Oversized knits by Claire O'Brien - stools

Combine a fascination with fabric, love of furniture and fascination with scale and the result may be both more comical and comfortable that you would expect. These oversized knits are literally dripping with fun, mimicking the pattern of sweaters to cover objects like stools. Claire-Anne O’Brien is a textile designer specializing in knitting – anything but mitts, hats and scarves, that is. Originally from Ireland, she has recently graduated from the Royal College of Art in 2010 with a Masters in Textiles.

Continue reading below
Our Featured Videos

Instead of draping a shirt of the back of a chair, she proposes an entertaining alternative: cover it with a comfortable lambswool button-down sweater complete with ribs, cuffs, button holes, cut and fashioned to envelope and pad your seat.

Oversized knits by Claire O'Brien detail in yellow
Oversized knits by Claire O'Brien olann poofs

Some of her work is a tad more serious, but much of it plays off patterns normally hand- or machine-knit into clothing, rugs or tapestries and created at significantly smaller scales (or, like the modular loop bench below, is inspired by the looping and weaving materials of textile production).

Oversized knits by Claire O'Brien modular loop

If you’re keen to own a piece, O’Brien sells her awesome knitted stools via GAN. “Designer Claire Anne O’Brien has used the technique of hand knitting to create the hypertextured and fluffy seats of the Knitted Stools series, made by hand using different types of stitching and threads. These stools are one of those surprising things that had never been done before, a kind of guerrilla knitting action.”

About Claire-Anne O’Brien

“Claire Anne O’Brien is a London based textile designer specialising in large scale sculptural and three-dimensional knitted fabrics for interiors. Colourful, playful, and pattern-led fabrics and surfaces are inspired by traditional techniques such as weave, knotting and basketry. The studio produces bespoke commissions and fabric development for commercial and private clients, as well as a range of knitted wool furniture.”

Oversized knits by Claire O'Brien casta chair

“Originally from Co.Cork, Ireland, Claire-Anne graduated from Central Saint Martins in 2006 with a degree in Textiles. She then went on to complete an MA in Constructed Textiles at The Royal College of Art in 2010.”