Dee Hardwicke

Dee Hardwicke






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About Dee Hardwicke


Dee Hardwicke is an artist, designer and passionate knitter, whose work is inspired by the beauty of the British countryside. “I’ve been knitting since I was a teenager,” she says. “I remember watching in fascination as the mother of a friend of mine transformed balls of beautiful yarn – and they were actually Rowan yarns! – into knitwear, and she taught me the basics.



“I carried on knitting throughout my fine arts degree and also when I subsequently did an apprenticeship with Quaker potters, but it was only when I set up my studio that I realised that I could incorporate knitting into my work as an artist and designer. I’m delighted that knitting has become such a key element of my career.”

 

Dee is based in the Welsh countryside between the Black Mountains and the Brecon Beacons, where she lives with her family and has her own studio. There she finds endless inspiration in the natural world for her designs.

 

“I’m incredibly lucky that my work is more a way of life than a job”, she explains. “One of my favourite things to do at the weekend is to go off on long walks – come rain or shine – in the countryside surrounding my home, and I always return brimming with ideas for new designs. I really enjoy cooking too, and I’ll quite often find myself getting distracted – and inspired – by the beautiful colours of a handful of jewel-coloured berries or the vibrant green of a fragrant herb.”

 

Dee always has a sketchbook to hand, and their pages quickly become filled with delicate watercolours, pencil drawings, and pressed flowers and leaves. She records everything that catches her eye throughout the seasons, from the colours and patterns of a wildflower meadow on a shimmering summer’s day, to the ethereal iridescence of a butterfly’s wings. It’s often the tiniest of details that plants the seeds of a design.

 

“I’m really inspired by the changing seasons and the way that Rowan’s new collections intertwine with them, so I love experimenting with different colour combinations,” she says. “It’s amazing how a dash of colour here or there can transform a familiar palette, and that’s one of the great joys of working in colour. Rowan yarns have such beautiful, natural tones and the colours are very much those that you find in the landscape.”

 

Once back in her studio, Dee begins the process of translating her inspirations into designs for everything from knits and tableware to stationery and bespoke tiles. Her passion for working with wool was the catalyst for her book, A Story in Yarn: How to Design and Knit an Intarsia Heirloom Quilt (2016), which has recently been re-published in an expanded edition, and her latest collection, Colourwork Knits (2018), both using exclusively Rowan yarns and championing the intarsia technique.

 

“I’m really pleased to see that people are becoming more confident with [intarsia],” Dee says. “It’s such a fantastic way of being able to tell a story in yarn and to create designs that hold a very personal significance, so I’m delighted that more people are trying it.”

 

“I knew from the outset that I wanted to use my fine arts background to create beautiful yet practical pieces that can be used and enjoyed from day to day. I’m also passionate about working with colour, and knitting brings all of these elements together perfectly.”

 

Whatever medium Dee is working in, her stunning designs are an evocative celebration of the changing seasons, preserving the ephemeral beauty of a leaf, petal, butterfly or bird for a lifetime to come.


Intermediate
Knitting

Designed by Dee Hardwicke, using two of her new Seasonal Palette Shades for this season.

Easy
Knitting

An open, loose cardigan with bold geometric pattern, this cardigan is simple to knit and easy-to-wear.

Easy
Knitting

Designed by Dee Hardwicke, these gloves are a bold, striped accessory that can be worn with the other Fields pieces in the Seasonal Palette.

Easy
Knitting

Dee calls this the perfect boyfriend sweater. It's big, roomy and super-soft thanks to the use of the gorgeous Cotton Cashmere.

Intermediate
Knitting

This large wrap by Dee Hardwicke is the perfect addition to a cosy Winter wardrobe.

Intermediate
Knitting

This pattern could be used as either a project bag or a fashion bag.

Intermediate
Knitting

The Hydrangea Cushion is super-soft and uses just two of the Kid Classic Seasonal Palette shades.

Intermediate
Knitting

This sweater, knitted in Kid Classic, has a bold geometric intarsia pattern across the chest and top of the back.

Intermediate
Knitting

Designed by Dee Hardwicke, the Hydrangea Wrap is a bold and colourful project that uses deceptively few colours from the Kid Classic Seasonal Palette.

Intermediate
Knitting

The Night Garden Bag can be used either as a project bag or as a daytime accessory.

Intermediate
Knitting

The Night Garden cardigan has a loose and open silhouette that uses two shades of the Kid Classic Seasonal Palette.

Intermediate
Knitting

Designed by Dee Hardwicke, the Night Garden Cushion is a larger scale version of the other Night Garden pieces in the collection.

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