Karie Bookish Dot Net

Tag Archives: London

All the Things; All the Feels

Today I’m really tired. I spent the weekend in London for the lovely, lovely Yarnporium and while I took yesterday off, I am feeling a bit rough around the edges today.

I spent Friday at the Victoria & Albert museum in London which is dedicated to arts & crafts and design. I took in the Opus Anglicanum: Masterpieces of English Medieval Embroidery with a friend and also lingered with the sections on medieval European art. Saturday I taught two classes at Yarnporium (and managed to get lost on my way to teaching the Knitting the Landscape class which I thought was very on-message and method of me). I caught up with vendors and friends before heading to an evening do thrown by LoveCrafts in Bloomsbury. Sunday I spent the morning at Yarnporium again meeting awesome folks before spending my last hours in London at the near-by National Gallery.

I had been quite nervous about teaching Knitting the Landscape as the class had been commissioned by Yarnporium and thus was brand-new. The class went really well, actually, and I was blown away by people’s willingness to reassess their approach to knitting. I found it so inspirational to hear people’s stories and I loved how individual all the finished pieces looked. Though there are some limitations to the workshop (such as it can only really work with a large number of participants), I will be adding it to my repertoire going forward and I cannot wait to see how people interpret their world through knitting.

I have only just unpacked my bags from Yarnporium and now I’m off to Northern Ireland. I’m teaching Shetland Lace at Glen Gallery – this will be my third year of teaching their November workshops and I always look forward to my visit. So, laundry to do, samples to air and then it is off again..

.. but before that happens, I just want to tell you something that happened yesterday. I learned that I have been nominated as Designer of the Year in the British Craft Awards. This nomination really floored me – particularly because I am nominated along some serious heavyweights like Martin Storey and Marie Wallin. Having begun designing on a whim whilst working for a yarn company to making designing my full-time career just two years ago and now being mentioned alongside people I really admire .. well,  I cannot begin to tell you how much this means to me. I am not quite sure what to make of it all, but I am so pleased to see woolly chums like Tom of Holland, Knit British, and BritYarn nominated in various categories. It feels like we are slowly changing the conversations we are having about knitting. Hooray.

I’m off to continue work on the book and answer questions from my inbox. Please be patient: I won’t have access to internet or mobile data whilst in Northern Ireland!

Looking Forward To… Yarnporium 2016

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I’m currently packing my bags for London. This weekend, November 5 & 6, I’ll be teaching at Yarnporium which is taking place at King’s College on the Strand.

(Let’s just stay with that mental image for a while. If you had told me 20 years ago that one day I’d be teaching at King’s College, London, I would have swooned. It is so exciting for this bookish girl from Nowheresville, Denmark)

I’m teaching two workshops: my popular Introduction to Shetland Haps class and a new workshop called Knitting the Landscape which I have developed by request. Obviously I’m really excited (and a little bit nervous) about these classes and I cannot wait to meet the people taking my classes.

Teaching is really rewarding: I feel I always leave a workshop feeling I’ve learned something – this can be anything from a cast-on someone’s grandma taught them to a better understanding of why one specific thing can feel daunting for a knitter. I take these things and I pour them into the other parts of my working life – I’m particularly focused on demystifying knitting and helping people the best I can.

You cannot talk about an event like Yarnporium without talking vendors. I have several earmarked already: my friends at Blacker Yarns (we are currently collaborating on my book!), Ginger Twist Studio, Midwinter Yarns, Kettle Yarn Co, Travelknitter (also a book collaborator!), The Wool Kitchen, Woollenflower, Triskelion yarns and the awesome ladies of The Crochet Project .. and that is just to start! Also excited to finally catch up with Knit With Attitude and A Yarn Story! There’s also an Indie Focus section which I’m really pleased to see.

And to cap it all off: I have a thing at the V&A on Friday which relates to my book research. It’s going to be a glorious weekend and I really hope to see a lot of friendly & lovely faces there.

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Southwards Bound – Part 1

Mid-1990s I lived in London. The timing was impeccable; it was the year that Blur released Parklife, Pulp finally broke through with His’n’HersManic Street Preachers released the seminal The Holy Bible, and Suede completed Dog Man Star (one of my all-time favourite albums to this day). I was on the periphery of all these things, but a brief moment in time I lived where a major cultural shift was gathering strength before sweeping away everything in its wake. It is so odd to return to London now because the London of those halcyon days no longer exists. I have been back many times since the 1990s and, every time I visit London now, it feels like the city is slipping further and further away. London still exists but its heart is now on the outskirts of the city.

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Shades of grey in the Bloomsbury area

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Pomp & circumstance in Hyde Park. I was walking back from an appointment at the embassy.

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Assyrian stone relief; British Museum. These depictions of sheep are important to Indo-European linguists, by the way.

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Early highlight: Soviet revolutionary ceramics at British Museum.

After spending less than two days in London chasing my own tail, meeting with embassy staff, and doing research in the British Museum, I left for Cambridgeshire where my good friend Joanne Scrace lives. Staying with her proved to be the perfect antidote to all the razzmatazz of the capital (sorry, had to get another Pulp reference in there).

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It spooked me slightly how much this looks like where I grew up.

After staying with Joanne & her gorgeous family, my batteries were recharged and I went to teach Nordic Knitting at Cambridge’s beautiful The Sheep Shop.

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Beautiful display – The Sheep Shop was full of gorgeous samples.

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Sarah of The Sheep Shop – full of warmth and personality.

I had a fabulous time teaching the class – the students were smart and asked on-the-nose questions. I am only sorry that I could not stay longer and get to know everyone better. Hopefully this won’t be my last time teaching in Cambridge!

I’ll leave my return to London and my second class for another blog post. I have much to share – including some details about an exciting KAL and a brand new design.