How wool got cool

How wool got cool

According to the knitting activist Betsy Greer, most people who knit have a realisation that leads them to it – a kind of woolly “Aha” moment. For some, it’s about learning at their grandmother’s knee, but for an increasing number of us it’s an experience in our 20s or 30s (or beyond) when a friend teaches us how to wield a pair of needles and we suddenly realise, “Hey, this is quite easy. And relaxing….

Knitting needn’t be an expensive hobby

Knitting needn’t be an expensive hobby

Knitting is no longer the cheaper option, says the Invisible Woman in her lovely, nostalgic piece this week about the Fashion and Textile Museum’s new knitwear exhibition. Well, if you’re trying to pay the least possible for a piece of clothing, the high street can sell you a machine-knitted jumper for under a tenner. But if you’d like the satisfaction of making your own, you needn’t spend much more than £25. And that would be…

Knock-out knitwear without a stitch of work

Knock-out knitwear without a stitch of work

There are a mere handful of shopping days left until the festive season and the supermarket is already playing Noddy Holder. This is nature’s way of telling you it’s time to start thinking about your Christmas jumper. For decades, a Christmas jumper has been an exercise in naffness. Think Colin Firth as Mark Darcy in the film adaptation of Bridget Jones’s Diary, resplendent in a knitted reindeer. Think Gyles Brandreth in the 1980s. Think grim…

How to knit a penguin jumper (whether they need it or not)

How to knit a penguin jumper (whether they need it or not)

had only just cast off Knit Café’s free polar bear pattern when a good friend flicked me this post via Facebook: “Knitters wanted for penguin pullovers.” It had immediate appeal. From the craft angle, I’ve been knitting toy animals for 10 years: they’re small, they’re cute and they’re quick. Hello! Jumpers for penguins sure tick the small, cute and quick boxes. But from another perspective, I’ve been feeling kind of sad and helpless lately. Dredging…

Cutting-edge knitting: is this the future of textiles?

Cutting-edge knitting: is this the future of textiles?

I am in one of the subterranean rooms that form part of the backstage rabbit warren of Somerset House in central London. This wing used to be offices for the Inland Revenue, but it is now occupied by Makerversity, a hive of young business start-ups which get to rent desk space at affordable prices. One of these businesses has just moved out of the Makerversity incubator into its own bigger space a few doors along….

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