I want to create something original, that’s really precious. Knitting really attracts me as you have multiple ways to control what the final fabric looks like. I can totally express my designs and ideas. It creates something unique, you can’t find another piece with the same fabric anywhere else in the world.
I’m now researching a knitted silk stocking found in a shipwreck off the coast of the NL from 1735. The curator thought that the stocking was of the same age, but it’s not. The stocking is about 100 years earlier than that. I believe that the stocking was a treasure belonging to one of the passengers. It’s similar to those in paintings by Rembrandt.
You can use knitting to make a case for so many aspects of life: mental health and well-being, identity, heritage; personal as well as industrial heritage; sustainability now. I’m interested in where we go with textiles. It’s important that we attend to what we do with textiles in everyday life and how these skills help us out in the future.
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.
Holding this yarn and connecting with people about making something was transformational for me. I was making something from nothing, I could feel it run through my fingers. Going to a yarn shop, touching all that yarn felt so good. That led me to a path to eventually go to trauma therapy and do a lot of healing. Knitting saved my life
A few years ago I was the only frame knitter left, with 20 machines to use. It takes months and months of practice, slowly building up, to learn how to do one thing and gain control over the machine. I started building up a team of enthusiasts from scratch that’s now up to 7-8 people.
Now I want to knit with dusters, as part of the Domestic dusters project that I’ve been running since 2014. I chose a duster because it hasn’t been adorned like aprons or tea towels. I initially created a set of dusters with fairy tales on, then opened it up to see if other people wanted to contribute to the project. It sort of hasn’t stopped since then.
Trevor took his knitting box everywhere with him, when he was visiting family for the afternoon or weekend. He couldn’t just knit one of something. For Christmas he made everyone woolly hats, but not just one, he gave me five one year.