A degree in Knitting

DEGREE IN KNITTING

Once upon a time there was a little art student who went to university in Manchester and studied a BA Honours Degree in Constructed Textiles and Fashion.

This degree was a varied programme of study and over the three years, the little art student had many different briefs to work on, including many opportunities to draw, paint and generally be creative. There were also options to try a little bit of fashion design and this particular little art student remembers clearly a project that had to be inspired by the fashion of the Tudors and now, looking back, she can see why her teachers were not digging her revival of the codpiece and ruffled neck.

As part of the three year course, the little art student had the opportunity to try a number of fields within constructed textiles, which primarily included weaving and machine knitting. Now, the little art student wasn’t content with just combining knitting with fashion like all the other good students did. No, this little art student created her entire final show, from a range of knitted fabrics for the interior. Her colourful creations were made from knitting untreated lamb’s wool on huge industrial knitting machines, then taking the pieces home and washing them in a hot wash in her student dig’s trusty ‘twin tub’ washing machine. The heat and the soap made the untreated lamb’s wool felt and the little art student created her very unique set of felted fabrics for the interior. At the time it was pretty revolutionary but sadly the little art student hadn’t quite seen it. Instead, when asked to exhibit at the New Designer’s Exhibition in London, she declined and chose to run the art department on a children’s residential summer camp in Surrey.

Perhaps, if she had accepted the invitation to exhibit her designs, she would now be famous and have her name in lights. Or maybe the path she took way back then has actually led her to where she is now. Inspiring creativity.

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