A national knitting award has been won by a University of Brighton student, Rachel Graham. Rachel, studying Textiles with Business Studies BA(Hons), won the Student Hand Knitting 2016 title in a contest run by The Campaign for Wool, launched in 2010 to educate consumers about wool products and to support the industry.
Rachel said: “I was absolutely amazed to hear that I had won. Being a first year I honestly didn’t think that I would have a chance.
“I submitted my designs at the end of the summer term as I thought that it would be a great experience. It was a shock to be selected for the final. Although this was great news it meant my summer holiday was spent hand knitting in between working.”
The competition brief by knitwear designer Marie Wallin was to create fashion garments hand-knitted in 100% wool or wool rich that displayed sculptural form using cabling and 3D knitting techniques in a palette which celebrated the colours of a British autumn.
Rachel received £500 for winning and said the inspiration for her design came from “structures of frozen water, in particular the frozen waterfalls in Bergen, Norway. I wanted to show what the body would look like as a waterfall. I tried to show this by using holding techniques to create 3d loops increasing in size, down the body.
“I wanted the loops to show the natural movement of water while still keeping a feature of the structure of frozen water; to ensure this I increased each row of loops at the same point. In keeping with the frozen water concept, I used a cool blue coloured tweed yarn.”
Rachel specialises in knitted textiles and knitwear design and is particularly interested in lace-making, crochet and hand knitting.