My eye always follows line. I was the kid on the block that could always untangle the kite string. I could find 4 leaf clovers because it’s an X in a field of Y, I could find pattern immediately.
With knitted glass, people look and then they look again. That’s what every artist dreams of. If somebody looks twice at your work. They’re actually seeing it. They’re not just seeing what their mind tells them that it is, and putting it in a category and walking away. That’s a big deal.
I’m an architect and I’ve always liked spaces that you could modify somehow. Very minimal background and you can completely change the room with a vase of flowers or a piece of art. I thought wouldn’t it be cool if I knit a base sweater that has component parts that can be changed. I’ve thought about it a lot, a round necked sweater with ¾ length sleeves and you can change the collars and cuffs and just button through.
Knitting is all about it being stretchy, soft and malleable. It made me think about how flexible it is, not just that the material is flexible: you can take it on the train, to a meeting or when you are half-watching your children; in contrast to my sample which is laser cut which is this rigid thing.
Making my own patterns and working with unusual fibres is what excites me. I like textural design: being able to make a texture on the fabric as you’re knitting it, using things like tuck and slip; or it might be about hand manipulation or short row shaping to change the shape of the fabric.
The three of us would sit and knit together and you had this clack of needles going constantly. I used to sit at my mum’s or my grandmother’s feet, and they would scratch my back with their knitting needles.
I had a theme for my foundation show of ‘Miss Havisham’s shed’ as everything I’d dyed looked like old ladies underwear. They all looked frayed and tatty so I stopped knitting carefully and started knitting with abandon.
The first piece I ever knitted was a bright orange tie that I gave to my Dad at Christmas when I was about six. I was incredibly disappointed when he didn’t immediately wear it – but he explained that he was saving it to wear to work as it was so special.