Cathedral Cardigans: Southwell

Today’s addition to the reknitting project gallery is one of the Cathedral Cardigans, an experimental series of pieces that I made for the Units of Possibility exhibition in 2017.


Cathedral Cardigans is a series of five reknitted cast-offs which interpret the construction details of gothic cathedrals in diverse ways. To my eye, these architectural icons share ornamental flourishes with traditional crochet and knitting. Furthermore, the buildings offer great inspiration in terms of remaking, with physical breakdown and the whims of fashion having created veritable patchworks of repair, rebuilding and extension.

This one takes inspiration from the arcading at Southwell Minster.

Cathedral Cardigan - Southwell
Photograph by Jamie Grey at Rugby Art Gallery & Museum

This piece, an 80s acrylic jumper (ahem, not actually a cardigan) that I picked up from a charity shop, has been decorated using two treatments. The leaves in the centre demonstrate the add elements treatment – that is, they were crocheted separately and then sewn on. The rest of the trims demonstrate the embellish treatment – in the world of the Reknit Spectrum, this means that they were integrally joined, being crocheted directly into the fabric of the garment.

Southwell (detail) 2017

Want to have a go? I haven’t done detailed step-by-step guidance for these treatments yet, but there are loads of great books on knitted and crocheted trims and embellishments that would provide suitable patterns and/or inspiration.

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