< The Knitting Hotel - Belinda Harris-Reid

The Knitting Hotel is
run by knitwear designer
Belinda Harris-Reid.


I design for me – things I love to wear; something a little bit different but utterly wearable and easy, with as little making-up as possible. I love the idea of one size fits all – so my designs are informed and constructed with this in mind.

 

"LUXURY MUST BE COMFORTABLE, OTHERWISE IT IS NOT LUXURY."
COCO CHANEL




OUR PAST INFORMS OUR FUTURE: Born in and spent my child-time in Africa. My father was Professor of English and Philosophy at the University of Malawi. Back to colder climes - UK.

Dyed my hair pink and 'ran away to join the theatre'. Trained at the Cockpit Theatre, co-founded the London Performance Company (young people’s political theatre), a BA Hons. in Jazz History and Jazz Voice (London University). MA in Devised Theatre (Dartington College of Arts, Devon), Big Brother 8 (2009) housemate (and all that goes with the media whoosh - 15 minutes of celebrity status/fame) leading onto setting-up Screens South West (training people in acting and re-acting to the camera).

20 years of working in theatre and production; gigs, shows, events, cabarets and design.

BEGINNINGS

My mother was MD of the British School of Knitting (a design centre in London training people to set up business in textiles), she has a MA in Knitted Textiles (Royal College of Art). Her company wrote the first computer software for knitting machines. I probably osmotically picked-up knitting construction as the ‘design-vibe’ was flying around. When I was 16 years old I learned to knit and purl (and that's about all).

 




In 2013 I set-up my own luxury hand-knit design company. What followed was unplanned but looking back appears pre-ordained and has exposed my love of designing beautifully constructed knitwear that is fabulous to wear, some would say transformative and of course utterly comfortable.


 

RUTH AND BELINDA

The transition from the world of performance to working with fibre came about in 2010 - from a chance encounter with Ruth Morris, a woman who ran a knitting group where I used to live in Exeter. This is where I truly learned to knit.

And so the RUTH and BELINDA hand-knit design and promotion company came to life. We worked as a design team and collaborated on hosting national hand-knitting inter-active events (either as art projects or for charity). We also hosted Devon based trade events including the big KNIT show (2010 and 2011).

 


 

We worked closely with The Campaign for Wool.

We were invited with 27 other knit-wear designers, knitting magazine editors, journalists and dignitaries from the 'wool world' by the Campaign for Wool to celebrate Wool Week 2012. We knitted a Union Flag designed by Marie Wallin (Rowan designer) on a train ride from King’s Cross to Edinburgh.



We were also commissioned to design and knit the cushions for the Queen’s Jubilee celebrations on the Thames.

 

 

Contemporary Craft Festival 2013: the 'Spaghetti Grows on Trees' spoof - an interactive making event.

Belinda Harris-Reid's design company is a branding partner of The Campaign for Wool.

DESIGN

"My work often appears organic but is in fact highly planned. What excites and delights me is challenging preconceptions of knitting by combining traditional knitting motifs, stitch patterns and styles and re-forming them into interesting shapes which are contemporary and utterly wearable.

By constructing and deconstructing, or put more simply 'knitting and un-raveling' my designs become meaningful hieroglyph that turn into garments." - BHR

How to meet a knitter’s needs?

Finding simpler and better solutions - seamless (in more ways than one) is the answer.


My company

I attend lots of delicious fibre shows all over the UK where I sell my knitting patterns and my own yarn (sourced and spun in the UK and Peru).



To make your creative experience more enjoyable and relaxing I also sell other lovely things such as yarn bowls and swifts - and beautiful shawl pins to complement my designs (all designed by me and made in India by a group of very skilled artisan makers). I am also commissioned to create designs for knitting magazines.



 




Knitting is skilled work, slow art, measured and precise.