This fortnight we’re over the moon to feature one of our fave Brighton creatives Kate Jenkins of ‘Cardigan’ who designed and created our amazing Do Knit Disturb room in 2012. Every day we spot new imaginative knitted and crocheted Cardigan works in our Instagram feed which never fail to brighten our day so we thought it was high time to catch up with Kate and find out what’s next for Cardigan…
When did Cardigan begin and has it changed over time?

I set up Cardigan in 2003 as a womenswear accessories label selling scarves in the U.K to stores including Whistles and Liberty of London. It has evolved over time and now there are 2 sides to my business. The one side being my label Cardigan Ltd which focuses mainly on scarves, wraps, cushions and other knitted accessories and the other side is my crocheted art where I work on crocheted art commissions for clients worldwide.The art side came about as I didn’t have an advertising budget so I turned my attention onto crocheting artworks to get people interested in my website. This led to a collection of crocheted artworks entitled ‘Comfort Food’ in 2007 which was my first ever art exhibition and was held in the bar at the Pelirocco. The exhibition comprised of the nations favourite foods including Full English Breakfasts, Fish and Chips, Bangers and Mash. This was the very beginnings of my steps into the art world and since then I have had several solo shows in London, one in New York and my work now is collected worldwide.
Interview: Kate 'Cardigan' Jenkins
Interview: Kate 'Cardigan' Jenkins
Interview: Kate 'Cardigan' Jenkins
What was your main inspiration for the Do Knit Disturb room?

The main idea for the room was it to be fun and vibrant. I always try to play with words and images in my work and the title came first ‘Do Knit Disturb’ and then the rest followed. I had the wall paper printed from a sample of knitting that I had created and everything was knitted especially for the room including a working telephone which was covered in crochet, cushions, curtains etc. I wanted art work in the room to capture all the elements of Brighton and staying in a sea side hotel so I created a tube of toothpaste, knitted seagulls which where used as curtain tie backs and of course the classics.. fish and chips and a fried breakfast.

Interview: Kate 'Cardigan' Jenkins
What was your reaction to all the press the room received when it was launched?
We were overwhelmed by the press reaction at the time when the room was launched.. it went viral within hours of the launch and every day the news spread ending in my finest moment when it had a write up in the New York Times.
Interview: Kate 'Cardigan' Jenkins
Interview: Kate 'Cardigan' Jenkins
What exciting projects/collaborations have you been working on recently?

This year has been non stop for me. Over the past year I have worked on a cat food advert for an Australian ad agency where I had to make tins of cat food as realistically as possible for an ad campaign. I have just completed a large commission for Viking Cruises where I had to create 6 large artworks for their restaurant on one of their ships . Also I have been working with British Brand Boden on ranges for their children’s wear line ‘Mini Boden’. One range I designed was a limited edition collection especially for the U.S market where I designed a collection of knitwear based on a few of the Roald Dahl stories including Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, The Twits, Matilda and James and the Giant Peach.

Interview: Kate 'Cardigan' Jenkins
Interview: Kate 'Cardigan' Jenkins
Interview: Kate 'Cardigan' Jenkins
What is inspiring your pieces right now? We’ve noticed a bit of a food theme recently…

I am always looking for new inspiration but food will always feature somewhere in my work as the possibilities and ideas are endless. Next year however I will be slightly changing my direction… The working title at the moment is Sex and Drugs and Rock in Wool so as you may have guessed it will feature all those themes created in wool.

Interview: Kate 'Cardigan' Jenkins
Where can people find out more and shop from Cardigan?

I am in the process of changing my website but if you want to see what I am up to on my blog it’s www.cardigan.ltd.uk Twitter is @KnittedArt Instagram is @kjcardigan

Interview: Kate 'Cardigan' Jenkins

What’s next for Cardigan?

I am having a Christmas show in Brighton for a few days only at 114 Church Street, Brighton BN1 1UD entitled ‘Kate’s Christmas Knitmas’ which opens on 29th November and runs until 4th December.

Interview: Kate 'Cardigan' Jenkins
Interview: Kate 'Cardigan' Jenkins
Well that’s definitely one to check out this festive season!

Love Kate’s work? Experience it for yourself with a cosy night in our Do Knit Disturb room this winter – perfect for knitting fans and keen crocheters