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Knitting

Avec diverse alarums

I got there early to avoid the crowds. Well, it was a good idea

This week for me has been about diversity… and the many different ways we express our individuality.

The reason – books and knitting. To explain.

I was looking forward to the Knitting and Stitching Show at London Olympia – the exhibition space and convention centre in Kensington. It’s huge. I had forgotten just how big it is. It’s the site of the Great British Beer Festival, webmaster John’s birthday treat most years. It’s also the site of this month’s London Book Fair.

There were people everywhere and I noticed two things. A lot of people seemed to have been hurt in some accident. And there were a lot of people wearing black T-shirts and carrying guitars. Then there was the clothing rail with what seemed like a million yards of white tulle and silk emerging from the dress bags. Continue reading

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Knitting without the sheep

Any knitter who goes to Ireland knows what is waiting for them… Aran sweaters, Aran scarves, Aran blankets. Aran knitting of all shapes and sizes and colours.

It is probably no surprise therefore that while on my Irish holiday, I found my way to the Aran islands– and I was immediately struck by two things.

First, the islands are flat and bare and barren looking. Secondly, and of more interest to the knitter in me, there are no sheep on the islands.

Not a one.

This was as hilly as it got. The people of the village must face some awful weather when those Atlantic gales blow in.

This was as hilly as it got. The people of the village must face some awful weather when those Atlantic gales blow in.

Continue reading

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Oops.. I did it again (again)

I was pretty good really - only four purchases (apart from the soap, but that doesn't count, does it?)

I was pretty good really – only four purchases (apart from the soap, but that doesn’t count, does it?)

I have just got to stop going to Wool and knitting shows.

Last weekend, I was at the Waltham Abbey Wool Show.

The thing about events like this… many of the stall holders are real crafters. They spin their own wool and hand dye it – often with natural dyes, not commercial chemicals.

And they take such pride in what they do.

I think it’s important to keep these traditional crafts alive, and to support the people who work with such skill. Otherwise, the time will come when these crafts are lost to us.

Continue reading

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Wool seen from the other side

I tried spinning with this sort of wheel once - it was really hard to get a nice even yarn.

I tried spinning with this sort of wheel once – it was really hard to get a nice even yarn.

It will come as no surprise to regular visitors to this blog, but for those who don’t know – I am a knitter. I enjoy it so much, I made the heroine of my latest novel a knitter so she could share my hobby.

I find knitting relaxing. It helps with the RSI after all day using a computer keyboard and I get a real thrill when I finish a project, particularly if someone says it looks nice.

And let’s not forget I am Australian. For a very long time it was said Australia rides on the sheep’s back. The wool industry has always been an important part of rural Australian life.

But for an Australian, the wool industry had always conjured up vast sweeping outback paddocks littered with thousands of sheep. And shearing sheds stripping the wool for export.

In UK, however, the story is somewhat different, as I found out in a visit to the National Wool Museum in Wales. Continue reading

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Knitting up a story

My first attempt at knitting something for a baby. You can't see the mistakes... can you?

My first attempt at knitting something for a baby. You can’t see the mistakes… can you?

This is my latest knitting project – it’s a pretty baby jacket. I’ve never knitted a baby thing before, and there was a very good reason I suddenly had to knit this.

As an author, I draw on real-life experiences in my stories and my characters.

In real life – I travel a lot for my day job and am cautious about being out, alone, in a strange city at night. Especially when I may not speak the language.

Therefore, I spend a lot of time in hotel rooms, where there TV channels are usually not in my language either.

And I knit. Continue reading

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The dreaded pink thing…

This bag of knitting has been lurking in my living room for months...

This bag of knitting has been lurking in my living room for months…

Yesterday I broke a curse… well, kinda…

As some of you know, I knit. And the dreaded pink thing is one of those projects that I think all knitters trip over from time to time – the project from hell!

It’s taken me months… no… if I’m honest, years to get it right.

But I know I’m not alone – and I also know it’s not just about knitting…

I think anyone who attempts something creative – knitting, writing, painting, playing an instrument – has one – a Nemesis project.

Continue reading

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Knitting kNirvana

 

ally pally3

A totally fab building

 

Or… how I went to Ally Pally and nearly lost my mind.

Regular readers will know that some time ago I took up knitting.

I’m not that good at it – but I really like it.

So – a friend told me about this Knitting and Stitching Show at Alexandra Palace.

I must go, she said. It is the home of all things knitting… sewing and quilting as well – but it was the knitting that mattered to me.

So I went. Continue reading

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A Little Llama llove…

How cute is he?

 

Have you ever fallen for a young man with deep dark eyes, long dark lashes and a habit of.. well.. moaning?

Last weekend I was swept off my feet by a serious dose of llama love. Continue reading

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The accidental knitter

l knitted this ruffled orange scarf with yarn bought in Montreal, Canada

 

A funny thing happened a couple of months ago – I became a knitter.

It started like this….  I was in Canada, looking for a birthday present for a friend of mine who is Canadian but lives in the U.K. I thought a Canadian present might be nice.

My friend has been known to knit. Many years ago, I did a bit of knitting too, and it occurred to me that I could buy some wool in Canada and knit my friend an “Australian-made” hand-knitted Canadian Scarf.

I did and she liked it.

Not only that – I really enjoyed knitting it. Travelling as much as I do, I spend a lot of time in hotel rooms – and this seemed a great way to pass the time. Continue reading

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Gayle Wilson Award of Excellence Finalist for The Wild OneColorado Romance Writers Award of Excellence Finalist for The Wild One
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