I struggled with today’s prompt and almost headed in the direction of the wildcard as I have often written of knitters and knitwear designers who inspire me. It gets a little tired, the endless homage to the same small group that I offer up time and again: Jared Flood, Rosemary Hill, Anne Hanson, Gudrun Johnston, Ysolda Teague, Alice Starmore, Hunter Hammersen…
I considered offering up Kaffe Fassett, but would have chosen to write about him on Day 1. It’s all about the colour… or I could discuss Herbert Niebling, but I think he’ll fit a lot better in my Day 6 post, where he will be propelling my skills development…
The thing is, there are many knitters/designers who inspire me – and most of them push me to explore my limits. It would be wrong to single out just one of them to commend to you.
The get out clause for me today is that the stated subject is: Your Knitting or Crochet Hero. Now, it seems to be that the term Hero is a strong one. It does not lend itself well to the relationship that I have with knitting/knitwear/knitters. There’s not much heroism involved in knit and purl – though I have known some heroic tinking sessions, that’s a whole different matter. There are designers who inspire me and knitters whose skills I admire greatly. I do not hero worship either group.
So, it was easy, in the end, to tell you about a real hero. A knitter and designer, an academic, a lover of life and nature; who is battling the odds to live her life to the full and to be as normal and productive as she can.
Kate is inspirational in oh-so-many ways. She has a seeing eye and a great love of the outdoors. She brings her academic skills to the research of textiles and produces fascinating texts on the subject. She designs simple wearable objects that leap from the screen and scream KNIT ME!
In my Queue:
On my Needles:
Kate’s Blog is well written, interesting, informative and very beautiful. She loves Scotland in all its many moods and takes and shares some beautiful photographs. She details her heroic struggle with the aftermath of her stroke. She shares the design process. It’s a great read and you should add it to your feedreader now if you do not already read her.
On the site you will also find Textisles, a scholarly irregular periodical digital magazine publication containing original Kate Davies designs and costing just £3.95 an issue. The first one on the topic of smocks and frocks was a fascinating read and contains the Warrington smock pattern. Issue 2, containing more than you ever thought possible about swimsuits, is out now and contains the Betty Mouat sweater pattern inspired by knitted swimsuits… and Betty Mouat. To find out more about her, you will have to buy a copy.
“My name is Kate Davies. I live in Edinburgh with Tom (a man) Bruce (a labrador retriever) and Jesus (a cat). I love writing, designing, and walking in our wonderful Scottish landscape. I find that all of these activities have a creative and a critical dimension and the best of possible worlds is one in which I productively combine them all.
Some days I feel like a writer who enjoys designing knitwear, on others I seem to be a designer preoccupied with textile history. On most days I feel like someone who is recovering from a serious stroke, though one hopes that this may change in time. I produced this book and have written many features about fashion and textile history for Rowan, The Knitter, Twist Collective , Selvedge, and many other magazines. I also produce my own digital magazine, Textisles.
I like my choice of materials to have a genuine connection to the landscape in which I live and work, and prefer to use yarns from local producers, processors and distributors in my designs. I particularly enjoy knitting and designing with breed-specific yarns. There are some wonderful and much underappreciated sheep and shepherds about!
My site is archived by the British Library as part of its project to preserve national documentary heritage…”
Pay her a visit and read more, or look her up on Ravelry: http://www.ravelry.com/groups/kate-davies-love