Thursday 3 October 2013

Vogue Knitting visit

There is a knitting tour of England & Wales in progress right now, under the auspices of Vogue Knitting magazine,  that started Tuesday morning at Manchester Airport.  (The people on the tour are all from the U.S., I think.)  Tuesday afternoon, the tour visited  Scholes to see a selection of the choicest items from the Knitting & Crochet Guild's collection.  We hired the clubhouse at Scholes Cricket Club for the day, which proved to be an ideal venue.  It is mainly one big room, with windows all along one side, looking over the cricket  pitch and to the hills beyond, so there was plenty of space and light. 

We went one weekend a few weeks ago to check on  a few details, and I took a photo of the view while a cricket match was in progress - it was drizzling at the time, so the view wasn't at its best.  (Not ideal weather for cricket either.)      

There were about 40 in the Vogue Knitting party, and we wanted to give them all the chance to get close to the things we were showing them.  We had chosen five sets of items (Irish crochet,  traditional knitting,  etc.) , with one or two volunteers for each set (I was showing a selection of magazines and pattern leaflets).  We divided the visitors into five groups, too, and over the course of the afternoon, each group progressed around all five sets of items.   The scheme worked very well, though it did mean that we volunteers were talking about our set of items five times, over about two hours.  But I found that each repetition worked out differently, because each group picked up on different things in what I was showing, and asked different questions.   I'll write something about the things that I showed  in the next few posts.

And at the end of the afternoon, we all had tea (very important in cricket, I understand).   I had bought cakes from ProperMaid in Huddersfield who supply a lot of local cafes.  We had Beetroot & Chocolate, Courgette & Lime and Lemon & Poppyseed Drizzle - all really delicious I'm told, and the Beetroot & Chocolate certainly was.  (There was a lot of discussion with the visitors about what courgettes are, though.)  I had also bought parkin, made by a local company, to give them a taste of traditional Yorkshire food.

ProperMaid Courgette & Lime cake

It was an exhilarating afternoon for all of us.  For those of us from the Guild, it reminded us what an amazing collection we have, and the visitors saw some really wonderful things.  Exhausting though - it took a lot of organising and preparation on our side, and several people had come a long way to help. 

And after we had cleared everything up and put the furniture back approximately where it was before, I got home at about 6.45 and then went out for a meeting of the Huddersfield KCG local group.  The meeting was on the theme of lace,  and several people had brought along beautiful lace shawls and scarves that they had made, including a silk stole knitted in the Shetland print o' the wave pattern, which was just lovely.  Ann Kingstone showed the sample knits for some of her lace patterns (knitted by her sister Marie, who was also there), including Hartfield - even finer and more delicate and gorgeous in reality than it looks in photos.  Three of the Guild members who were staying in the area to help with the Vogue Knitting visit came along to the meeting.  Jane, who had been showing some of the Irish crochet in the collection, had brought with her an Irish crochet shawl that she had made, and so was able to show that at the Guild meeting as well - a beautiful piece of work.  I took along one of the knitted lace samplers from the collection, in amazingly fine cotton.  And also (although it wasn't really up to the standard of anything else on show) I took along the honeycomb lace infinity scarf I have made for my daughter - mainly so that I could talk about how tricky it was to keep track of the stitch pattern. 

And then I went home and fell into bed.  I wish I could say that I slept like a log, but I didn't - it was such an exciting, busy day, it was difficult to wind down.  I am so glad that after all our preparation and planning (and several hiccups along the way, up until the last minute)  it all worked out just right.       

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