MY NAME IS RUTH & I started Ruth Cross when I graduated from Brighton University in 2004. My aim was to create an ethical brand of knitwear that was handmade in the UK and sold through the best stores internationally. In addition to this I wanted to work on individual knit projects in collaboration with other companys and individuals.
Unbelieveably 10 years have now passed and I've done everything I set out to do and more. I've had hundreds of knitters- each one a story in themselves and sold to over 50 stores internationally. I've exhibited in several countries, been featured in press all over the place and been asked to write, lecture and god knows what else I've forgotton! The launch of the website was crucial to build up a little following of individuals as was the accidental phenomenon of Bella's mittens and more recently the publishing of my first book 'The Knitted Home/ Knits At Home'.
HOWEVER, I'm now 33, have a gorgeous little girl and can't give the time I have before to Ruth Cross so it's all change and frankly I'm just going to do the bits I enjoy and am going to try and rediscover my love for knitting along the way....................
BASIC HISTORY SO FAR, give or take.....
August 2014: Launch of patterns for sale on website
Jan 2013: I have Beatrix- my beautiful girl who halts work for a good while.......
Jan 2013: Woolmark commission for artwork to adorn London HQ meeting room.
March 2013: Launch of 'The Knitted Home/ Knits At Home' my book about create contemporary knits for contemporary interiors. Buy your copy here.
September 2011: Collaboration with Harvey Nichols to create a surreal installation to celebrate wool week.
August 2010: Ruth Cross is commissioned by concept space designers Not-Tom to knit a whole world of exciting things from old telephones to standard lamps to seagulls to dress the VIP lounge for the re-launch of the Internationally known Woolmark Brand. Ruth Cross work was shown alongside other leading designers during the drinks party held at Somerset House during London Fashion week.
Throughout 2009: Bella's Mittens mania hits the studio and we are featured in press all over the world as the mittens become the must have item of the year. This is compounded by the mittens then also being featured in the second film!
November 2008: A pair of Long Cabled Mittens are featured in the first Twilight film through costume designer Wendy Chuck.
October 2008 (& Nov 2007): Part of the Aveda ethical fashion show, North Islington.
September 2008 (& Feb 2008, Sep 2007): Exhibit at Designers and Agents, New York.
June 2008 (& June 2007 sponsored by Selvedge): Exhibit at Pulse, London.
May 2008: Selected by Swarovski to represent the UK in their new book and touring exhibition.
November 2007: Exhibit with 'Black Swan' as part of 'Home'.
May 2007: Work commissioned by stylist Jane Howe for ANOTHER MAGAZINE.
April 2007: Collaboration with TN_29 for shoe collection.
February- March 2007: exhibit in Paris, New York and London.
January 2007: Patterns commissioned by LOOP, London knit boutique- for their book 'Pretty Knits'.
October and February 2006: Paris and London exhibitions.
September 2005: London Design Week interior installation and exhibition at TN_29.
February 2005: Launch of first collection during LFW at Le Salon- first international sales acheived!
November 2004: First sales as Ruth Cross. Thankyou Flint!
June 2004: Ruth Bridgeman graduates from the University of Brighton with a degree in Fashion Textile Design with Business Studies. Duing this time she gained experience working for cashmere knit company TSE in New York, a textile trend and design studio in Como, Italy and Paul Harnden Shoemakers in the UK, all of whom she considers vital to her inspiration and decision to start RUTH CROSS.
March 1981: Born in Suffolk UK, then moved around before settling near the New Forest, Hampshire where she grew up and has now returned to living near Salisbury.
MY ORIGINAL INTENTIONS AND COMPANY ETHOS....
....were to create a company that aims to provide unique pieces for an increasing number of people whose interests lie in pure design, rather than homogonous trends.
My products are highly unusual and desireable, inspired by using traditional methods in a contemporary context. By re-thinking the process of hand knitting I created a collection of work from garments & accessories, to homeware, bespoke one-off projects and lighting. Each conjures a feeling of history, yet their simple silhouettes are unmistakably modern. I draw inspiration from organic forms, which are translated into sharp and striking pieces. The allure lies in the detail, the quality of the materials and the knowledge of how much care has gone into making them. Each piece is hand-crafted from knitting to finishing, using British knitters and the finest lambs-wool from Scotland (I am committed to supporting British industry and small businesses where possible). This process takes about a month from beginning to end per garment, which results in only a limited number of each style ever being produced.