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Alicja Adwent is a Kingston fibre artist, designer and knitter. Born, raised, and educated in Poland, she came to Canada in 1982 and settled in Kingston, Ontario.

Meeting artists and Bohemian dressers in Kingston inspired Alicja to stretch the boundaries of her knitting to create more visually intricate and challenging patterns. Local artists have commissioned her to knit sweaters and coats based on their original paintings. She began to look to more traditional textiles from all over the world for source material. Inspiration comes to her from many different and even unexpected things - a piece of fabric, painting, photo, stone walls, tapestry, old roman mosaics, and so on.

In 1992 Alicja was the winner of the Great Vancouver Sweater Competition. The contest was held in conjunction with the Kaffe Fassett exhibition at the Canadian Craft Museum. Her entry, "Giants of Stanley Park", was judged by Kaffe Fassett as number one of over fifty submissions received from across Canada. The theme of the competition was "Vancouver" and Alicja's mostly brown and green coat was named after Stanley Park, located at the edge of downtown Vancouver. She based her pattern loosely on paintings of the great west coast painter and writer, Emily Carr, who often used magnificent trees of Stanley Park as a theme of her artwork.

In April 1991, at a similar show of Mr. Fassett's work at the Museum of Textiles in Toronto he named Alicja's coat, "Yoruba Elders", as among the best of twenty-five submitted for judging.



From left: Veronica Tennant, Alicja Adwent, and Kaffe Fasset at the Museum for Textiles in Toronto.

In her designs Alicja uses many different Knitting techniques and has even developed her own, which is quite unique, and rather difficult to master. It has evolved from the traditional multi-coloured Stocking Stitch with many colour changes across the row - but the actual 'right side' is.. on the wrong side! The result of this Reverse Stocking Stitch is that colour changes become very subtle and look nothing like traditional knitting.

Alicja sketches her designs on graph paper as a general idea - colours and shading are determined during the actual knitting, which adds a touch of improvisation to the work. Using a lot of colours and different weights and textures of yarns assures an interesting, original, and one-of-a-kind piece, which is impossible to reproduce exactly the same.

In her work, she strives to investigate the possibilities of knitting large, museum quality pieces, and expand the artistic potential of knitting, elevating the medium from the mundane quotidian fashion wear that it has been traditionally relegated to.


You can visit Knit Art Studio at:
4239 Bath Rd, Kingston Ontario, Canada.

Comments and questions are welcome:
Email: Alicja Adwent (Alicja@cogeco.ca).
Telephone: (613) 634-3985


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Knit Art Studio - Copyright 1997 Alicja Adwent