Knit the Shoreline

A textile tribute to Edinburgh's shoreline made by the people who live there.
A textile tribute to Edinburgh's shoreline made by the people who live there.
In June and July 2018 I worked with community groups along the Edinburgh coast to create textile sculptures for exhibition in August and September 2018. The exhibit was part of Edinburgh Shoreline, which encouraged the population of Edinburgh to reconnect with the shoreline of their city.

We made:
  • A diorama of seaweeds, fish and invertebrates found along our coastline;
  • A shoal of herring from upcycled jumpers;
  • A felted pebble rockpool with creatures and seaweeds;
  • A lion's mane jellyfish and moon jellyfish from recycled plastics.
  • A knitted Forth Bridge!

There's a gallery of photographs of various stages of the work here.

This page contains resources and links to useful sites which were used in the creation of the finished work.

We also had a Facebook group for people participating in the project. You need to log in to facebook to see it.

Public Events

Worldwide Knit in Public Day at the Beach Club Cafe on Silverknowes Prom
11:00-14:00 Saturday 9 June
Drop In Workshop as part of this international event where you can meet the team and make something for the exhibition.

Work in Progress exhibition at Coburg House Gallery, 15 Coburg Street, Edinburgh
11:00-16:00, Saturday and Sunday 21 and 22 July
See how the show is coming together, make something to be included and drop-off anything you've been making for the show.

Edinburgh Shoreline Project Exhibition at Royal Botanic Gardens Edinburgh
28 July to mid September
Our work will be on display as part of the Shoreline Project's exhibition about Edinburgh's coast and all the different community projects that have been happening this summer.

Things to make

Mini critters!
This is a neat set of patterns designed by Lorraine Pistorio. There's a crab, an octopus and a little jellyfish. (There's also a turtle but we don't get those in the Firth of Forth.)
Little Sea Creatures patterns

Shrimps are also found in the rock pools on Edinburgh's coast. Here's a little shrimp pattern for you to have a go at. It's been designed by Ashley Dorian Medwig.
Shrimp pattern

Sea anemones live around our beaches too. The most common is the beadlet anemone which is dark ruby red with paler tentacles. Use this instructions by knitter and naturalist Kirsten, but using dark red yarns.
Sea anemone pattern

Shoal of herring
Edinburgh's Newhaven harbour used to be famous for the herring landed there. We'd love to celebrate this with as big a shoal of herring as possible - all made from upcycled jumpers and fleeces. If you want to help with that then download the template and instructions here.
Make a herring for Knit the Shoreline (PDF file)

Shells, seaweed and pebbles
The wonderful ODDknit website has a collection of beach themed patterns for knitting a starfish, two kinds of seaweed, several shells and pebbles. All of them are found on the Edinburgh Shoreline except the cowrie shell.
ODDknit Beach Collection

This pattern from Make Magazine could work well for our project. To look more like our local species, Moon Jellyfish, make it in white or semi-transparent yarn and add four purple circles to the top of the bell when you're finished.

Hyperbolic crochet kelp
This uses Daina Taimina's hyperbolic crochet techniques to mimic the undulating surfaces seen in kelp and also in smaller algae and liverworts.

Start by making a foundation chain approximately as long as you want but at least 30 stitches. Work double crochet along one side of the chain, around the end, along the other edge and back to the start. Continue in double crochet but add a stitch after every three stitches. Work round and round both sides of the piece, always increasing at the same rate. Stop when you run out of yarn or get fed up! If you want you could try changing the rate of increase. The faster the increase, the wigglier the surface. Once you've made your blade of kelp you can add a stalk at one end with a small tube of double crochet.

You can also make flowers and coral-like structures with hyperbolic crochet. Start with a really short foundation chain (no more than five stitches). Join it in a circle. As before increase at a constant rate as you work round and round. Self-striping yarn works well or just change colour for the final round to highlight the edge.

The Maths Craft Festival in New Zealand produced this nice leaflet about hyperbolic crochet if you want to know a little more about what's going on in this structure.