It is a delight to have the collective Stitches and Hos taking part in Made in Kings Heath for a second year. We had a chat with co-founder Sara Fowles about her work, Stitches and Hos and Yarningham.
You can meet Sara and the see the work of Stitches and Hos at 3 Featherstone Road over the weekend of 24th & 25th November as part of the Made in Kings Heath Open Studio Art Trail.
What do you create? Knitted and crocheted homewares, gifts and accessories using luxurious natural fibres.
Where do you make your work? I make work at home in my studio. I’m very lucky to have a dedicated space to work in.
What is your inspiration? Anything and everything. I know most artists say this, but it’s true. It can strike at anytime and anywhere.
What materials do you work with & why? Stitches and Hos work with mostly natural fibres such as cotton, wool and alpaca. We use a
variety of traditional and contemporary hand knitting techniques and tools. We also use knitting machines and sewing machines.
The reasons we use natural fibres are that we find them easier to work with and they will produce products that will last and are sustainable.
How do you go about creating your work? This ‘branch’ of Stitches and Hos is a small group of 4 that collaborate on creating work. We are all knitters but have different areas of expertise. There’s a great wealth of knowledge and experience between us.
Which aspect(s) of your work do you enjoy most? I love working with colour, putting together interesting palettes. Yarn is great for playing with colour. Just like fabric or paint it can be found in almost any shade.
Who inspires and influences you? My friends and family inspire me. I’m fortunate to know a lot of other artists and makers who provide lots of inspiration and also much needed support.
Have you always been a textile artist and knitter? I actually trained as a classical musician, however I have knitted on and off since I was around 7.
How did you get started? Like lots of good things, Stitches and Hos started in the pub. I was talking with friends about the work of Knitta/Magda Sayeg which I’d seen online. We talked about how it would be really funny to come across a room of people knitting, sitting in a pub. It was such a great idea that we started a social night to do just that.
From that regular monthly night we expanded to holding social knit gatherings at festivals, galleries and devising our own participatory projects with stitching at the heart. We were lucky to receive were commissioned to make some Christmas decorations for Hare and Hounds pub in Kings Heath. The baubles were so popular that we decided to make some to sell.
Where do you exhibit/ sell your work? Currently we don’t have any stockists as we have been focusing on our annual yarn festival Yarningham for the past couple of years.
The plan is to try out our new products at Made in Kings Heath and see where we go from there.
What have you been doing / making this year? Most of our time currently is taken up with Yarningham – our annual yarn festival that happens in July. It takes around 10 months to put together.
This year we’ve been developing new products that we will be bringing to Made in Kings Heath. We’ve made some beautiful merino wool colour-work scarves that I’m seriously considering keeping for myself.
What are you next / future plans / events? We still hold our regular social knit nights, once a month at Tilt in the city centre. Our next meet up is Wed 14 November, 6-9pm. All our welcome – you don’t even have to be good!