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craft&design Selected

  Selected Makers

Alison Ellen

The process of designing my garments begins with dyeing the yarns. I use wool, silk, cotton, hemp and linen, using space- and tie-dyeing to obtain a range of subtle patterns and colours, which are knitted as jumpers, jackets, waistcoats, hats, scarves and cushions.

Having trained in textile design at Farnham Art College and worked first in hand printed textiles, I began designing and making hand knitwear in 1980.  My training has formed my approach to knitting as a way of constructing both a fabric and a 3-dimensional shape, exploring what the technique can do to alter the drape, thickness and stretch of the material.

As well as an enjoyment of colour, texture and pattern, I explore shaping through the structure of knitting, designing clothes knitted all in one piece with emphasis on construction. My ideas for textures and colours are sourced from the surrounding countryside, gardens, drawing landscape and visiting museums. Designs for shapes are influenced sometimes by studies of ethnic costume and clothing, but also from discussions with people trying on the garments, and seeing how designs work on different people.

Teaching short courses and with textile groups around the UK and abroad has stimulated more research into technique and history, and inspired further exploration into designing, with three books published on designing for knitting.

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"So long, and thanks for all the fish"

After very many years of craft&design we've decided that we'd like to retire and so in 2 days we will close the craft&design website, including craft&design Online and the craft&design Selected Makers and Craft and Design Month websites. We've had a brilliant 35 years and would like to thank all our readers, advertisers, writers, contributors and website visitors for their support throughout that time. Our very best wishes to you all for the future - Angie and Paul.