February 27, 2011
I haven’t posted on the blog for a while, but there are lots of new, and exciting, developments bubbling away…
The Hothouse programme came to a conclusion on the 9th of February, where all seventeen designer/makers from this years Farnham, and London cohorts, came together to feedback on their progress, including time spent with personal mentors, and buddies, hand selected for each maker and their practice, and what effect this has had on their practice.It was so inspiring to hear all the progress everyone had made, and we are all taking part in a group exhibition at Pitzhanger Manor in Ealing this September, to co-incide with London Design Week. Watch this space for more information.
My own mentor and buddy were Ruth Bridgeman of Ruth Cross Knitwear, and Kirsty Mcdougall of Dashing Tweeds. The conversations with both, have both been invaluable, in terms of in-depth knowledge, and great sector specific business advice.
One of the new developments to come from my conversations with Ruth, was to think about the performance aspects of my accessories, as my products are often worn for outdoor pursuits, such as cycling, hiking, and snowboarding. This lead me to visit ISPO in Munich to reasearch performance yarns.
The main suppliers were situated on the aptly named ‘Wool St’, and has lead to lots of great new contacts, including the UK agent at Woolmark, who have a new free service for designer/makers undertaking production for the first time, to help them oversee the whole process, which is really exciting! I’ve got an appointment with them in March to discuss my collection, and my requirements in terms of yarn suppliers, and UK based production in more detail.
My final piece of news, is that I am starting a new job in March, as a part time teaching fellow in Knitwear at Winchester School of Art. This is where I did my undergraduate degree, and I feel very excited to be returning here as a tutor, working with, and hopefully inspiring, the next generation of knitwear designers.