welcome to needlesandhooks

needlesandhooks is the work of Sara Fowles a designer/maker using textiles and wool based in Birmingham.

needlesandhooks produces handmade accessories, homeware items and bespoke women’s and menswear. All of the needlesandhooks items are unique. They may be related in design or material but no two are ever the same and will never be repeated.


It’s been a long time

April 9th, 2012 by Sara

It really has been a long time since I wrote a blog post here.  I’ve been wearing my Stitches and Hos hat for most of this year and what a year it’s turning out to be.

First off I’ve been commissioned by Wolverhampton Art Gallery to help transform St Peters Gardens in Wolverhampton with knit graffiti.  The project called Park Your Yarn will be installed in the gardens from 21 April for 4 weeks. Over the past month I’ve been delivering a series of drop in knitting workshops around Wolverhampton getting people to help produce the knitting needed for the installation. Rachael and Cheryl from ArtYarn have also been giving crochet workshops as part of the project.

Secondly I’m proud to announce my latest project with Stitches and Hos K2TOG - Knit 2 Together. For this I am planning to cover the columns on the outside of Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery in knitting to celebrate the arrival and stay of the Jamaican and American Olympic teams to Birmingham.  Six colours (red, white, blue, yellow, black and green) will be used to create the installation. The colours are taken from both teams’ national flags and are also used on the Olympic rings log.

The project has been selected for a Kalaboration commission which I’m very excited about.

Right now the project is trying to raise £2500 to help pay for a pop up shop in the Mailbox, Birmingham.  The shop will be a relaxing drop-in space where anyone can come to contribute to the piece and find out about the project. Staff will be on hand to teach basic knitting skills and local workers can pop-in over their lunch hour or after work to knit a square or just a few rows.

To support the project by donating as little as £1 please visit the Sponsume website

new printed purses

November 18th, 2011 by Sara

I’ve been having a play with printing lace on leather for a new range of clasp frame purses.  A couple of weeks ago I went over to my good friend Ruth Green’s who let me use her printing studio for a day.

After a morning of experimenting I finally got the paint solution to the right consistency and started to print the leather.

I got varying results depending on what colour I was used so decided to stick with the darker tones. Here’s some pictures of the leather pieces drying.

The leather has been sewn up into lovely clasp frame purses

The new purses will be on sale at Marketplace the Midlands Arts Centre’s contemporary craft fair which runs every weekend in the lead up to Christmans.  I’ll be there on Saturday 19, Sunday 20, Saturday 26 and Sunday 27 November from 11-6pm.  Please come and say hello.

Candy Cane Pier

July 24th, 2011 by Sara

I’ve spent the last few days in Skegness installing my crochet graffiti piece Candy Cane Pier for SO Festival 2011.

I left early on Wednesday morning with the ever lovely Vickie Glynn.  When we arrived at Skegness we went straight to our digs, The Kildare.  Turns out that the Kildare won Channel 4 programme 3 In A Bed last year.  We rang the bell but no-one was home. It seemed that the owners had popped out to run some errands.

The weather report I’d seen before leaving home had showers and sunshine forecast for Thursday, so we decided to get to the pier and start installing whilst the weather was dry.  Fuelled by cups of tea and fresh doughnuts we managed to get 16 lamp posts covered before dinner time.

After our dinner we went back to the hotel.  We were given a warm welcome and lots of apologies for being out when we first arrived.  The Kildare is a friendly homely B&B and if you’re ever in Skegness I can recommend that you stay there.

We’d been invited to meet the rest of the visual artists for a drink that evening.  Vickie was feeling a bit coldy so elected for telly and an early night and I went to local bar Wallies to mingle.

Thursday morning was decidely grey so I packed my waterproofs and Vickie and I headed down to the pier to finish the install.  We got a taste of the bracing Skegness wind and had to use cable ties to secure the pieces whilst we stitched them on.

By lunchtime the install was finished.  I took Vickie to the train station to return home and went for a mooch round Skegness’ charity shops.

For the rest of my stay I was a lady of leisure. I took a trip to Mablethorpe further up the coast to visit the Bathing Beauties beach hut exhibition but the huts were closed.  I also visited some of the other exhibits at SO Festival Luminarium, Migration Stories, International Bus Stop, Weaving Stories and Camera Obscura.

I rounded off my Skegness stay with fish and chips on the beach.  A very fitting end to my stay by the seaside.

I would like to say a MASSIVE thank you to Vickie.  It would have taken days to install the piece without you.

Here’s a few pics of the final piece.  Note the mistake on the information board - it seems my name is Stitches and Hos!

Read all about it

July 14th, 2011 by Sara

image from http://sophiarogge.blogspot.com/2010_11_01_archive.html

My commission Candy Cane Pier for Skegness Open Festival has been featured in the Birmingham Post and Birmingham Mail.

I think it was published today.  So, I’m off to the newsagents


July 13th, 2011 by Sara

I’m currently working on an outdoor visual arts commission for Skegness Open Festival 2011.  The piece is called Candy Cane Pier and for this I will be transforming the lampposts on the pier in to sticks of rock with knit graffiti (well, actually I’m using crochet, but thats just a technical point).

Production of the pieces is going well here at needlesandhooks HQ.  In total I will make 24 pieces of crochet 110 x 24cm in just over 3 weeks.  I’m already over halfway through the crocheting (at time of writing 14 done, 10 to go) and still have just over a week to complete the work.  Luckily I have cleared the diary for the final week so will be able to concentrate fully on abusing my crochet hook

I’m very excited and a bit nervous to be taking part.  It’s great to set myself a challenge and this really is one.

I’ll post up photos of the completed work once its been installed next week.  Until then I’d better get back to my crocheting