garthenor talks series


enjoy talks from craft experts

Garthenor Organic logo - a pair of sheep shears and the words Garthenor Organic underneath

Unravel is a community craft experience that celebrates all things yarn and yarn making. With all kinds of creativity to inspire makers from our curated marketplace to workshops we also have talks with craft experts as part of our Garthenor Talks Series.

Take a break from the festival to hear from designers, makers and other craft experts about the projects they're passionate about. Talks with our craft experts take place in the long kiln gallery and will be live streamed and recorded for our virtual unravel visitors.

Generously sponsored by Garthenor Organic.


Talks with our craft experts take place in the long kiln gallery and will be live streamed and recorded for our virtual unravel visitors.

Cecilia Nelson-Hurt knits a shawl at a table set for tea in London

Keynote Address from Cecilia Nelson-Hurt - Fri 11 February, 11am - 12pm

Join Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion practitioner Cecilia Nelson-Hurt for the keynote on “Moving from Awareness to Action.” Collectively, we’ve learned that the fiber community is not always a safe and inclusive space for all. To create a fiber community that is truly diverse, inclusive; and seen as a space where everyone can belong, it is important that we are intentional with our efforts and actions to impact all aspects of the industry.

As a Diversity & Inclusion practitioner, Cecilia Nelson-Hurt has over 20 years of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion experience. Currently, Cecilia serves as the Vice President of Diversity & Inclusion at L’Oréal USA where she is responsible for the development and facilitation of the company’s diversity education curriculum. Cecilia also serves as the diversity lead for the company’s affinity groups focused on underrepresented groups, including Women of Color employees,

Cecilia was first introduced to the fiber arts when her maternal grandmother first taught her to crochet when Cecilia was very young. Cecilia later taught herself to knit and has been an avid knitter for over 20 years.

At the intersection of passion and purpose, Cecilia combines her love for knitting and the advancement of diversity, inclusion, equity and belonging. Cecilia’s ambition is to create a more inclusive fiber community. Cecilia serves as an inaugural member of the ‘Vogue Knitting Live!’ Diversity Advisory Council, as well as sits on the boards of Knit the Rainbow, an organization founded to provided knitting garments, crafting instruction and support to homeless LGBTQ+ youth.

A self-proclaimed “citizen of the world”, Cecilia loves to travel. She makes sure to visit a yarn shop wherever she goes. To date, Cecilia has visited over 150+ shops in the United States and abroad. She chronicles her travels in her “CreativeCeci” and “Ceci Knits the World” Instagram profile. Cecilia is married to an adventurous and supportive “Yarn Husband” Jerome, is the mother to an incredible daughter Atrice and a fabulous four-legged furry daughter, Dallas Jade.

Find Cecilia on Instagram at @creativececi and @ceciknitstheworld.

A flat lay showing a flat bed knitting machine, knitting machine tools and weights, a knitting swatch and a book called Designing Knitted Textiles

Designing Knitted Textiles with Florence Spurling - Fri 11 February, 1pm - 2pm

Join Florence Spurling to learn about her background as a knitted textile designer and to gain insight into her new book, Designing Knitted Textiles: Machine Knitting for Fashion. Featuring beautiful inspirational images of knitted fabrics and fashion items, Designing Knitted Textiles guides readers through the fundamental skills of machine knitting while encouraging them to be experimental and creative. With her vast and varied background as a textile designer, design studio owner, and teacher, author Florence Spurling uses her knowledge and expertise to offer fashion and textile students and professionals a contemporary approach.

Hazel Tindall's mum wears a printed dress and glasses as she stands in front of a croft

Knitting in Shetland in the 1960s with Hazel Tindall - Fri 11 February, 3pm - 4pm

Hand and machine knitting in Shetland in the 1960s was the only source of income for many families, something they could do at home while looking after family, homes and crofting work. At that time there was a huge market for the knitwear. Using her mother's diary entries, Hazel shares a snapshot of her life.

Logo with white back ground and black text reading: Wild And Woolly

KQT: Knitters' Question Time - Sat 12 February, 11am - 12pm

From straightening out your woobly rib to sizing advice, from navigating an overwhelming array of patterns to making friends with colour, form locating your lost knitting mojo to puzzling out instarsia on a seamless sweater, we've all got questions we wish we had answers to. They may be big, small, technical, spiritual, radical, practical, or event slightly ridiculous.

KQT welcomes them all! JOIN IN by emailing your questions to

Meet the experts:

Brontë Swannick
Hand knitting designer, avid sewist, scrapbook maker and long-serving yarn store shop assistant. Brontë has an encyclopedic knowledge of knitting patterns and is brimming with gauge appropriate yarn suggestions.

Helen Reed
Helen is the founder and hand-dyer behind ‘The Wool Kitchen”. Her colourways are inspired by chance encounters with colour and moments of cosmic wonder under the night sky. She dyes all her yarn in her garden studio shed in East London where she also dreams of how to create joy in every stitch the yarn goes into.

Sylvia Watts-Cherry
Sylvia designs under the brand ‘With Cherries on Top’. Her ‘Nubian Queen’ Pullover is a dazzling example of both her mastery of intarsia and bold use of colour. She is inspired by African textiles and carvings of her Nigerian heritage as well as cables from her Scottish upbringing.

Wendy Peterson
Wendy is the brain behind Yarnsub, an invaluable online resource for yarn substitutions. Her other passions are solving knitters conundrums such as why left leaning decreases never look as nice as their right leaning counterparts and playing with techniques such as shaped intarsia.

Close up of two moths, one with wings open and one with wings folded back

MOTHS! A panel discussion - Sat 12 February, 1:30pm - 2:30pm

Camphor balls, eucalyptus oil, pulverised horse chestnuts, pheremone traps, parasitic wasps and zip-locked cardies in the freezer: the knitters' war on clothes moths rages on - with mixed results.

Join this Knit 15 niche talk for Knitters as we get to the bottom of what they're doing here, why they're snacking on our knitwear and what lessons we can take from the campaign to save Henry VIII's tapestries at Hampton Court.

Speakers include:

  • Dee Lauder - Collections Pest Control Manager, English Heritage, Collection Conservation Team Curatorial Department
  • Jane Thompson-Webb BSc, ACR - Head of Collection Services, Birmingham Museums Trust
  • Kerren Harris ACR - Preventive Conservation Team Leader, Historic Royal Palaces

All three are members of the Pest Odyssey IPM Steering Group.

Jimi sits on a running track with her legs stretched out straight in front of her and her arms reaching towards her ankles

The Accidental Knitter with Jimenez Joseph - Sat 12 February, 3pm - 4pm

Jimi’s talk will be about her journey from being a keen track and field athlete to ending up as a full-time knitwear designer. Her unconventional route to knitting gives an insight into her thought processes, her unique patterns… and her attitude to risk! Join her as she quickly walks you through her 13 year knitting journey, showcasing her sketches, knitted samples and pattern style.

Jimi is a London-born, former Graphic Designer and Track & Field athlete. She took up knitting after a hurdles accident, where she dislocated her knee joint. That year, a simple ‘Learn How To Knit’ kit Christmas gift sparked a curious interest that quickly became an obsession! Since publishing her first pattern in 2011, her focus has been to design garments that she would want to wear, while exploring texture and colour applications. Her designs are inspired mainly by the colours, composition and texture of the yarns that she encounters, which then go towards developing creative and modern pieces.

A red book titled Crochet Crush sits on a lilac background. On the cover are shown three black and white bags made using tapestry crochet.

Crochet Crush with Molla Mills and Laine Publishing - Sun 13 February, 11:30am - 12:30pm

Molla Mills and Laine will chat about Crochet Crush, Molla's brand new book. You will have the opportunity to hear more about the book making process, the inspiration behind the 23 enchanting designs and see a bunch of samples. Crochet's compact and sturdy fabric is best suited for wear-intensive things such as carpets and bags, and you will get tips on choosing yarns, colours and getting started. Are you ready to dive into the fascinating world of crochet and fall in love with it?

Molla Mills is an internationally known Finnish designer who learned how to crochet from her mother as a little girl in Kurikka, Finland. She has studied fashion, marketing and art and has written several crochet books that have been published for instance in Finland, Brazil and South Korea. Molla also designs pattern collections for different yarn brands and travels around the world teaching crochet workshops.

Laine Publishing is a publishing house based in Finland. They publish books focusing on knitting, crafts, food and lifestyle, as well as Laine, the internationally celebrated knitting magazine. Their timeless publications are known for their high quality, stunning photography and contemporary yet classic aesthetics. Crochet Crush is their first book dedicated to crochet.

Book cover showing a shawl in blue and yellow on a dress form. The book is called A Knitter's Guide to Shawl Design.

A Knitter's Guide to Shawl Design with Emma Vining - Sun 13 February, 2pm - 3pm

As a desirable item of fashion, a cherished gift or a wardrobe essential, shawls enjoy enduring popularity among knitters and non-knitters alike. The most admired of these beautiful accessories are designed with inspiration drawn from a wide range of themes and ideas. This creativity is achieved by blending a knitter’s imagination with their knowledge of how to translate a source of inspiration into an exciting new design.

Using examples from her recent projects and from her new book, A Knitters Guide to Shawl Design, Emma aims to inspire knitters of all levels to personalise their knitting and create original shawl designs.

Emma Vining is a creative designer, with a passion for all aspects of hand knitting and design. Her design inspiration comes from both the natural world and the built environment. Her original designs regularly feature in publications such as The Knitter magazine, The Knitter Deutschland and Knitting magazine. Emma’s first book, A Knitters Sketchbook: Design Inspiration for Twists and Cables, was published by the Crowood Press in 2019, followed by her latest book, A Knitters Guide to Shawl Design in November 2021.