Reknitting in Rugby, part 3

Saturday, October 22, 2016

Another fantastic workshop at Rugby Art Gallery again today! It was great to see lots of projects in progress, and to have the chance to share the basics with three new recruits.

To the workshop participants: 

As promised, I've set up a Facebook group as a space for us to continue sharing our reknitting adventures:

See you there!!


Reknitting in Rugby, part 2

Sunday, October 9, 2016

We had another great reknitting session at Rugby Art Gallery yesterday - ideas and skills are progressing nicely!

For those who didn't attend the first session: there are a series of links in my last post which cover most of what we went through.

One bonus is my chart showing the relationship between stitches per 10cm, yarn group and suggested needle size - and then the ratios involved in changing from one group to another. Here it is, direct from my notebook:

A neater version will appear at some point!

This will (hopefully) be of use when you're changing from one gauge to another, whether knitting off open stitches or picking up through the knit to add a frill or pocket (as long as you're picking up horizontally along a row).

And then, here are the equivalent links and info for the stuff that was new this time:

Integral embellishment / calculating the multiplier


  • We talked through the process of 'cardiganising' a jumper.
  • On the treatment page there are links to further instructions, including Kate Davies' 'sandwich' method that I used for my sample: 
  • You could use the same principle to cut a new neckline and add a neck trim which encloses the raw edge.

Other stuff

Really looking forward to getting stuck in to some garment projects in our final session!

For those who aren't able to come to the final workshop: I'm really keen to keep in touch, hear how you get on, and help if you get stuck. You can email me via the contact page. Thanks!


Reknitting in Rugby, part 1

Saturday, September 24, 2016

After another long break from this blog (oops), I'm back - with renewed reknitting vigour.

In advance of my solo exhibition at Rugby Art Gallery next summer, I'm running a series of three workshops sharing the reknitting techniques. The first workshop took place today, and went very well indeed!

I promised the lovely knitters who took part that I would publish a post with links to the pages of the reknitting resource relating to what we did today, so here goes:

Inspiration and introduction

Playful deconstruction (chopping up!)

The spectrum of reknitting treatments

Sampling: knitting off open stitches

Sampling: adding a frill (optional homework!)

[Rugby knitters: don't forget to bring one or more garments that you might like to reknit next time ... and if you have friends who would like to come along to the other workshops, they are very welcome! Please ask them to book, if possible, on 01788 533217. Thanks again!]

My plan is that running these workshops will help me to put together some instructions on reknitting for beginners, that I can share more widely. Watch this space!


I'm back!

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Heck, it's been a while!

Apologies for the gap in communications: I was busy having a baby, Caspian. He's lovely and life is good!

The Keep & Share store was closed for a while (bump, and then baby, making it impossible to get to the knitting machine) - but now I'm open again for commissions.

Somehow (!) towards the end of last year I managed to finish writing my book, Folk Fashion: Understanding Homemade Clothes. Everything's moving forward nicely and it's due out later this year. Exciting!

And finally: on Saturday 20 Feb I'll be at the fantastic Unravel at Farnham Maltings, talking about re-knitting. Hope to see you there!


Three months, three exhibitions

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

There's been a sudden rush of activity on the exhibition front!

Knitwear: Chanel to Westwood

On 19 September, the fantastic Knitwear: Chanel to Westwood exhibition opened at the Fashion & Textile Museum in Bermondsey, London. The main exhibition is an incredible showcase of twentieth century knitwear, featuring not only work by big name designers, but also popular vernacular styles (such as a display of beautiful Fair Isle jumpers). Sitting alongside is the Visionary Knitwear display, curated by Sandy Black, a 'showcase of bold visions in contemporary fashion knitwear' - including my stitch-hacked piece, St Michael - 12 - 40 (shown, in situ, above).

I highly recommend the exhibition for all knitwear fans! It runs until 18 January 2015, and visitor information can be found here.

Brave Fixed World

Soon after attending the private view of the Knitwear exhibition, I was packing up work for another display - this time in Poland, part of Łódź Design Festival. The exhibition is called Brave Fixed World, and is curated by Daniel Charny (known for his fantastic Power of Making exhibition at the V&A in 2011). I'm sad that I won't get to see the exhibition, because it sounds great! Here's the introductory blurb:

The world we live in is shaped by the heroic successes of mechanisation and mass-production. The democratisation of access to goods and improved quality of life brought about by industrial production has come at a price. While the abundance of cheap standardised products strain our environment, we are distanced from the experience of making, so leaving many with the limited choices of buying new or doing nothing. This ‘Brave New World’ needs fixing.

The Gallery element looks at ‘fixes’ covering a range of activities ... fom these examples the Fixhub invites debate and speculation on what our world may be like if fixing became the norm? What if it became a legal imperative or a sweeping social movement? 

The exhibition runs from 10 to 19 October, and will feature my re-knitting work: the 'spectrum' diagram (which shows an array of re-knitting options), the 'tester' jumper showing five different treatments, and my first ever stitch-hacked piece, 'Who Made This?'.

Knitting Nottingham

Hot on the heels of the exhibition in Poland is Knitting Nottingham, an exhibition at Nottingham Trent University's Bonington Gallery which explores 'new knitting directions and technologies, which challenge current knit practice and offer future-focused ideas'. It celebrates Nottingham Trent University’s 170 years of knitting education, design and research.

Once again I'll be showcasing my re-knitting 'spectrum' diagram, my PhD 'tester' jumper, and a different stitch-hacked piece: ATH + Jayfor.

Knitting Nottingham runs from 6 to 28 November (plus a preview evening on 6 November), and is free to attend. Visitor information can be found here


Looking forward, looking back

Monday, December 31, 2012

Tomorrow is a big day. I'm going to start writing my PhD thesis, and I am aiming to finish by 1st July - giving me six months. Parts of the thesis are already written in draft, but there's lots of editing and reworking to do, as well as writing large swathes of it from scratch. Those will be the most fun, as they're based on the data from my research knitting workshops that I've been running since September.

To help give me a sense of progress as I write, I'm going to knit a cardi at the same time. Each section of the cardi will link to a chapter - so I'll be starting with the welt, aka the introduction! The cardi I'm knitting is testing/illustrating one of my re-knitting treatments: copy. I'm copying one of my very favourite cardis, a vintage handknit that I bought at the Rose Bowl flea market in Pasadena in 2005. It's a lovely shape - partly, I think, because it has no side seams. In preparation for knitting the cardi, I have copied the stitch pattern and knitted a number of samples to get the tension just right. I just need to wind my yarn (from cones into balls) and I'll be ready to start tomorrow.

Along with writing my thesis, I've got plenty of other exciting stuff planned for 2013 - mostly PhD-related. I'm organising an AHRC-funded skills development project on Creative Research Methods, in collaboration with David Gauntlett at University of Westminster. I'm giving papers at two conferences: Futurescan and Crafting the Future. And I'm writing a chapter for the Routledge Handbook of Sustainability and Fashion, edited by Kate Fletcher and Mathilda Tham.

In between all that, I'll be knitting orders, running workshops and blogging more often!

Looking back, 2012 has been a really good year. I've had work exhibited in WOW: Wonder of Wool and the Art of Knit and Stitch, and Made in the Middle, an exhibition of contemporary craft from across the Midlands. We had a successful summer tour with the Knitting Tent, I launched the new Keep & Share website (a long time in the planning), ran a great project with over-60s craft group Young at Heart with mac in Birmingham... and travelled across Europe by train to Moscow!