After training in constructed textiles at UCA Farnham, Alison began a small business designing and producing hand-knits, dyeing her own yarns, and exploring stitches for shaping. She has been designing and teaching her special approach to hand knitting for forty years in the UK and abroad, and has published 5 books on designing in knitting.
What inspires your own work?
Dyeing my yarns is a bit like painting, enabling a huge range of colours, but also patterning the yarn with tie-dyeing and dip-dyeing. Colours are often inspired by colour and texture in landscape, gardens and natural forms, and by traditional textiles. My designs grow from the endless possibilities in this wonderfully free technique of hand knitting to produce pattern and texture. However another important element is designing for real people: we are all different shapes and sizes, and the challenge is to create designs for people to enjoy wearing.
Describe your approach to teaching?
My approach to teaching is to encourage people to gain confidence by experimenting and understanding how stitches work. We look at how knitting in different directions can create seamless designs, often shaped by use of different stitches, always searching for the simplest way and seeing what the stitches will do to help! The courses encourage people to think creatively and to be able to make their own designs.