Shots of Christien Meindertsma’s incredible rugs, handknitted from the wool of 18 merino sheep (on very oversized knitting needles)… I want one! – All images from Christien Meindertsma’s Flocks website

After seeing Christien Meindertsma’s gorgeous ‘Urchin’ knitted poufs in all the Milan photos around the place, I found myself googling to find out a little more about her. She’s done some amazing projects… I love Dutch Design! The more I read, the more I am engrossed by the work coming from this part 0f the world…

Dutch design is well documented for being kooky and playful. On a deeper level, I also find that so many Dutch designers have a really thoughtful, considered and almost holistic approach to their work. I often read of designers and companies working on projects that would almost be considered art installation or performance art elsewhere… yet in Holland they are encouraged and embraced as respected and marketable products and ideas! A great example is Marije Vogelzang‘s work in food design (I mentioned her fantastic company Proef a while ago). The same can certainly be said of the work of Christien Meindertsma. (note – I just discovered both of these fantastic young designers studied at the famed Design Academy Eindhoven… interesting…)

Christien’s ongoing Flocks project sensitively explores issues of consumerism and the lost connection between primary industry (farmers) and final consumer. Christien works with farmers to create garments from individual animals – ie the wool of one sheep is used for the creation of one cardigan, and the fur of one rabbit is used for one pair of mittens… The animal’s ear tag and details are then attached to the final product made from it’s wool. The result are simple, beautifully designed knitted garments and homewares, with a real sense of history and connection to their origins on the land.

Flocks cardigan (above) and close up details of sheep 006 from the cardigan (below)

Mittens – notice the rabbit’s eartag attached!

Urchin Poufs knitted in heavy felted wool (as seen at Milan Design Week this year)

Oh, and I don’t know why this is important but on Christien’s website is says she was born in 1980. AAgghh! Over-achiever alert! Little details like that always make me sit up and take notice!