Alison Ruth Designs is the public face of Alison Ellett, a maker-designer who has been sewing, knitting, crocheting, embroidering and beading for as long as she can remember. Her current product focus is on designing, making and selling project bags for knitting and crochet.
"Everyday objects should delight. They should feel good in your hand. They should bring colour and vibrancy to your day. You should enjoy using them because they are beautifully made and do what they are designed to do. I am a maker-designer of everyday objects," says Alison.
In summer 2017, Alison moved herself and her business (not to mention a husband, four cats and a not inconsiderable fabric and yarn stash) across the Atlantic from Guelph in southern Ontario, Canada, to Perth — the original one in Scotland, that is.
I'm Alison Ellett, and Alison Ruth Designs is the name under which I sew, knit, crochet, embroider and generally mess about with textiles and fibres.
As long as I can remember, I've been comfortable with needle and thread. Growing up, we were not allowed to watch TV unless we were doing something else at the same time. Knitting, sewing and embroidery were just what you did in our family. You wore handknitted sweaters. You made your party dress. Everyone made the art that decorated their home. As a kid, I assumed everyone had needlepoint tapestries on their walls.
In 2008 I left the corporate world to pursue my creative endeavours full-time. I soon connected with the vibrant knitting community, both in person and online, which led me to create my current product line of handmade project bags for hand knitters. I've also discovered the joys of tech editing and a whole new use for my Bachelor of Mathematics degree!
Some aspects of Alison Ruth Designs have grown out of things I've learned along the way, while others are things I've always wanted to try. It is a varied portfolio of products and services that will continue to grow and shift over time, but one that I hope you find interesting, stimulating and useful.
Handmade garments and accessories should stand the test of time. The quality of the materials used, the techniques employed and the thoughtfulness of the design should honour the time invested. To paraphrase William Morris, there should be nothing in your closet or workbasket that you do not find useful or believe to be beautiful. It's not about being a slave to the pattern or "doing it right", but rather about producing an item that suits you and is likely to last for years to come.