Alison Ellen

IMG_20170515_084337Alison Ellen is one of the most interesting people I have met in hand knitting and her stand at Unravel a couple of years ago was a feast for the imagination. It’s hard for me to put my finger on why.  Her patterns aren’t always to my taste but in a world where designs can feel regurgitated or formulaic, her take on hand knitting is quite unique and very inspiring.

She studied textiles and worked for a while in print before she turned her gaze, and considerable creativity, to hand knits. But far from being satisfied with a two-dimensional take on the knitted medium, she turned her attention to three-dimensions.  The result is a body of intriguing work in yarns that she dyes herself.  Her emphasis is on construction and most of her designs are knitted all in one piece.

IMG_20170515_084535As part of my year of stashbusting, which already seems endless, I am tackling a simple poncho to get to understand her work better.  It is taken from her book called Knitting – Stitch Led Design which I managed to find on Ebay.  I haven’t followed her colour scheme exactly but am using up some Debbie Bliss Fine Donegal and Noro Silk Garden sock yarn.  Garter stitch is a favourite of mine and these mitred squares are like therapy.  I have tinkered with the pattern a little to get them to sit properly.

I have never managed to attend one of Alison’s workshops but she does teach all over the country and you can find out where she will be appearing next here.