News. The Prince’s Foundation invites knitters to contribute to an exciting new art installation

5th of June, 2020

The art installation will take the form of a patchwork mosaic and will feature thousands of hand-knitted squares draped over the historic Adam Bridge, which dates back to 1760 and was initially designed by John Adam to give travellers an early sight of Dumfries House on their approach.

The piece will celebrate knitting as a traditional craftform, as well as the associated benefits to the mind and body that practicing the skill can bring. Once the installation is dismantled, the patchwork will be cut into smaller blankets and distributed to charities in need.

The installation will form part of a wider collaboration between The Prince’s Foundation and The Joseph Ettedgui Foundation which aims to recreate a community of hand-knitters in the local area with an interest in turning their hobby into a viable business proposition. The objective of the Knitwise initiative, which began earlier this year, is to train and develop a small team of locally based hand-knitters to a high standard to help future-proof the industry. While the programme is currently paused to help restrict the spread of coronavirus, participants typically visit the Dumfries House estate on a fortnightly basis to practice the craft and share their expertise while socialising.

To celebrate the launch of the Knitwise programme, The Prince’s Foundation and The Joseph Ettedgui Foundation are appealing to volunteers to consider spending some of the extra time they have at home at the moment knitting squares for inclusion in the installation.

“Knitting is a very relaxing craftform that is known to have multiple benefits such as reducing depression and anxiety, and increasing a sense of usefulness and inclusion.” – Ashleigh Douglas, Future Textiles Manager for The Prince’s Foundation at Dumfries House.

“The Knitwise group features participants of all skill levels - from complete beginners to experienced knitters - and it has been heartening to see them all working together towards the goal of creating this wonderful art installation.

“We would like to invite beginners and experienced knitters from all over the UK to contribute to our art installation project from home in a sustainable way by using up ends of yarn or unravelling unworn knitted garments to make a 20cm square to be included in the patchwork mosaic.

“To help inspire creativity, we’ve created an easy-to-follow video tutorial which is suitable for beginners and can be found on the Dumfries House social media channels.”

“I feel that there is something connective about knitting for a community project, especially while we are in isolation. Aside from the peace it brings in calming my underlying anxieties, it makes me proud to think we are doing our bit to help rebuild the foundations of a hand-craft industry that had its roots in the west of Scotland to revive something beautiful, practical and valuable.” – Isabel Ettedgui, founder of The Joseph Ettedgui Foundation

Last month, The Prince’s Foundation partnered with nationwide sewing initiatives to manufacture garments for NHS workers during the coronavirus pandemic. A dedicated team of volunteers made up of staff, students and friends of The Prince’s Foundation joined forces with For The Love of Scrubs and The Big Community Sew to face masks and scrubs at home that meet the strict safety standards required by the NHS.

Contributions to the art installation should be marked for the attention of “Knitwise” and posted to Dumfries House, Cumnock, KA18 2NJ.