dear diary,

Last week I had the good fortune to be going to an event at Royal Ascot. This meant that I was staying in London and had some time to visit the Fashion and Textile Museum to see the Kaffe Fassett exhibition before it closes later this month.

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What a treat!!!!This exhibition, the first in London since Kaffe Fassett’s record breaking show at the V&A Museum in the late 1980’s, features more than 100 of his works in a dramatic installation over two floors.

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Highlights of the exhibition include 9 foot wide knitted shawl columns (above) and a glorious selection of quilts (below).

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Kaffe Fassett is surely best known for his vibrant and innovative work with colour, and this exhibition shows how his approach in handling colour has evolved. From early beginnings in painting, through to his textile work in knitting, quilting, as well as tapestry, and lastly through the medium of mosaic, this exhibition shows every facet of his creative life.

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His work began with gentle colour schemes in historical hues borrowed from the early medieval and Renaissance arts, but a visit to India in 1992 sparked a shift in his use of colour to become more vibrant and exhuberant. In Kaffe’s own words: ‘India proved to me that colour is a vital ingredient in life’.

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The attention to detail is ever prevelant, and his delight in pattern and form infuses his creative output.

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Kaffe Fassett’s ability to delight and encourage people to take up their own needles, yarns and fabrics and experiment with colour is ever evident. I have been lucky to meet the man and have spent a whole weekend at a workshop with him being inspired by his infectious teaching in the use of colour and pattern. I think it is a fair statement that Kaffe Fasset’s life in colour has had a lasting impact on so many others’ lives as well and that the title ‘King of knitting’, given to him by British Vogue in 1970 still rings true today.

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The exhibition is still open until 29th June and I urge anyone close enough to London to go and visit.

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I hope you are all having a colourful week xx

dear diary,

The weekend started with a long planned trip to Colinette Yarns in Llanfair Caereinion with some good friends who, like me, are just a little obsessed with colour and yarn. We shared some good laughs and stories on the way driving through some beautiful countryside in equally beautiful weather. On arrival at Colinette we were greeted warmly and made very welcome with offerings of tea, coffee and homemade chocolate cake which we sampled whilst browsing through the latest design books and then the real fun began…

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colinette

Colinette 4

colinette

Colinette 1

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colinette – blankets

…we found an amazing cocktail of colours and textures, don’t you just want to take large gulp’s of all this deliciousness?

colinette giotto

colinette giotto

I was a very good girl and only purchased 3 hanks of Lasso. You can guess the colour…

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colinette lasso – colourway blue parrot

…and staying with the colour blue: On Sunday we spent a lovely day on Anglesey. This island is about an hour’s drive from home and we managed to get there before the bank holiday masses decended onto the roads. The sun was shining and the sky and sea were a beautiful crisp blue.

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coastal path near llanbadrig

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moelfre bay

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lobster pods

We took a great walk along parts of the Welsh coastal path and finished off with a delicious meal at one of our favourite restaurants in Beaumaris, The Gazelle Hotel & Restaurant. We ate fish caught that morning in the Menai straight whilst enjoying vistas across the water to the Snowden range of mountains. Total bliss!!!

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view from the gazelle hotel

What better way to finish on the weekends blue theme than by starting work on a new design using my freshly purchased Colinette yarn. A tunic in asymetrical style inspired by something I saw in one of the discontinued brochures at Colinette.

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afon – asymetrical tunic design notes

Off to wind my yarn and start knitting, I’ll keep you posted on progress. x

 

 

 

 

 

dear diary,

Finally, after many weeks of sketching, mathematical work-outs, lamenting about yarn choices, knitting all the items, writing (and testing) patterns and a fun photo shoot, Lola Loops for Spring & Summer 2013 is ready.

Just like the first, this second Lola Loops book has been a true labour of love and I couldn’t have done it without the help and kindness of many people. So this is my official big – HUGE – Thank You to:

‘My man’, the artist Mark Gittins, who spends endless hours of his valuable free time sketching Lola Loops illustrations. Without them the books wouldn’t be the same.

Steve & Helen, of Stash Fine Yarns, who have been enormously kind and supportive, and I am so very grateful for their sponsorship of all my yarn needs for this book.

The stunning photos were taken by the very talented Amelia Gale-Hasleham on location at Pen y Bont Touring Park near Bala in North Wales.

Thank you, thank you to ‘my girl’ Anna-Maria, who did a fantastic job modelling with beauty and good humour in sub-zero temperatures – you are gorgeous.

A special thank you to my dear friend, Jackie Donovan, who yet again gave up many hours in her busy schedule to test knit my designs.

A big big thank you to all of you, I could not have made this book happen without you xx

I will introduce the designs over the next couple of posts. Here are the first two:

Gwendolen Shawl gp3

GWENDOLEN – REVERSIBLE SHAWL

Keeping the chill off during the first days of spring and cool summer evenings, this shawl uses the short row technique to give a cresent like shape and is presented in two verions. The first using Manos del Uruguay Silk Blend for a warmer hug, the second is knitted using Fyberspates Vivacious for a loftier drape.

 

Haf Socks still 1

HAF – LACE SUMMER SOCKS

Stepping out in one of summer’s main colours, these socks are pretty enough to wear in open toed shoes. The delicate lace pattern can easily be accomplished by knitters of all abilities. Perfect socks to put your best foot forward.

 

Lola Socks Sig

I hope you will enjoy knitting these designs as much as I loved creating them. x

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