A slight change of pace this week.
This year’s Virgin Australia Melbourne Fashion Festival Cultural Program honours the work of Jenny Kee and her four-decade contribution to Australian fashion. Together with Linda Jackson at their shop Flamingo Park, Jenny and Linda presented a truly unique idea of Australian fashion that drew on our cultural and natural landscape, and elements of indigenous art. Their clothes were colourful, audacious and, most of all, fun.
Source: Jenny Kee, Winter Knits
Jenny’s influence and aesthetic extends to the present day, most notably in her collaboration with local designers Luke Sales and Anna Plunkett from Romance Was Born.
For the exhibition ‘A New Beginning’ at Melbourne gallery Pieces of Eight, Jenny has created a limited edition capsule collection that references her iconic designs and motifs, including the Sturt pea, banksia and especially her beloved waratah. As Jenny herself has said, ‘This collection represents a blend of Italian Baruffa wool, Chinese knitting technology with Australian design – my heritage in one!’
The exhibition goes until 28 March – you can’t miss the stunning installation by paper artist Benja Harney at the entrance, with Jenny’s trademark red glasses greeting you on approach.
Source: photograph by Andrew Barcham, courtesy of Pieces of Eight Gallery
You can knit a Jenny item of your own from her pattern books Winter Knits and Nature Knits (try eBay or secondhand shops).
Jenny’s work is very adaptable, and the character and mood of a piece alters altogether with even just a palette change. Her Peace sweater below, for instance, looks completely different when knit in black and white and in colour.
The individual motifs from some patterns can be pulled out for different uses, for instance in this hand-knit scarf, which was made for Jenny herself. (Pic is of the unblocked scarf.)
The same motifs work beautifully in this limited-edition machine-knitted beanie, which is available for sale with the rest of her new collection at Pieces of Eight.
In store news, sixteen wonderful shades of Debbie Bliss Fine Donegal have arrived. This 4 ply fine tweed yarn, a blend of wool and cashmere, is a good substitute for Brooklyn Tweed’s Loft. Each 100 g ball is 380 metres, so, depending on the pattern, four balls should more than suffice for an adult garment. As always, larger balls means fewer ends to deal with!
Debbie Bliss patterns for this yarn include delicate shawls, cosy cowls and classic sweaters. We have the book instore, so please drop by and have a look.
Easter trading: We are closed from Easter Friday, 3 April, until Easter Monday, 6 April, reopening on 7 April.
We are starting to plan and stock up for our own holiday projects. Come in and tell us yours!