Alison Ellen trained in BA textiles in the 1960s at the University of creative arts, Farnham. She has run a small business designing and making hand knits for over 30 years. She teaches short courses in the UK and internationally, and has published 4 books on designing in knitting.
Alison’s approach to designing and making hand knitted garments is in exploring the flexible structure of knitting, and the way different stitch combinations shape the fabric. She plays with variations in scale, stitches and the direction of knitting, designing for different body-shapes, allowing the structure of the fabric itself and the three-dimensional form of the garment to emerge seamlessly together. She designs clothing to suit different people and to be a pleasure to wear, and can make to individual commissions.
Dyeing her yarns for added patterning and richness, she looks to plants and landscape as well as historic ceramics and textiles as a source of ideas.
Recently she has worked on sculptural knitted pieces, again inspired by plants, and on smaller items such as bags and hats, working towards gallery exhibitions in 2016.