EPISODE EIGHTEEN :: Georgie Nicolson of Tikki Knits - Supporting Local Producers, Large Scale Community Textile Art, Becoming a Knitwear Designer

The Close Knit podcast showcases artists, designers, and makers from all over the world who work with fibre in its many forms. Knitters, spinners, sewers, textile artists - all will be celebrated on the Close Knit podcast.

In Episode 18 of the Close Knit Podcast, I spoke to Georgie Nicolson of Tikki Knits, a knitwear designer and lover of local Australian wool. Georgie takes me through her journey of sourcing wool, a serendipitous stop at the birthplace of Polworth sheep - Tarndie farm, and what types of fibre she particularly enjoys working with. We discuss her work with SEAM - (Sustainable Environmental Art Movement) on WARM - a large scale collaborative community knitting project making a statement about climate change, and what a unique and interesting challenge it was to create a textile representation of a painted landscape. Georgie and I talk about her transition into knitwear design and how her children influence her design aesthetics. 

A huge thanks to this week's episode sponsor - Wool Gathering. Wool Gathering is an incredibly special event happening Thursday 4th May-Sunday 7th May 2017 in Victoria, Australia - held at the historic and scenic Tarndwarncoort (birthplace of the breed Polworth). At Wool Gathering, participants will have the chance to take classes in wool based crafts like knitting, crochet, spinning, tapestry weaving, Saori weaving, needle felting, wool embroidery, and yarn dyeing. For more information, check out Wool Gathering's website here - tickets for this event go on sale on the 12th Nov 2016 .

Georgie schools me on some of the history behind the Australian wool scence. We discuss the CSIRO wool mill that closed down in around the 80s (? we weren't sure of the exact timing) that used to spin wool for lots of local producers, but was defunded. Georgie also informs me that Nundle is the only commercial mill creating wool yarn that's completely sourced and made in Australia.

We go on to talk about her involvement in WARM - a large scale collaborative community knitting project making a statement about climate change. Georgie had the incredible task of translating a painting into a functional artwork made of knitted objects. Incredibly, and beautifully - everything in the project is a useful object, everything has a life beyond the project. 

Georgie really got back into craft with the birth of her first child, and though she's been designing for a while, she's only recently felt comfortable calling herself a "designer". She does a lot of designing for her children, and as they grow, her patterns also change. 


Georgie's biggest bit of advice:

"don't be afraid to just do what you want to do, and take your own approach, don't be afraid to make mistakes... Don't be afraid to be yourself... There is so much honesty and integrity that comes through when you are yourself" 

People/ Things we mentioned in the podcast:

  • White Gum Wool : documenting her shepherding on instagram now - Georgie highly recommends a follow

  • Tarndie : birthplace of polworth, amazing farm, location of Wool Gathering 2017! 

Find Georgie: website | instagram | facebook 

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