I pinned (almost) all of the swatches made during the Masters so far in my new desk space, to take a step back and evaluate what I had, work out what had worked, what hadn't, and try to group them into stories.

Burns, R. 2018. Self Critique. (Photograph)

Here are my notes:

  • The design made in AYAB (central top panels) is strong on both sides, thanks to the double jacquard, and needs working into a finished piece - scarves is an obvious option. The monochrome swatch used as a test is visually striking and should be developed into a colourway.
  • Structured racking zig-zag motif (far left) is strong and has been developed into fine gauge scarves - can this be used on a bigger scale on a garment?
  • The space dyed yarns are strong - continue to use and make part of the collection.
  • Indigo pieces feel a bit separate from the rest of the collection - how can this be incorporated into the main collection? As an alternative colourway or worked into existing ideas.
  • 'Stripes' is the key motif' Add new colourways and consider increasing scale of stripes pattern with intarsia.
  • Fair isle 'shapes' punchcard pattern is strong and has scope to play with scale - perhaps in an intarsia design? Punchcard has gone missing so rework the pattern into AYAB so the pattern can be made to appear more random/less obviously a pattern.
  • Initial textured swatches show promise - continue to experiment with yarns, weights and methods of adding texture on the machine. Can yarns be plied/twisted?
  • Can the modular hand knit be done on a machine to speed up the process?
  • Combine hand and machine knit on the same garment to add a uniqueness. Use super chunky yarns and big needles so it doesn't take too long/add too much cost.

This doesn't mean, of course, that I am going to just develop existing designs. Primary research in the form of photographs and sketches made last week in Wales will give scope for more designs that can be added in or replace weaker motifs.




  • Burns R. 2018. Self Critique. (Photograph)