Wednesday, 25 April 2012

3KCBWDAY3 - My Knitting or Crochet Hero

Phew!  I wasn't sure I'd be able to contribute today as my internet connection fizzled out last night and I've had a stressful morning trying to get it back up and working, including a telephone call to BT which took much longer than it should have done due to having to ask the very nice man who took my call to repeat himself several times because I couldn't understand his accent (why does that always make me feel like it's my fault?).

Anyway, back to today's business of my knitting/crochet hero.

Blog about someone in the fibre crafts who truly inspires you. There are not too many guidelines for this, it's really about introducing your readers to someone who they might not know who is an inspiration to you. It might be a family member or friend, a specific designer or writer, indie dyer or another blogger. If you are writing about a knitting designer and you have knitted some of their designs, don't forget to show them off. Remember to get permission from the owner if you wish to use another person's pictures.

Actually, I don't think I can pin it down to one person, so I think I'll choose five, if you'll indulge my manipulation of today's topic.

1. Kaffe Fassett

I'd always knitted from magazine patterns (my grandmother and mother had copies of Woman, Woman's Own and Woman's Weekly delivered and the occasional Woman's Realm appeared in the house from time to time as well) and bought the yarn from a local yarn shop.  After I moved to London, first to college and then staying there once I started working, I picked up a knitting magazine one day and read a feature on Kaffe Fassett, just after Glorious Knitting had been published.  That was it.  I went out to a book-shop and bought myself a copy.  The first garment I made was the Toothed Stripe sweater.  I used a mixture of yarns, from Rowan down to some purple fluffy mohair-ish.  I used purples and pinks from indigo down to baby pink and I loved that sweater.  After that, I bought other KF books, which led to me expanding my crafting repertoire to needlepoint, counted cross stitch (because I bought a book on that that caught my eye one day) and patchwork.  It was Kaffe Fassett who made me brave in colour choices, even though I disagree with him that the use of colour is more important than technical know-how (but that's just the way I am).

2. Elizabeth Zimmermann.

Do I need to add anything more than just her name?  A brilliant woman whose designs and attitude were refreshing after the staid "you must follow these instructions to the letter and not make any changes At All" patterns I'd been used to.

3. Lucy at Attic24. 

I could do crochet stitches as my grandmother had taught me how to when I was young.  I didn't feel able to translate those stitches into actually making anything other than big, spiralling Granny Squares though.  I was confused by instructions about ending rounds or turning chains at the end of rows and wasn't sure which was the next stitch to work into.  Finding (through Ravelry) Lucy's blog, her use of colour and her detailed tutorials meant I was able to put into practice what my grandmother Gertrude had taught me 30+ years previously.

4. Jared Flood at Brooklyn Tweed

I love him.  He comes across as a really nice chap in interviews (and if you know otherwise, please don't burst my bubble by telling me!).  His designs appeal to me in so many ways.  The shapes, the styling, the details.  It's as though he's designing for me.  I'm currently resisting the urge to hop on a train to London and go to Loop so that I can fondle and buy some of his Shelter and Loft yarns.  I've even got as far as working out that I could get there and back during the time the girls are at school - 'wanties' are that bad.  Resist I shall, however, until I've reduced my stash as that way I know I'll enjoy it even more.

I've knitted more of Jared's designs than any other designer.  Nine finished items, one in progress and another (the Porom hat) planned for sometime soon.  Here's a mosaic-pic of the FOs:

5. Jess and Casey, founders of Ravelry.

If it wasn't for Jess and Casey, Ravelry wouldn't exist.  If Ravelry didn't exist, the fibre world would be a much poorer place.  Not only an immense resource for every kind of information a crafter could want, but a community where you can find other people just like you, who don't look at you as though you've sprouted a second head because you're oohing and aahing over some yarn or a pattern you've just seen!

So, there you go.  Five (well, strictly speaking, six) people that I admire in the crafting world.

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