Blighty Revisited 2015

Knitter's Muse - Old & New

I am just back from an action packed visit to the UK and I find myself somewhat overwhelmed by all the things that I saw and experienced.  

In starting to write this post I tried to focus on just one thing to describe as my fascination this month but I found it impossible to it narrow down.  

So I decided to put together "postcard" groupings - which you will see differ widely from each other. These montages were really fun to make and as I grouped my photos together by subject (rather than chronologically) I was able to see the themes of the things that I found inspiring during this trip emerge . 

It's a tool I often use when beginning the research for a series of designs. By putting together a mood board it helps focus the mind and see things as an overview it also helps to distill sometimes widely varied sources (like my trip) into a common theme. It seems I am being drawn to the juxtaposition of the old and new!

Postcard 1- Industrial Cathedrals

I got to travel by train a number of times, I also met friends at railways stations. Having time waiting in these mostly Victorian / industrial era places meant I had chance to study the architecture. Some of the London stations have undergone massive modernization in recent years and they are spectacular! I loved how the old structures have been retained and have been married with fabulous contemporary elements. I was struck by how the iron work reminded me of the stone work seen in Medieval cathedrals. 

Postcard 2- Streets of London

I love wandering around London and enjoy how the old streets meander, rather than the modern straight line grids that cities in North America are generally built on. I always want to see what is just around the next corner. This tripped me up a couple of times- getting lost- I've obviously lost my knack for navigating them.

Postcard 3 - Mackintosh

I spent a week in Glasgow a city I have visited many times. I'm a big fan of Charles Rennie Mackintosh and took a walk past the Glasgow School of Art to see the damage done by the last year's fire. It made me sad to see it closed up, but I was pleased to see that there is investment in it's restoration. I'm looking forward to seeing how they repair it and what changes, if any, they may make.

Postcard 4 - Northumberland

I had never been to the area in the north of England know as Northumberland so this was completely new to me, but the places I visited were very old indeed. I fell in love with the ruined Priory on Lindisfarne Island that dates back to before the Norman conquest of Britain. There is something about being able to get close up to stone carved by human hands centuries ago that always fascinates's awesome in the true sense of the word...something that I can hardly wrap my head around.

Postcard 5 - Riviera Style 

Always top of my list of things to do when I visit somewhere, especially large centres like London, is to see museum exhibitions. I saw the Sonia Delauney exhibition at The Tate Modern which I found mind blowing, but photos are not allowed. So let me share the super fun exhibition that I saw at The Fashion & Textile Museum- an historical look at the history of beachwear. Not only was it fascinating to see how swimwear has changed over the past 150 years or so but the exhibition addressed society's evolving attitudes and how this brought about the changes. The curation of the exhibition is excellent and the displays of the garments are so creative, serving to underpin the theme and entertain at the same time . 

I have no idea at all how the UK sights and sounds will find themselves into my work but I do know that they will. I already have some preliminary ideas based on iron work, which for me is a reoccurring theme. In fact my latest "Designer in Residence" pattern for Webs Yarn - Collar Your Dreams, launched this week, was inspired by the Eiffel Tower. So look out for new ideas based on old themes in the future I guess.

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Please check back next month to find out what my latest fascination is.

See you next month!       
Fiona xxxx

On-line, On-nine
Monthly post on the 9th of each month! 
On-line, On-nine July 9th 2015

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