We chat to textile designer Mary Goodman, who combines traditional knitting techniques with contemporary design to create stylish pieces for the home – all made using British wool of course! Her stylish seating spheres (from £250) add texture to any room; keep it simple with a muted block colour, or make a statement with quirky added details, such as bright ombre stripes or striking foil squares.
Describe the making process.
At the moment all my products are made by hand or on a knitting machine. My ideas often start out on the back of envelopes and proceed into my notebook. I’d be lost without it, as well as designs it’s full of yarn swatches, prices, suppliers – not pretty but an essential part of my work. When I’m happy I’ll make the pattern and test it out at home to see how it wears.
What inspires you?
Stories, colour, texture, pattern and movement. I find inspiration in what you might consider the most mundane: a mouldy lemon, a manhole, or a field of barley, for example.
What’s your workspace like?
A complete mess! It’s filled with half-finished projects and ideas. I’m not an ordered person! I always have two knitting machines on the go and there are boxes strewn everywhere with cones of wool all over the place.
Why is it so important to you to support the use of British wool?
I love seeing native sheep graze in our countryside and want to support highland and lowland farmers to help keep these wonderful breeds alive. I can’t bear the thought of wool being wasted, it’s such an amazing long-lasting, natural and safe product. The mottled colours of the natural fibres are beautiful; I use Herdwick, Jacob and Swaleswick wool in my designs.
Describe your creative style in three words.
Sensuous, warm and quirky.