Sunday, 12 January 2014

just hooking, reading and doing my thing ...

Shush … don’t tell anyone, but I secretly like to crochet (and knit and sew).

It’s one of my guilty pleasures. Guilty? I don’t know, but it just never seemed to be intellectual/ artistic/ interesting enough to talk about. What kind of sad hausfrau would I appear to be if I arrived with my yarn bag under one arm? So my lovely double knitting, super soft cashmerino and multi-coloured four ply all stayed hidden at home.

And then, little by little, people seem to have rediscovered the pleasure of quietly creating something unique in a palette of colour that pleases their eye. Stitch by stitch it’s become respectable, therapeutic, trendy even, to crochet and knit again. Groups have grown up of like-minded people who want to get together for a knit and a natter.

Perfect! How lovely! Now I can take my needles out of the closet and practise my passion in public.

I’ve often wondered whether someone like Tracy Chevalier shared my secret enthusiasm? Have you read, ‘The Last Runaway’, her latest book? It’s about an English Quaker girl, who emigrates to America and gets involved in rescuing escaped slaves as part of the Underground Railway movement. One of the many charming things about the tale is the way Tracy describes the lead character’s love of quilting. Either she has done her homework very thoroughly, and then used a lot of empathy/ imagining to get it spot on, or she’s done some sewing in between times.

I especially loved the way bits of fabric, from a loved one’s cast-off dress/ tablecloth/whatever, would be stashed away, and later incorporated into a quilt, and a memory would get stitched into a practical, intimate, everyday object that would become a very physical connection with the past. That’s got to be the ultimate up-cycle!

Anyway if you haven’t’ read it, and especially if you enjoyed ‘The Lady and the Unicorn’, in which she did a great job of recreating the workshop of the fifteenth century tapestry weavers in Paris, go get yourself a copy. It’s a delightful read.


Bonny x