First Name
Last Name
14 Richard St
K7M 2J2
Hand loomed knit cardigans, jackets and wraps using wool and cotton and felted clothing.
Artisan Profile

Welcome to Carolyn M. Barnett Designs located in Kingston, Ontario, Canada. I specialize in one of a kind, hand loomed knit cardigans, jackets and wraps using wool and cotton…My Knit Artwear ! …and my Felted Wearbles… Combining classic simplicity and funkiness I have knit for all ages from 8 weeks to 80+ years, and various theatre and commercial productions.

I give workshops in Machine Knitting, polymer clay Button Making and Garment Designer, the software I use. My work is available from my studio, at shows and from a selection of Galleries. Some of my work may also be purchased from my Etsy Shop. I can also be consulted about Costume work for theatre & film.

I learned to knit as a child in England at a time when children were taught knitting in school. ‘Woolies’ have always been important in that damp climate where you’re never more than 70 miles from the sea, but knitting became more than utilitarian in the early 1900’s. I started with a pot holder for my Mum and a soft ball on which I learned increasing and decreasing, then, as a teen I knit cardigans for myself in the ’60’s, however, after immigrating to Canada in 1966.

Early in the 1970’s after much unsuccessful shopping I decided to knit my self the simple cardigan of quality woo I had been seeking. This lead to more for myself and for anyone who asked,
at the cost of materials. I taught myself anything I hadn’t learned in school or from my Mother. Though I studied fashion at Sheridan College, and learned much, I did not like the styles of the early ’70’s so I fulfilled another childhood dream and became a nursery school teacher. Got my Early Childhood Education dipoma at Mohawk College.

1982 saw the birth of Carolyn M. Barnett Designs when I decided to try marketing my ‘homey’ talents, I had a successful Summer with my cotton hand knits.

In 1984 I learned to operate a very basic domestic knitting machine to see if I could break my hand knitting bias. I progressed to using a more advanced machine the following year and discovered a new (to me) avenue of creation. Domestic knitting machines have been around for over 400 years. Although I have spent many years focusing on custom garments I have enjoyed participating in theatre costume and commercial work. My styles now are more technically refined (more sophisticated, buttonholes, banding, collars etc) and it takes longer to make one cardigan. Also, I devote a day every couple of weeks to making the buttons for the newest pieces, both custom orders and new stock. Working in polymer clay has opened up a new creative outlet and introduced me to more wonderful artisans as colleagues and friends.

Working in 100%wool and cotton and making my own funky buttons to complement the cardigans, my approach is simplicity of style with a lot of fun thrown in. Because the garments are made to last both stylewise and structurally, my wish is for the wearer to be able to pull my cardigans out of their closet for many seasons, just as I do.

Galleries & Shops