May 2009: Knitting as Art

When I lived in Stockholm in the early 70’s I discovered knitting as art. It began with my struggles to get patterns to fit me and my family. I learned to spin and the yarn I produced was not easily identifiable as double knit, lace weight, etc. Out of that struggle the Arran Measurement System was born.

Then I realised that the “rules” of knitting patterns were arbitrary and I could develop my own designs. If you’ve been following Kirstie Allsop’s Homemade Homes on Channel 4, you’ll see that I am not the only one with this idea.

A few years ago on an exchange visit to Iceland, I spent a day in Reykjavik as the guest of Icelandic Craft and Design.

On a walking tour of craft shops and galleries in the centre of town we went past a very modern commercial building.

In four succeeding windows there were large squares of knitting in thick Icelandic wool with different basic stitches, stacked to form blocks of colour - red, then yellow, blue, then green.

The simplicity of it stopped me in my tracks.

Basic knitting met sculpture on that occasion, framed by contemporary glass and steel.

My focus as a knitter in recent years has been to document and update traditional patterns which you can access here on our website.

I’m very pleased to be listed by the UK Handknitters Association as a KNITTING ARTIST.

To get you started there’s a free pattern to download for a flower which you can knit in any colour or yarn that strikes your fancy - think 3 dimensional!