Just a few pointers that I’ve gained from my own personal experience this week. I hope the tips can be useful to someone else:
- Don’t quit your job, having a leaving do, and go out drinking cocktails the night before an early flight.
- Don’t say that you should set two alarm clocks, and then not do it.
- Don’t sleep through the alarm clock, which was correctly set for 3am. Even if there are two of you, you can easily sleep through the sound of crickets when you’ve only had one hour’s sleep.
- When getting a minicab to Gatwick in a fluster at 4am, don’t give up when the driver decides to take a different route to the one you instructed him to take. It will be host to a massive accident and you won’t move anywhere.
- Don’t miss your flight. The next flight will cost a mint. All of your pre-planning three months in advance to get the best fare will be out the window.
- Don’t pre-book your currency collection at the airport and then not have time to collect it.
- Don’t pre-book your car hire with one of the major companies at Malaga airport, especially if it’s a Saturday. The queue will be several hours’ long (seriously, don’t even consider booking through Gold Car). Instead, use local company Autos Lido, who will have no queue and save yourself a good four or five hours. Oh, and just avoid booking with one of the other companies first, and save yourself a couple of hundred euros.
Once you’re there, drive to the Alpujarras, enjoy the scenery, and leave the trauma behind.
A few weeks ago I arranged for a some fellow knitters to meet up at the Fashion and Textile Museum in south London for the Kaffe Fassett exhibition, “A Life in Colour”.
I wouldn’t describe myself as a particular fan of Kaffe Fassett’s work, but he’s a bit of a legend in the knitting and textile world, so it was a good opportunity to find out more.
The first part of the exhibition focused on some of his other artwork such as paintings and ceramics, but I was keen to move on to the knitting. I was delighted to see all the ends left loose on his first ever knit cardigan:
I believe he’s quite renowned for not weaving in the ends on his work, which is quite a sin for knitters. It makes me think that there’s hope for us mere knitting mortals!
I’d joked that I would need sunglasses in order to cope with the bright colours in the exhibition, but the effect really wasn’t eye-searingly bright at all. There were large wall-sized knitted hangings:
as well as some fantastic quilts, which I loved. Quilting is one of those hobbies that’s on my “to-do-when-I have-time” list, and I found Kaffe’s work really inspiring:
I really liked this quilt made from men’s shirts. It’s definitely the sort of thing I’d love to own and use:
And of course there was plenty of the classic Kaffe Fasset knits, such as the Long Leaf Coat published by Rowan in 1992:
The museum also has a lovely little cafe, where we spent about an hour in the cafe afterwards drinking tea and eating cake (they had to kick us out at closing time!). I’d highly recommend a visit, and the exhibition is on until the 29th of June.
Being a recent arrival to Walthamstow, I quickly set about getting involved in various things, including kicking off a new knitting group. We have a group on Ravelry, as well as a group on Meetup, and we have a really good mixture of knitters and crocheters, so there’s no discrimination here!
We meet on the first and third Monday of each month at the recently refurbished The Bell.
It’s a good local pub, with polished wood floors, rickety second-hand furniture, and comfy couches that are just right for sitting and knitting. We tend to snaffle the couches by the window, so we get the best light and we can do some knitting promotion with the passers-by.
One of the walls even features William Morris-esque floral wallpaper, in a nod to the William Morris Gallery down the road:
The food always goes down a treat:
If you’re local to E17, please do come along and join in.
And just a little snippet of news: Woolthamstow is about to get even woollier…
I can’t believe I’m only just posting this, but I managed to make it to the fabulous Wool House on its very last day. It was an exhibition by the Campaign for Wool, spanning ten days, to promote the multiple uses and benefits of wool. For those who missed it, the exhibition took over a section of the beautiful Somerset House in central London, showcases the uses of wool in clothing, furnishings, art, and just about any other use you could think of.
There were different themed rooms, each with its own focus, whether natural, modern, or nursery (by far the cutest:)
There were some really lovely homewares, which I realised my flat is lacking. I didn’t get a photo, but there were walls draped in wool fabric as wallpaper (woolpaper?) to0. Ah, for a pinstripe room!
I really liked the incredible detail of the exhibition, right down to the Black Sheep Ale that formed part of one display:
It was such a great exhibition, and over the ten days, they had something like 17 000 people come through the doors. I’m rather immersed in the knitting/crafting community, so it was great to see how much wool is appreciated more broadly.
Some of you may not be aware, but there is a fantastic FREE craft night that happens in Hackney on the last Tuesday of the month. It’s The Make Escape, and it’s held upstairs in The Attic at The Hackney Picturehouse. It’s such a great night, I can’t believe not everyone knows about it yet! The idea is that it’s a space where people can drop in from 7.30pm and just join in with the crafts that are happening on the night. Each month hosts a different theme, and last week was all about Easter.
Here’s my bunny nugget with a very woolly sheep cosy:
Making the most of the opportunity to learn a new skill, I had a bash at crochet. It’s hard to believe that someone has actually taught me to crochet before, but since I’ve never practised, I’m still completely rubbish. I just can’t seem to figure out how to tension the yarn without a needle in my left hand, so I ended up with the smallest, tightest few stitches known to humanity:
Catherine Hirst tried to reassure me that an inability to tension the yarn is very common in beginners, but I think maybe crochet is just not the craft for me.
I had a little stall with my yarns and got a chance to talk to some really interesting knitters and crocheters. I love how people are welcome to set up a stall and then help out or run a workshop for the evening. I’m already plotting and scheming for some good ideas for future workshops.
The fabulous Momtaz who organises the night was busy taking photos of the evening’s craftiness, which she has put together in a blog post here. There’s even a photo of me, but I can assure you, I was much happier than the photo suggests! (I really need to work on my fear of being photographed).
All in all it was a great evening and I’m looking forward to more. The next night is April 30th, with the theme of jewellery. Break out the sparkly stuff!
Hello from this little chap in an easter bonnet in the front garden at the fabulous Howard Road House. There’s no occasion that goes past without a fantastic thematic display, and it’s always worth a look.
I’m currently feeling slightly ill from eating too much chocolate. Oh dear. I hope you’re all having a great crafty weekend.
There’s actually a good reason why things have been rather quiet over on this blog: I’ve moved to Walthamstow. The move was completely unplanned (thanks landlord!) so it’s all been a bit frantic, but I think I’m getting myself settled now. I’m having a great time getting to know a new part of London, and so far, I really love it here.
The thing that I love most about Walthamstow is the great sense of community. I’ve jumped in head first, am getting involved in everything I can, and have even set up a knitting group (see here! Come join!). (Oh, and for those of who are not local, yes, it’s the birthplace of 90s band East17. There’s no need to include a link for that, is there?)
One local event that I discovered is the fortnightly E17 Pop-Up Restaurant. Held every second Monday at the famous Ye Old Rose and Crown, the lovely Will hosts the evening which showcases a different international cuisine each time, and it’s about as authentic as it gets. I was very excited about the first one that I came across: Burmese. Can’t say I’ve ever had Burmese food before!
It was really, really good. For a bargain price, we got a delicious three course meal, with chickpea fritters to start, a main course of butternut or chicken curry on noodles with all the extras, and a dessert of mango and lime cheesecake or coconut sago pudding.
Of course my photos don’t do it justice, but I was too eager to eat the food rather than mess around with settings on my camera.
I missed last night’s Korean meal as I’m currently in Cornwall (more about that soon) but I’m looking forward to seeing what’s up next.
Oh, and expect more blog posts from around The ‘Stow. There’s lots of great crafty stuff happening.