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    Entries in inspiration (2)


    Get your Granny on - inspiration

    I've had a couple of days where I've been sewing & gardening. I remembered that people in 'normal' jobs take weekends off! Yesterday I was doing work-related sewing stuff for the weekly classes I teach at Kingshill House in Dursley, so I've been away from crochet for a few days. I'm back today & trying to stick to writing patterns - although I still have samples to make. I much prefer actually doing crochet to writing crochet patterns, so that's always a bit of a battle!

    I'll write more about how I'm writing the patterns in another post. Today I wanted to let you know a bit about the inspiration for the book. This book hadn't been on my radar at all. There are other ideas in my head, but they are all more complicated, and this one appeared almost fully formed. My previous post talks a bit about why it popped up.

    Although I had the basics down, I wanted something to bring the collection together - a kind of narrative for the book. Then I realised - grannies are the whole book. Granny squares have survived essentially unchanged for about as long as there has been crochet. I also had real life grannies. My paternal grandma died quite a long time ago, when I was at Uni, but my maternal Gran died 3 years ago - you can read about her here. My children have grannies. Grans & grandads are important.

    I'm always a little uncomfortable with the idea that knitting & crochet should be somehow different, better than what your granny did. How many articles do we see about 'The New Knitting' and how it's 'Not your Nanny's knitting'? My grandmothers had to knit/crochet/sew to clothe & warm their families. They would have knitted to help the war effort during the First & Second World Wars. (Interesting article here) They didn't have access to all the glorious choice of yarns that we do now. And I refuse to look down on the work they did as somehow less than the work I do now.

    I don’t want to poke fun at grannies – I want to honour them.

    That's the narrative for the book. It is absolutely happymaking, and I very much hope that all the grannies in my life would either make or wear these designs. All the projects are named after women in my family life – actual grannies or not – that I want to honour. There are more women than projects actually, so maybe I will need to do another book!




    Finished objects and photos 

    There was so much I made last year that I didn't show on the blog. This was partly down to having a microscopic attention span, but also because I didn't get modelled pictures of a lot of things. A lot of those things have been worn to death, but a) it's hard to take pictures of yourself and b) I hate having my photo taken and tend to be hypercritcal of how I look. But not everything needs to have a modelled picture, does it? I'd rather post about something I made and show a picture of it folded up than not post at all. So that's what I'll try to do this year :)

    Having said that, remember my Icelandic lopi sweater? I wear it a lot, and love it. We went up to Scotland to visit friends on boxing day last year, before heading to Yorkshire for New Year. Neither place is known for their warm winter weather. And my coat didn't get packed. Luckily I had the sweater with me, so I got myself swathed in knitwear & ventured out with everyone else for a walk at the nearby country park & beach.

    The wind was chilly but I was ok - but felt the cold around my neck. Got that sorted for the next day though.

    Now an oversized hoody under my lopi sweater is not the most slimming outfit I've ever worn,  but since Scotland had gifted us the most spectacular - if cold - day I was not going to be stuck inside. I was toasty warm, and in no danger of being missed! 

    Lots of us are a bit scared of choosing colours for jumpers like this, or fairisle designs. But if an image appeals to you, why not try picking colours out of it to put together? I've got loads of inspiration from the beach that day.

    All of these photos have the blue of the sky & sea and the earthy tones around. But there's also the hit of white, and the zing of yellow or acid green to liven the whole. I'm sure these will make it into my knitting some day. You might even get modelled photos - but don't count on it!!