Thursday, 15 April 2010

Knit and sew.

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I am so behind - so many things to share! Firstly, I finally finished my most recent cardigan - the rising-up-the-ravelry-charts Manu, by the lovely Kate Davies. I have been following Kate's blog, needled, for only a short while now, but in that time, I and her many other readers were shocked to learn she'd had a stroke. It looks like she's on the road to recovery now, and back on the knitting track, and since her stroke she's not only been able to make such achievements as being able to walk and knit again, but has managed to get a pattern published. Impressive indeed.

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I love the cardigan (you can read my detailed notes on the pattern and process on my ravelry project page) and it's absolutely perfect for spring. The yarn is lovely too, and while I wasn't sure about the bright green colour at first, now I just can't stop looking at it, or wearing it, for that matter. I was sure that I wouldn't have anything to wear that would actually go with the cardigan, but it turns out I was wrong about that too - it goes with almost everything!

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In particular, I would like to think it goes well with this skirt I made. I got the limited-edition Liberty print fabric from the recently opened Quilts exhibition at the V&A. Feeling inspired by the sewing skills of KristenMakes, I checked out the BurdaStyle website (an almost-ravelry for sewing) and found a "novice" level pattern that worked out perfectly. Seriously, I can only use my sewing machine for straight lines, and that's all this was.

Speaking of the Quilts exhibition, it was huge. I could have spent hours in there. I don't think it was the greatest exhibition ever, or even the greatest quilt exhibition ever (that remains the Quilts of Gee's Bend exhibition I saw at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston in 2005) but it was still amazing. Among the critiques I have are that it was so dark! It was probably to protect the quilts, but still - I wanted to see that stitching. There were also a few rather "arty" quilts thrown in there. I felt a bit like these were there to somehow justify the presence of quilts - gasp - being in a gallery. Come on now, can't we appreciate the inherent beauty and history and craft of quilts? All that aside, there were some stunning examples in there. Unfortunately, no photography was allowed, but here's a snippet of a lovely one from the exhibition booklet.


And one from a postcard from the exhibition:


And the good stuff from the shop:


I went to the exhibition with my friend Lara, and she and I both don't work Tuesdays and Wednesdays, so we're trying to get to another exhibition, historic house, etc every week! Next up: Leighton House Museum in Kensington.


Noas' libellule said...

I have had my eye on the manu pattern for a while, it is lovely and looks great on your new skrt! thanks for reviewing exhbitions as well, good to know what I should try to see and what I should avoid!

rosemary said...

I love your Manu! Such a great color. I've had it in my queue for a bit [we have the same taste in cardigans!], but haven't come across the right yarn yet...and really need to finish my Hexacomb :)

That skirt is wonderful - great fabric choice! Was the pattern easy to follow? You're definitely inspiring me to try my hand at some clothing items.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the shout out! I think I may have to make a visit to London before that exhibit at the V&A ends! I love the fabric purchases.

meghanaf said...

Thanks Noas' libellule! More exhibition reviews coming up!

Rose - we DO have the same taste in cardigans! crazy :) The skirt pattern was sooo easy to follow. If you download it from the Burda website (it's free) you will see that it is really just a big rectangle with hems!

Kristen - No probs! If you come down for the V&A let me know and I'd go along with you again! It would be lovely to meet a ravelry friend in person :)

Anonymous said...

Hi-new to the blog-LOVE how this turned out! I also can't wait to cast this on. I'd promised myself to start a February Lady Sweater, but may have to defer that now. I was also shocked to hear about Kate's stroke--it seems that she is slowly recovering, which is happy.

meghanaf said...

Thanks sajbat! Looking forward to seeing your version of Manu or the February Lady!

jane said...

I love your cardigan and the colour is great - perfect for spring as you say. I must get to the quilts exhibition. And Leighton House looks brilliant too - and I've never even heard of it! And the same goes for the Burda style website - I really want to learn to sew clothes and straight lines definitely sounds like a good starting point. V inspiring post, thank you!

meghanaf said...

No problem Jane! And you should really try Leighton House - it's amazing! More on that soon ...