Thursday, 25 February 2010

The Accidental Collector

I used to think that the world was divided into collectors and non-collectors. I also thought that I was part of the latter group. I was wrong.

I didn't wake up one day to find myself fascinated by stamps or Lord of the Rings miniatures but I do now have a stash. This is a legal kind of stash. It includes wool in as many colours as I can find, and lately a selection of buttons has been growing in a box of many compartments. And when you live in an Airstream the size of the stash soon reaches its limit. Some clothes had to go.

Most of these things are there just in case, just in case a future project demands them.

I was once the same way with stationery. I loved a good stationery shop. When I lived in London I could be tempted into an irresistible one in the Leicester Square area. It was like walking into a dream-like sweet shop. Everything was arranged in colours: gorgeous, edible, tropical fruit colours. It was impossible to browse and leave without purchasing at least a gel pen in bright orange, or some handmade cards to have 'just in case'.

Bead shops and wool shops can enchant me equally. I'm like a magpie, stimulated by colour as well as sparkles. Time and currency can melt away in these places.

Recently we relinquished quantities of both in the amazing Mandy Wools in Wells in Somerset. This shop fits the 'Alladin's cave' cliche very snuggly. They have all kinds of yarns, in all the colours. I like a shop you can get lost in.

Friday, 12 February 2010

Take One Pair Of Socks...

Surly sock pooch.

"I'm smiling on the inside."

Monday, 8 February 2010

Branching Out

After two years living and travelling in an Airstream and sharing the blogging on I thought it was time to branch out and put some of my wooly musings on my own blog. Don't be fooled by the title. It's not all about knitting.

Yes I am a nomadic knitter, and more recently crocheter and sock creature maker, but those titles don't scan so well. Plus I enjoy going off on a tangent and I aspire to avoid consistency.

One grandmother taught me the basics of knitting, the other crochet. These skills lay dormant until I decided a few years ago to knit a scarf in the style of Gromit's in A Close Shave as a Christmas present for Pete. I was perfectly happy to knit scarves for a while, simply enjoying the repetitive act of knitting rows and rows, and friends seemed more than happy to receive them as prezzies. Then when I was ready for more skills my knitting grandmother showed me how to make old-fashioned, pleated tea cosies. I have her pattern which is so folded and thumbed it has practically lost its molecular integrity.

So I make small things. I think I'm a slow knitter and I get excited about a new project, but I don't want to have to wait too long for the finished product. I also get excited about the colours, finding the right one that just sits there looking gorgeous, combining colours so that they blend or pop out from one another. These combinations aren't always wearable but they look fab on a teapot.

I recently had a flashback to how my other grandmother showed me how to crochet a granny square. Sadly she wasn't around for long and I didn't know anyone else who crocheted. I recently bought a "Compendium of Crochet Techniques" by Jan Eaton and so I am branching out. I like the potential for more three-dimensional textures with crochet so I'm looking forward to combining those with some jumping colours.