Archives For March 2013

Today I went back to Wool House for a talk by Debbie Bliss about “Design to Flatter the Body”. I didn’t realise this was the topic before I went along but as I am now starting to plan my first garment designs it was hugely helpful and very timely! I think Debbie and her team were somewhat bemused by me sitting in the front row taking furious notes!

I feel strongly that one of the most important aspects of a garment design is a flattering fit. If you don’t like the way a garment looks on you after all that effort of knitting it then it can be quite heartbreaking. Obviously there are a lot of other aspects that make a great design such as fashion trends, yarn choice and of course knitting techniques used. It was a real treat to get some tips from a designer that has obviously been thinking about this aspect for a long time.

I met up with the lovely Renee of East London Knits for a bite to eat at Tom’s Deli before we joined the talk. There was a little confusion at the beginning where we found ourselves in a room that was already full, but not with the usual knitting crowd. Lots of young hipsters with slouchy hats (confusingly not the hand knitted kind). It turned out that those of us with slightly less trendy clothes all wanted to be in the next room where we found Debbie patiently waiting for some people to talk to! (the other talk turned out to be by fashion designer Mark Fast).

Debbie gave us a couple of balls of her new yarns, the Blue Faced Leicester Aran which comes in a range of really rich lovely colours including a gorgeous hot pink. I can’t wait to swatch it. BFL is a British breed that seems to be gaining a lot of popularity lately.

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There are also some wonderful interiors rooms set up at Wool House. This is an absolutely charming nursery by Donna Wilson. Its really adorable! I especially love the raindrops and clouds mobile.

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I had the chance to attend a free event at Wool House today – the Shetland Lace Masterclass with Sandra Manson from Jamieson & Smith.

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We were generously given some 2ply laceweight yarn and a pattern. I think the early birds even scored a cute little project bag too.

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Sandra showed us some of her gorgeous samples. She said she took three weeks to knit this! Its an interesting construction – first the border is knitted then over 900 stitches are picked up from the border and knitted from the outside in. Wow!

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And my results after about an hour of knitting! I have to admit I was distracted by talking to the lovely women around me.

I was already interested in the J & S yarn after devouring Kate Gilbert’s amazing book Colours of Shetland. Seeing one of the people near me wearing my favourite pattern from the book, the Northmavine Hap shawl made me want to make it even more.

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Below is nothing to do with the Masterclass – just some colourful eye candy from the weaving room next door.

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There is yet another wonderful event happening at Somerset House this week and its called Wool House for The Campaign for Wool.

There aren’t many places in central London where you are greeted by a friendly flock of British sheep!

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It was a very relaxing moment in my day when I popped out of the office at lunch to visit these girls.

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The exhibition itself is full of gorgeous tributes to wool – rugs, fashion, interiors and of course……yarn!! Wheeee!

Pixelated floor runner by Cristian Zuzunaga.

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My lovely colleague enjoying the slick iPad slideshow. She graciously agreed to being dragged out of the office to “come and look at wool.” “OK!”.

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Wool in jars.

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Woolly bundles.

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Colourful swatches.

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Some interesting new yarn from Debbie Bliss.

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Pretty Rowan yarn and mood board.

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Lovely combination of colours. I can feel the pull of colourwork getting stronger.

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Ladies wearing fab hats.

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More pics tomorrow.

If you are in London, get ye to Somerset House and check it out.

There are also lots of free events.

And if you like the sheep here is a much better pic of the ladies than I managed!