Tuesday, 28 April 2009

being inspired

This little village has been in the news this week.

It reminds me of somewhere I used to go to as a child, Bekonscot, which I loved. This may be even better as it is knitted! The village of Mersham in Kent was created by 40 knitters over a 23 year period. The work will be sold off piece by piece to raise money for the village hall.

More info available here

Tuesday, 21 April 2009


Image from www.vicunas.com

You think Alpacas are cute - have a look at these fellas - if you don't know already these are called Vicunas. Closely related to Alpacas, Vicunas have a fine soft hair which is celebrated for its insulation properties. It is said that Vicuna yarn is the finest and luxurious natural wool in the world.

Vicunas are wild animals and unlike the Alpaca they are too shy to domesticate. A Vicuna can only produce a small amount of yarn each year and capturing the wild animals to obtain the fibre can be a little tricky. Peruvian communities join together to capture the animals by forming a large circle around them, banging the ground to stun them and slowing closing in on them or luring them into traps. Once sheared the animals are released unharmed but due to this time consuming and potentially stressful event for the Vicuna, the animals are only sheared every 3 to 4 years. You may be disappointed to hear that you won't be able to get this yarn at your local John Lewis. As you've probably already guessed this yarn is very expensive. Vicuna fabrics can range from £1000 to £3000 per sq yard.

Wednesday, 15 April 2009

Join the Slow Art and Craft Revolution


It's time to slow down - so say the people behind the 'taking time: Craft and the Slow Revolution' project at the Southbank Centre (27th April). They say 'the revival of craft is central to current arts practice, and notions of slowness are epitomised by crafts and craftsmanship.' I must say...I agree with them. There is nothing better after a hetic day than sitting quietly with your knitting with a freshly brewed pot of tea and reflecting on your day. Knitting and making a good cup of tea are crafts which cannot be rushed. They take time.

The 'Slow revolution' project questions whether our 'fast paced', 'mass produced', 'wasteful' lifestyles are good for the human condition. If we just slowed down could we create a better world for ourselves? I'm willing to give it a go!

At the Southbank Centre in London they hosting a series of events entitled 'Slow Down London - living in real time festival' from the 24th April to the 4th May. The events include a Slow Food Market and tips on Slow Travel.

With thanks to IanT for sharing this event with me.

Sunday, 12 April 2009

The birth of Grumpo

Grumpo arrived on Easter Eve. First there was his foot then his hat sat on his head and the boy was made. He looked at his mum then moved his black eyes around and went on a merry-go-round in his new home. I think he liked what he saw but he could not show it because his mum made him look cross permanently, which made him very grumpy from the start. But in his heart of hearts he knew he was happy because he was wearing a bubble cardi to make him handsome and a yellow scarf to make him warm and a half-waistcoat to make him fancy and maybe, one day, his mum might stitch a smile on him just for special occasions. At that point Grumpo knew he was ready to take the world.

Wednesday, 8 April 2009

three good things

There are many good things but here are three things that may delight you

1.Knitwit aka Emma Bradbury is in the Grand Designs magazine - she is becoming more and more famous, will she no longer be an outcast?

2. This article here about the tenacity of Italians and doing something whilst you are waiting to be rescued. Within the terrible news of loss of life, there is this wonderful story. There was much scurrying of emails between the Outcasts and one of them said I was telling the girls a few weeks ago that I'd head for jelly with my knitting bag in a time of crisis

3. Look here at something amazing