I not only enjoy knitting but I also enjoy reading about knitting – especially novels in the ‘chick’ category – ones which are not really about romance but rather relationships. A good series as an example is that written by Gillian McNeil. Set in the UK it is about a women who not only finds that her husband dies in a car crash having a: taken out a second mortgage on their home which wipes out her equity; but also he was about to leave her and her children for someone else.
She sells her home to cover her debts and goes to live with her grandmother at a British seaside town. Her grandmother owning a knitting wool shop there.
The story goes on from there and includes a one-night stand and resultant baby; her taking over the wool shop and knitting clubs; a film Diva and many events and characters – all centred around knitting. I especially like the descriptions of the things they knit for their windows. Cupcakes; teapots; flags with names on; fruit; and tea cosies/ now tea of course is one of my great interests and I have now acquired a really good tea-cosy pattern especially for Xmas. I shall be taking this away with me to China and see if I can finish it there…
Another good knitting author is Kate Jacobs and the ‘Friday Night Knitting Club’. In it they mention a knitted wedding gown and I saw just such an item as a final year project by an Art and Textile student at the Knitting and Sewing show I went to recently. It was very sheer and lacy and I did think that a lining or shift underneath would be useful!
I am now going to try out some more knitting authors: Maggie Sefton and Debbie Macomber to see what they are like.
I acquired my xmas tea cosy pattern at the Knitting and Stitching show: @ Alexandra Palace in October this year.
I went there with a friend a few Sundays ago. It was quite tiring but really very good – it was my first time at such a show and I left my ticket behind! They kindly gave me a form to return when I got home and found the ticket – I rather suspect that given the age of many of the people visiting, this was not an unusual event! They were very prepared…
What rather astonished me was how prepared some of the visitors were.. many trailing large suitcases or wheelie trolleys behind them, clearly intent in buying large amounts of wool, fabric or sewing materials. I had not gone with any real concept of what I might buy, except that I was looking for some new circular knitting needles as mine were not very good and very limited in size. I was rather taken aback though with the price of new knitting needles from most of the stalls even if some were very ingenious. They were selling packs of ‘make your own circular needles, where you could alter the length of the circle and the size of the heads for knitting – ingenious – but as they were charging over £30 for this privilege it seemed rather too much. Bamboo seemed the in thing too and again stalls were charging £7 a needle. In the end I found a stall where I could get ‘plastic’ bamboo circular needles at just over £2 each and so bought several different sizes.
I just loved some of the stalls there with some many wonderful wools – of the exotic kind like alpaca and bison wool – never thought of knitting with that but there was stand with items they had knitted displayed too. There were a lot of displays of artists’ work in textiles – from wonderful hand-made quilts to machine sewn quilts but non-traditional patterns; to designs in appliqué; to wall-paper that played music – only thing being that they needed wifi to make it work properly rather one person listening on a headphone to badly recorded stuff. And of course there was no wifi! So this didn’t work so well. But imagine if you had wallpaper that could sing to you. What wonderful tunes it could play in each room! There was an upcycling Academy and competition; a First Steps Lounge; and many workshops too. Next time I’ll check all this out in advance and sign up for something good. There was also the Graduate show which is where I saw the wedding dress and other ‘interesting’ items – most of which weren’t wearable as such, although one graduate had some clothing it would be easy to turn into boutique wear.
As well as the tea-cosy pattern, I also bought a pattern for knitted animals – 6 woodland animals. A badger; hedgehog; beaver; mole; bunny; and an otter. I was looking at this pattern book on the way home in the Tube and a young couple next to me went all gooey over the pictures of the animals and starting reading the book – it circulated around the carriage with lots of ahhs… there was a knitted dinosaur there too and I really wanted that pattern, but they’d sold out. I now just wonder how many people will actually knit dinosaurs? I know a lot of these patterns sit on my shelves for ages and I just knit the easy stuff. I got rid of most of my books including a Kaffe Fasset, who seem to have had a bit of a revival recently. I have kept my cardigan that I knitted from one of his patterns may years ago. This is the only thing that has stayed in my wardrobe for many many years. It is shades of purple and red and some pink and blocks of colour and was complicated to knit, as well as being expensive as some of the wools were fluffy and so on. I just couldn’t bear to throw it out. I do still wear it from time to time and maybe as Kaffe is in revival mode, I’ll bring it out again this winter.
For coffee I went to the ‘Canteen’ on the High Road – small coffee £1.30 and had a very fresh Danish pastry.
Refreshments at the Show were scarce and rather expensive and very very busy… we took a packed lunch and eventually found someplace to eat it.
My current projects – just finished in fact, were ballerina tops for my grand-daughter – eldest one. I knitted two originally. White of course as this is traditional – a shrug and a wrap top with ties. The shrug – despite the pattern being for ages 5-6 is too small and just fits the 18 month old – who granted is very tall! The wrap top just fits and so I need to knit another one which is larger! But first I finished a larger raspberry shrug as I had this wool with me when I saw them last and she said that was what she wanted! Not white – boring.
I am not really a creative writer so I shall not be taking part in the challenge this week – but if you are creative – then you should be… but I have linked to the http://www.blogher.com/nablopomo-soup-add-your-november-posts page. seems interesting and joined the BlogHer community. so much stuff out there for bloggers – so many bloggers….. And what percentage of them are female I wonder? And what are the demographics? Anyone done this research?
- Knitting, patterns, wool and charity (tiggerrenewing.wordpress.com)
- Click-Clack (weekendknitter.wordpress.com)
- #1 New York Times Bestselling Author Wraps Kids in Warm Knits, Partners with World Vision’s Knit for Kids and Vogue Knitting LIVE in Chicago (prnewswire.com)