Monday 22 July 2013

At the KCG Convention

As I said in my last post, I went to Derby for the Knitting & Crochet Guild's biennial convention (12th to 14th July). It was a very busy weekend, lots going on.  There were two invited talks:  the first was by Chris Blanchett, who has a very large collection of decorative tiles (from mediaeval to modern) and presented a selection that he thought could be the inspiration for knitting and crochet designs.   In the second talk, Martin Polley, a sports historian, talked about connections between knitting and the Olympics.  His topics ranged from the Wenlock Olympian Games, a precursor of the modern Olympics, where some of the early Games included knitting events, to the Woolsack project at the 2012 Olympics, which aimed to provide every athlete that wanted one with a  hand-knitted, individually-designed cushion to take home - the Woolsack project almost came to grief through LOCOG restrictions on the distribution of the cushions, but by a variety of creative stratagems won through in the end.    

The main business of the weekend was the Guild AGM on Saturday morning.  On Saturday afternoon there were three parallel workshops.  A lot of talking and laughing went on, as well as learning and creating.  Most of us finished what we were making after the end of the workshop, but the workshop on crochet with wire produced some very pretty brooches there and then.  

Output of the "Wired and Wonderful" workshop
Then there was a show-and-tell session for people who had brought along something they had made to tell the rest of us about it.  We saw some really wonderful pieces of work - unfortunately, most of my photos didn't turn out well, and then the camera battery ran out.  Here are a few. 

Marjory Needham's crocheted Christmas decorations

Patricia Davy's knitted teddy bears
Mary Graham brought along some of her latest pieces that combine wire with nylon fishing line, that can be dyed and makes the whole piece more flexible.   They are all quite small - she often wears one as a brooch - and look slightly organic, like skeletonised seed pods or flower buds or fungi.
One of Mary Graham's knitted wire pieces
There were  some much larger projects on show too - no photos, I'm afraid.  The largest was a beautiful crocheted blanket (see gilliano's projects on Ravelry).  Rita Taylor brought along the sample knit for the Marlene sweater from her book  Knit Vintage. Sadly, the sample had to fit an extremely skinny model, so Rita can't wear it herself.  There was a wonderful fitted jacket inspired by 16th century costume - lots more, too many to list.  

And on the Sunday, I gave two talks.  One was on the pattern leaflets collection (the count now stands at over 27,500), with a brief chronological survey and some of my favourites.   (A very brief survey, considering that I could only show about 30 of the 27,500.) The other talk was about Aran sweaters, and I'll write about that separately.  Because right now I'm tired.   

There were several other events during the weekend.  And, of course, lots of chatting.  In short, a good time was had by all.  

PS I have just found a wonderful photo of the jacket inspired by 16th century costume - Tricia Basham, whose work it was,  won the Fashion and textiles prize in the V&A's  Inspired by...    competition, and so you'll find it on the website here.  Scroll down to the Fashion and Textiles section and click on the small photo of part of the jacket and you'll see a larger photo of the whole jacket.  It's a wonderful piece of work.    

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