Scarf Designer: Inspired by Sand, Sea and Sky

Above: Last year Chatham resident Elyse Maguire launched Little Knotty, a line of asymmetrical scarves.
Written by Sara Osborne

 When Chatham resident Elyse Maguire decided to change careers from advertising to design in her late 30s, little did Maguire know that she would eventually create a successful small business that sells knotty scarves, votive candles and round beach towels. While attending Parsons School of Design in New York, Maguire discovered her love for knitting, both by hand and machine. The latter appealed to her so much that she eventually set up a machine in her studio on her property in Chatham, a place where she is inspired by the color of the sky and textures of the sea and sand.

A year ago, she launched her Little Knotty scarves line—asymmetrical triangles with fringe in the front and two knots in the back—a nod to the maritime community of Cape Cod. Maguire suggests that the scarves can be dressed up or down. The scarves are perfect for “when you want to look nice,” she says, “but not put in all the time.” Maguire’s first scarf design was made with baby alpaca yarn, and later she brought in a mix of cotton, alpaca and cashmere. Each design takes anywhere from six to eight months for an idea to come off the paper and into an actual product. “I want to get it right,” she says. Maguire sources most of her materials from a family-owned factory in Peru, which helps with the production and hand-fringing. For her textiles collection, Maguire gets ideas for her patterns from the outside world: “I look at aerial photography that has all of these cool textures in it.”

For more information on Elyse Maguire and to purchase Little Knotty scarves, candles or beach towels, visit