First Light Festival Midday Makers Takeover

Midday Makers

As part of First Light Festival 2020 we did an Instagram takeover on the @firstlightlowestoft IG account and hosted a #FirstLightMakersMarket!

We spoke with three makers who have a local link to Lowestoft including Kay Lillian Designs, Helen Thrower Jewellery and Rachel’s Soaps.

It was brilliant to chat to these talented local creatives and to see inside their studios LIVE as part of #FirstLightFromHome.

Please have a watch of our interviews with these fabulous #MiddayMakers on the First Light IGTV channel here.

Enjoy!

Alice O’Connell from Wool & Water / Wool & Whiskers

Midday Makers

Hello, I am Alice and I am the busy, knitting hands behind both Wool & Water and Wool & Whiskers, my curious and unexpected knitwear labels.

At Wool & Water you will find my limited edition, knitted Bow Ties, Suspenders, Neck Ties and Pins and Wool & Whiskers is my Pet Label where I knit Bow Ties for Cats and Dogs and now, Catnip Toys too.

I learnt to knit while working as a TV and Theatre actress – a consequence of spending so much time filming, means lots of waiting… I have cast on and off some of my proudest pieces while in corsets, flares or faux blood stained t-shirts!

My TV acting credits include; Holby City, Jonathan Creek, Silent Witness, The Rotter’s Club, Doctor Who, The Verdict, City of Vice, Outnumbered, Casualty, Doctors, The Bill to name drop a few… I was knitting or learning to knit on all of these sets and more.

As soon as I started to knit, I was hooked (excuse the pun) and was quickly taking requests from friends, crew members and it just grew.

In the pursuit of more creative side hustles than just temping and catering gigs in-between auditions I started taking commissions from a growing network of private clients and eventually for various British Knitwear Designers and indie labels, all alongside acting.  

Nearly 10 years later, after a life changing chat with a designer I met with, I signed up to study Knitwear Design (at the infamous Knit One in Brighton), and immersed myself in all things knitted. It was amazing, inspiring and galvanising. This step away from acting coincided with a somewhat impulsive move for my husband and I from London to Amsterdam with our 2 rescue cats and a lot of wool, which is where I set up Wool & Water.  

I have a passion for natural fibres, the knitted textile and the aim to combine traditional craft with a modern aesthetic.

Wool & Water is a celebration of curiosity, individualism and personal expression and Wool & Whiskers, my pet label, is about fun, sparking smiles and offering a unique way to include your fur baby in family events and celebrations.

I am an old soul, I am inspired by both modern and classic forms of; music, film, fashion, art. All of these creative forms inspire me to create pieces anchored in heritage yet fresh in perspective.

Alongside my labels, I work as a Voice Actress here in Amsterdam and voice documentaries, adverts, museum audio guides, public service announcements… the work is fun and varied and I love it. I still do the odd bit of on screen acting now and again as and when the opportunities come knocking and I always make sure I have my knitting with me!

My love of knitting also led me to start teaching, which I still do, exclusively online right now, and I love being a part of people’s early creative journey. Many of my students have gone on to launch knitwear labels themselves.

Watch Alice’s Midday Makers live chat here on our IGTV.

Websites www.woolandwater.nl and www.woolandwhiskers.nl

Instagram @woolandwaterltd and @woolandwhiskers

Facebook @woolandwhiskers