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Painting with yarn

Using the technique of Intarsia knitting to create painterly knitwear

Glistening textures on rippled water, evening skies sliding from cool to warm, clouds obscuring colour palettes in unexpected forms, bounding light, juxtapositions of fragility and strength, boundaries and horizons...

Direct, personal experiences and observations made when in and amongst the landscape provide much of my inspiration. Here in West Cornwall, the intercepting land and sea have a directness and presence, and many of my designs are representative of this immediate marriage of solid and fluid.

One knitting technique that I particularly love is intarsia, a form of knitting that creates pattern in blocks of colour. When knitting an intarsia pattern using a knitting machine, strands of yarn are laid over the needles by hand in order to create the desired pattern. I often use this technique as a way of painting with yarn, spontaneously blending different colours, creating individual, abstract patterns reflective of the surrounding land/seascapes, developing the design as I knit. Although this is one of my favourite knitting processes, before the fabric is complete there are many loose ends of yarn to be tied in at the back of the fabric – a less enjoyable task!

I am in the process of developing some new intarsia pattern jumpers for Autumn/Winter 2021. Some of the designs will have small abstract landscape motifs across the front, and others, larger bolder patterning.

Many of the pieces developed for my 2018 graduate knitwear collection used the technique of intarsia knitting. Take a look here to discover the collection

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