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treat Store Artist Profile – Jennifer McHardy (Nervous Stitch)

A true master at her craft, taught by her granny at the age of 4 Jennifer McHardy has been knitting all her life. Jennifer studied her Undergraduate Degree in textile and surface design at Grays School of Art and then went on to complete her Masters at the prestigious Royal College of Art in London.

Jennifer is inspired by traditional Scottish knitting, intrigued by the stories, meanings and historical techniques behind the patterns.  She uses this as her starting point, adds in her own contemporary spin then ends with designs that are bright, colourful and full of character. The work stocked by the treat Store is sold under her business name Nervous Stitch, all her designs are original and are created using a KNITTING MACHINE.

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Studio Shot!

Invented in the 16th century the KNITTING MACHINE has come a long way since it early days of making stockings! The most advanced being computerized industrial sized machines that knit from programs and are completely automated, think along the lines of knitting robots! Somewhere in between these two extremes is Jennifer’s Brother KH970 domestic knitting machine, which is now sadly obsolete. She begins her process with drawing and sketching, translating them into patterns that are programmed into her machine. This often takes a few attempts to get it just right but is worth the perseverance, because with the help of the machine she can run a pattern much quicker than hand knitting. This machine still requires a level of manual work such as casting on and off,  shaping and moving the carriage is done by hand and once the fabric is knitted all her patterns are sewn together and stuffed to make the glorious cushions below. If you want to find out more about domestic machine knitting visit this site where you can find out about the different machines and techniques involved, a great source of information.

Orange Bunny Cushion by Nervous Stitch

Orange Bunny Cushion £80

Green bunny pincushion by Nervous Stitch

Green bunny pincushion £16

Nervous Stitch Spring Summer Collection

Nervous Stitch Spring Summer Collection

Nervous Stitch, green swan cushion, detail of knitted pattern

Green swan cushion, detail of knitted pattern

To purchase any of these items or read more about Jennifer McHardy and her work visit the treat store here.

All work is created at her home studio in the North East of Scotland.

Jennifer has recently been part of the Oor Wullie Bucket Trail and designed a punk version with her intricate knit work. For more of her latest news keep updated at her Facebook page here.

Images courtesy of the artist and Lewis Matheson.

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