A talented trio of pensioners are the only ones skilled enough to make the pattern for a £995 lambswool tasselled scarf for global British brand Mulberry.
But the Tarves woman, a retired school cook, isn’t creating a Christmas gift for one of her family. Beatrice is making this season’s must-have fashion – a £995 lambswool tasselled scarf for global British brand Mulberry.
The 77-year-old is one of only three “knitting nans” skilled enough to follow the intricate, Aztec print zig-zag pattern.
As top models strutted down London catwalks wearing Beatrice’s handiwork, fashion experts hailed the Mulberry scarf as their must-have accessory for winter 2012. Each stunning creation has come a long way from lifelong knitter Beatrice’s pretty little cottage in the village of Tarves, 20 miles from Aberdeen, where she lives with husband Robbie, 81.
She said: “It’s very exciting. I’m pleased that everyone likes how they have turned out. It’s a difficult pattern with a lot of colours and details, but I like a challenge. It can take me up to a month to finish one, depending on what else I am doing. ”
Mulberry, who count the likes of fashionista celebrities Alexa Chung, Lana Del Ray and Olivia Palermo as brand devotees, flew Beatrice down to Harrods in London last month to see the scarfs and matching jumpers go on sale.
She said: “I’d never been to London before so it was quite an adventure. Harrods, well, what a place. I have never seen anything like it. But everyone made me feel so welcome. I even got to do some knitting in the store. “
Beatrice, who has two daughters, Fiona and Morag, started knitting as a child. She said: “I loved watching my mother knit and after school would rush home so she could teach me another stitch or technique.
“When I started working, then got married, I didn’t do as much. I knitted for the children but I had a knitting machine then, I didn’t have much spare time.”
It was only when Beatrice retired from the school kitchen 18 years ago that she fell back in love with her old hobby. She started enjoying knitting again as her grandchildren were born. She was working for a knitwear company in Alexandria when luxury textile house Eribe Knitwear in Galashiels called.
Last year, the award-winning company were approached by Mulberry asking for their best knitters to make the scarfs and jumpers, designed by creative director Emma Hill.
Beatrice said: “I enjoyed trying something new with all these different colours. There were five colours in the scarfs and the pattern is on both the front and back so it was difficult. It needed lots of concentration but my husband is used to not talking to me when I’m busy counting stitches or rows. During the summer I knit in the conservatory because the light is good and in the winter I’m usually in my chair in front of the television.”
“People know when not to talk to me because I’m in the middle of something.”