Natures Inspiration

dear diary,

to me Nature offers a never ending source of inspiration…

All photos by Anna-Maria Gittins

How about you?

Photos from the V&A

dear diary,

some more pics I took during my visit to the V&A last week…

The beautiful Glass Room…

Building and Architecture…

The Main Entrance…









The V&A Museum

dear diary,

sorry it has been more than a week since my last entry but I have been down in London visiting one of my fave places, the Victoria & Albert Museum. Every time I make a trip to London I have to visit the V&A, even if it is just for an hour or so. This time I had made lot’s of time as I wanted to visit the newly refurbished Room 40 (Fashion) and the great Ballgowns exhibition.

The V&A Museum was established in 1852 after the amazing success of the Great Exhibition during the previous year. The founding principle was to make works of art available to all, to educate the working class and to inspire British designers and manufacturers. The Museum moved to it’s present site in 1857 and was renamed the South Kensington Museum. The collections expanded rapidly, with acquisitions in fine art, metal works, furniture, textiles in order to tell a more complete history of art and design. In 1899, Queen Victoria laid the foundation stone of a new building designed to give the Museum a grander facade and entrance. To mark this occasion it was renamed the Victoria and Albert Museum, in memory of the great support Prince Albert had given to it’s foundation.

V&A Front Entrance

Today, as in years gone past, many of Britain’s most successful designers use the V&A as a source of ideas and stimulation and visitors to the V&A have the opportunity to see their work alongside the more historic collections. The V&A is truly a ‘classroom for everyone’ as there are uncountable ways to discover the delights of this amazing venue. There are changing exhibitions as well as numerous rooms that are constantly being updated. Room 40, the Fashion room, has recently undergone an extensive refurbishment.  The room was designed as a spacious domed court with large alcoves, architectural columns, mosaic flooring, and glazed roofing that provided natural light throughout the gallery. The upper gallery was added in 1962 and the lower space was turned into a space for the display of fashion, which remains its purpose. The refurbishments reveal the historic features of the gallery with a new lighting scheme and the renovation of the gallery’s mosaic flooring.

Currently the upper gallery houses the Ballgowns exhibition, featuring a collection of beautiful ballgowns, red carpet evening dresses and catwalk showstoppers.  ‘Ballgowns: British Glamour Since 1950’ features more than sixty designs for social events such as private parties, royal balls, state occasions and opening nights.

Downstairs the refurbished fashion display is a feast for the eye,with fashions from 1750 to the current day on view, it is a must see for everyone interested in designing with fabric or yarn.

From left: Balenciaga 2004, Charles James 1938, Galliano 1984

I was lucky as I spent a whole three hours wandering and admiring this time and after a lot of ‘uuhhmming and aahhing’ I finally became a member too. It will mean free entry to all exhibitions and ability to join many other events organised by the V&A for it’s members. I think I start planning my next visit now!

V&A Room 40 – A Collage

More information about the V&A and ‘What’s On’, go to


Woolfest – after the event

dear diary,

taking lots of lovely photos to share with you was very much wishful thinking on my part. As weather was…well the most miserable, wet, windy and cold I have ever know, there was not much point in boring you with dark and fuzzy photos. Dark because of lack of sunshine, and fuzzy because my hands were shaking because of cold. I can honestly say that this was the first time that I experienced flood, mud and so on first hand and not from the comfort of my sofa in front of the telly. The car park (field) was a mud-bath and only thanks to Sian’s 4 wheel drive did we not get stuck. We got a  soaking just by getting from car to entrance even though we sprinted down hill as fast as we could. I can now tick Woolfest off my list, I won’t be returning in a hurry (even if the sun is shining), but instead continue to go our lovely Wonderwool Wales (27/28 April 2013).

It wasn’t all doom and gloom though, as wonderful time with my fabulous friends was spent knitting, drinking wine and generally putting the (knitting) world to rights. The retail therapy wasn’t too bad either, see what you think.

This will become one of my favourites, so soft and cosy…

Bought to keep warm – Sophie’s Wild Woollens

Destined to become new designs…

My yarn purchases

Bargain Ebony needles and gorgeous Vintage buttons…

You can never have too many of these

Couldn’t resist this yarn bowl with such a beautiful glaze…

Beautiful Yarn Bowl from Mulberry Dyer – Start of Trillian Shawl by Bettina Behm

It was lovely to see so many friends and have a good catch-up with everyone and despite the foul weather I had a really brilliant time. I leave you with this picture of pompom sheep, just part of ‘The Flock’, a public art project which everyone can join.

The Flock

I was told that so far the organisers have received in the region of 5000 sheep made out of pompoms and if you fancy joining in, you can download a sheep making kit by clicking .

Have fun 🙂

Yarn Heaven

dear diary…

Just taking a wee time out from organising myself for my weekend trip away…yes I am off to Woolfest. Yippee!!!!!

After trying to go for many years, this is it and I can’t wait. I can’t wait for the mouthwatering colours of all the yarntasticness that awaits, can’t wait to stroke and hug all those tempting hanks on display, can’t wait to see all the livestock (and smell it too!), but mostly I am looking forward to spending a great time away with my loopy knitting friends in our rather posh cottage, eating, drinking, being merry and of course – knitting! In case some of you, my dear readers, are going and wondering what colour yarnfabulousnesses you should buy to look ‘tres chic’ during forthcoming autumn/winter (yes, it is officially summer now, not that we would think so here in GB!), here is a little forecast that I received only the other day.

Pantone Colour Trend A/W 2012

Pantone Colour Trend A/W 2012

Check out this space for lots of inspiration!

Knitwear Trends A/W 2012

Maybe I’ll see some you up in Cumbria…I am the one wearing five layers trying to keep warm!