Couture Knitting (and tattoos), Scotland: Di Gilpin

Di Gilpin, a self-taught knitting designer in Scotland, speaks in this video about her collaboration with couture designers, including her shrug inspired by the White Witch in “the Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe” – and the tattoes of a Russian warrior princess.  As she points out, with a lacey knit worn over bare skin, the effect is of tattoes on the skin.

Watch from 90 minutes in. (It’s a long vlogcast).

(The video is by the knitting vlog, Fruity Knitting)

As well as knitting a grey shrug to mimic tattoes, Di also designed a featured full-length, red knitted ballgown, with a tabard full of Scottish symbols “Including a lovely Continue reading “Couture Knitting (and tattoos), Scotland: Di Gilpin”

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Patchwork: Gee’s Bend

After all the fuss about the glorious 1950s abstract paintings was waning, someone got around to recognising the same style in patchwork quilts made by black ladies in Alabama, at Gee’s Bend, for basic human survival.   These quilts are perfect material to cover in this blog – they were made for real life, to keep out the cold in uninsulated buildings; they were made from … Continue reading Patchwork: Gee’s Bend

Poetry Pilgrimage: Little Sparta

Two days ago, I went to Little Sparta, Scottish home of poet Ian Hamilton Finlay – whose garden contains words set in stone, playful and very often anti-war symbols – a place of imagination with 300 word/art works.

“The garden functions as a political statement…. it suggests that as it is possible to transform this hillside into a garden, so it is possible for man to transform the world or society.  It is an example of action and that’s very important to me.”

Ian Hamilton Finlay (in conversation with Melvyn Bragg, 1983

A theme which Ian brings into the conversation is how gardens have become a place for Continue reading “Poetry Pilgrimage: Little Sparta”

Pouffe! Household furniture thing of beauty

You can have the world at your feet….. or take the weight of the world off your feet… with this pouffe. Hot air balloons, butterflies and rivers are just some of the intricate patterns on this pouffe designed by Kristjana Williams. One of her largest scale commissions was a theatrical light projection for the Rio Olympics – for the beach fronted hotel Belmond Copacabana Palace. … Continue reading Pouffe! Household furniture thing of beauty

Scandinavian home craft

Lotta Jansdotter has a worldwide reputation for handprinting patterns which are used on textiles, notebooks and household interiors.

“Can’t find what you want?  Make it!  Don’t know how?  Learn it!” is how her website describes her pragmatic approach, much of her printing based on simple potato cut prints, in repeating patterns.

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Her fabrics are stocked by Windham Fabrics but you can learn the techniques of Continue reading “Scandinavian home craft”