Designer Spotlight: Kate Jenkins

You've never seen knits like this before.
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Balls of yarn in purple creating a heart

It all begins with yarn...

In our last Designer Spotlight feature, we introduced you to the world of textile design. Today, we're continuing that theme with a twist: This designer started out creating knitwear and expanded the concept into something else entirely. This week, we're taking a peek at the zany knitted works of Kate Jenkins.

Picture french fries wearing berets, beaded lollipops, and glitzy creatures from under the sea. Got it? Okay, now you have an idea of Kate's aesthetic. Scroll on down to enter her woven world.

Introduction to Kate Jenkins

I'm not gonna lie, I've always associated knitting and crotchet with my grandma. However, if the insanely awesome work of Kate Jenkins is any indication, there's a lot more to the art than just creating hats and blankets. With a collection of work that has gained worldwide attention from the fashion and art worlds alike, Kate's pieces weave a fine line between beautiful and witty.

Kate Jenkins is a crochet artist and knitwear designer based in Brighton, England. In 1995 she graduated with a Fashion Textiles degree from the University of Brighton. Before that, however, she designed anonymously as a knitting consultant, selling her designs to hundreds of labels including Marc Jacobs, Gap, and Whistles, to name a few. 

Kate's Brainwave

Hard work, a vivid imagination and a brilliant marketing idea has enabled Jenkins to transform herself from a freelancer to a full-time knitwear designer. In 2003, she set up her company, Cardigan, selling luxurious knitted fashion items and homewares. It took a further four years, however, for her career-changing brainwave to occur: In 2007, she crocheted a plate of fried breakfast foods to promote her label for the 2007 Brighton Festival of Artist's Open Houses. And she never looked back. 

She told We Are Scout

"I am inspired by life and turning the ordinary into something extraordinary. My Mother and sister are a huge inspiration to me as we share the same sense of humour, so often a conversation about something could end up as the subject matter for a piece of artwork. Most importantly it has to make me smile."

Kate's Most Unique Works

Treating the handmade craft as an elevated art form, Kate has created crocheted art pieces depicting the nation’s favorite foods, transformed spaces into knitted and crocheted gardens, and created a fantasy dinner party setting complete with crocheted bottles of champagne.

Her latest venture in 2015 featured a crocheted fishmongers window entitled 'The life aquatic' and featured lots and lots of sparkly, sequined seafood:

Kate's philosophy is that anything can be created from yarn as long as it is made with love, and I for one am in love with every stitch and sequin Kate is sewing. It really makes one think about the possibilities inherent in textiles -- and all areas of fashion, for that matter. I cannot wait to see what comes out of her studio next! 

What do you think?

Are you guys inspired to learn knit and crochet now, too? Which other textile artists should we feature in our spotlight? Let us know in the comments below! 

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