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Caption: the students get to grips with the yarn

Finally we can announce a very special collaboration that has been in the planning for some time now! Todds Hand Knits and the Royal College of Art are teaming up for a very unique competition for a group of students from the knit, textiles, mixed media and fashion courses.

The students brief is to design and produce a hand knitted piece inspired by the Italian poem written by Impressionist poet Giovanni Pascoli entitled 'Temporale', which goes a little like this:

'A distant rumble.
The horizon reddens,
as on fire, to the sea:
pitch-black, to the mountain,
rags of light-coloured clouds:
in the black a cottage'

We want the students to have as much creativity as possible, to be free to create something truly unique and personal. 20+ students will take part, to start they will sketch and create small swatches of their project which can be absolutely anything from homeware, garments, paintings and even sculpture. Five students will then be tasked with taking their project from sketch to life. After much deliberation this number will then be reduced to just three finalists, we have a tough time of decision making ahead!

There are three prizes up for grabs. The coveted first prize will include £300 worth of Zegna Baruffa's world famous yarn and a trip to the Zegna Baruffa factory in Biella, at the foot of the Italian Alps, where they will get to experience yarn production first hand. The two runner-ups will also receive Baruffa yarns to be used through the duration of their course. 

The students will be working with 100% extra-fine merino yarn from Zegna Baruffa Lane Borgosesia, the very same yarn you can find on our site here! We hope this collaboration will highlight just how beautiful and versatile this important material can be. The final of the collaboration will also coincide with the spectacular Wool Week in October, adding to the great woolly celebration!


  • Susanne

    13 May 2014, 6.30pm

    Sounds just great, wish I could be Part of the challenge

  • Mary Ann

    14 May 2014, 9.50am

    It will be very interesting to see the results.

  • Janice

    14 May 2014, 6.48pm

    Id love to be part of this. Look forward to seeing the end results.

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Robert Todd and Son is a limited company registered in England and Wales. Registered office: Fairview House, Victoria Place, Carlisle CA1 1EW. Registered number: 4033938