Have you ever considered archives as a source of inspiration for new designs for knitwear or even bedding? I was just searching the internet for new ideas about ways to engage staff and students with our archives here at BCU when I came across this blog by Sian Collins from the University of Cardiff's archives. Her references to the use of their collections to inspire the creation of a giant knitted cardigan and a patchwork quilt caught my attention, and I decided to find out more.
More than 300 people contributed to the creation of the 5m wide Aberteifi Cardigan over nine months in 2010. It was designed by textile artist Lisa Hellier, who has a particular interest in old maps and is often looking for ways in which to combine this with collaborative projects involving members of the community. Contributors listened to talks on the history of the town during their weekly meetings to knit individual pieces that were later sewn together to make the finished cardigan. They had complete freedom to design their own patterns and shapes, but cable stitch was encouraged as it recalled the ropes of Cardigan's shipping heritage.
Could this idea be adapted for regular size knitwear, perhaps using some of the patterns or images we've got in the archives?