to add colour in my knitting without the floats of stranded colourwork. My patterns are usually knitted in pieces, as I love the structure you get from this style, and I prefer charted patterns to written patterns.
I live in Hertfordshire in the UK with my husband and enjoy walking, family life and socialising.
I welcome contact for teaching and design collaborations. The best way to get in touch is by email (I respond to Ravelry and email messages on Thursdays). To keep up to date with what is happening at Cherries on Top, subscribe to our blog or newsletter or follow us on Instagram or Facebook.