Rockville Centre resident Katie Preston had her work featured in the 50th anniversary Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue when superstar model Kate Upton was photographed wearing Preston’s had-knitted swimsuit.
The design was inspired by traditional Irish fishermen’s cable-knit sweaters. Preston’s swimsuit, which took 40 hours to design and knit, was one of a few selected for the first-ever fashion photo shoot on the Antarctic continent.
Preston knew the editor of the swimsuit issue and sent her the suit she knitted. That was the last she heard for a while. “I didn’t know if it was going to be shot or if it made it in until a month before the magazine came out,” Preston said. “I got an email from somebody at Sports Illustrated asking me to identify that it was my work.”
Somewhat shocked, Preston didn’t truly believe her work was being featured until she was holding the magazine in her hand last month.
“I said to my family all along, ‘I won’t believe it until I actually see it in there,’” she said. “It’s like when you close on a house, you won’t believe it until you have the keys in your hand.”
Preston also didn’t know who was going be modeling her swimsuit, let alone that it would be Kate Upton, who is currently America’s most popular model.
“I was thrilled that my work was featured, and then to be on such an icon too, it couldn’t look more amazing,” said Preston. “I was proud of my work when I finished it, but once it modeled on her, it couldn’t look more beautiful.”
The swimsuit was the first that Preston had knitted. While she sells custom-made works from her website, most of her knitting career is focused on teaching and instruction, passing along the art to others who are interested in learning it.
“For my knitters and I, we’re very excited about it,” Preston said. “Because for our craft to make it into this national publication has been pretty exciting for us.”
You can see more of Preston’s work by visiting www.kateprestonhandknits.com.