UKHKA Knitted Textile Awards: and the winner is……..

Me! (big grins and a little jig around the living room). Yep folks, the knitted dog heads did me proud and I was awarded the Gold in the Open category. I am particularly chuffed as I was up against some seriously talented knit and crochet artists/designers but those stern looking judges with clipboards who wandered around Ally Pally trying not to make eye contact with us have in their wisdom encouraged me to continue with my madness and unwittingly given me permission to make more. Yay!

I feel privileged to have once again been given the opportunity to be part of the Harrogate Knit and Stitch show by the UKHKA, this being a fantastic experience in a beautiful town. The regular exhibitors at the show tend to have the same location for their stands each year (probably so that return visitors can find them in the maze that is the Harrogate International Centre) and I was pleased to see that the Spellbound Bead Company were once again alongside and I had the opportunity to stock up on some new music courtesy of Kevin Powell, mild mannered bead seller by day and lead singer in playful punk band Skimmer by night. Anyway, I digress (there are just so many talented creative people out there it is difficult to stay focused!), now back to the awards….

The winner of the Graduate category was Camille Hardwick with her beautiful creations inspired by the concept of an “oxymoron”.

"Camille Hardwick"

Camille Hardwick, winner of the Gold in the graduate category of the UKHKA Knitted Textile Awards 2014

The Silver in the graduate category went to Elmina Fors with her fabulous colourwork.

Elmina Fors Silver winner

Elmina Fors Silver winner (graduate category)

And Bronze was awarded to Ainslie Mackie with these lovely wearable pieces.

Ainslie Mackie Bronze winner

Ainslie Mackie Bronze winner (graduate category)

All of the graduate finalists this year had managed to produce items of knitwear that were both worthy of the catwalk and wearable and I think the winners of the awards in particular did a great job of showing how innovative knitwear can also be functional.

In the Open category, Silver was awarded to Heather Drage for the wonderful Willoughby Brown.

Heather Drage and Willoughby Brown, Silver winners Open category

Heather Drage with Willoughby Brown, Silver winner Open category

And Bronze was awarded to Oksana Dymyd with her gorgeous cushions.

Oksana Dymyd

Oksana Dymyd, Bronze award winner in the Open category

So, back to reality now and I need to crack on with the Christmas commissions.  What an amazing experience it was to be part of these awards for a second year. I would encourage any of you hand knit and crochet artists and designers to consider entering this competition next year. Having your work viewed by tens of thousands of people and hearing their feedback is such a privilege and all of the finalists came away with a sense that their hard work and efforts had been validated both by the judges who selected the finalists and then again by the overwhelming response of the visitors to the stand.

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