The latest episode of my podcast is now live. I have been a bit congested and croaky recently so apologies if I sound a little weary in places. I was just eager to publish this episode sooner rather than later.
Novelty, inspiration and a limited palette.
On casting off the Gudrun Johnston Audrey in Unst cardigan (knit in Ullcentrum 2-ply sport weight wool) and casting on Andi Saterlund’s Salal cardigan, which I’m knitting in Manx Loaghtan from the Balacossnahan Farm, it dawned on me how similar in shape and style most of my cardigans are. This got me thinking about how embracing a limited palette of shapes sits within a modern economic reality with its ever-faster cycles of trends, but also within my own creative desire for inspiration and general creative development.
Other patterns, yarns and podcasts I mention in this section are:
- Gudrun Johnston’s Burrafirth sweater;
- Midori Hirose’s Ranunculus sweater;
- Navia yarn;
- Susan Crawford’s Excelana yarn; and
- Louise Scollay’s Woolwork podcast (previously known as the KnitBritish podcast).
Longevity, time efficiency and value for money
This year I have been sewing to fill the “top” gap in my wardrobe and to create some functional garments that work for my messier/more physical activities. As with my knitting, I’m working off just a handful of patterns to meet these needs: Merchant & Mill’s Francine Top and Decades of Styles’ Given a Chance dress (both tried and tested patterns) and The Assembly Line’s V-neck dress.
A small palette of patterns may form the backbone of my wardrobe but this does not mean a lack of novelty and skill development. I share some thoughts on how I am managing to stretch this small number of patterns to make a range of garments that meet different needs and achieve styles with longevity but also some of the benefits of working within such restraints.
I also mention an inspiring sewing vlog by Sarah Hunt (of the FiberTrek podcast), who for other reasons and with different patterns is achieving frivolity and uniqueness by adding hand stitched and embroidery embellishment to clothes made from a similarly limited number of sewing patterns.
Gardening’s gentle opportunity for novelty
While with knitting and sewing I am actively managing my drive for creative inspiration and newness with my resource awareness, gardening is a creative outlet that has a degree of novelty hardwired into it. I explore some of the low-impact ways I can add dashes of frivolity and newness year-on-year thanks to nature’s range of plants, their natural cycles and robustness. And, of course, I muse on what learning from this creative activity I can take back to my other crafts.
I have been excited about a range of tweed fabrics that Fabworks has recently commissioned. Heart of Huddersfield is 100% woollen cloth that has been spun, woven and finished within a five mile radius of Huddersfield, in Yorkshire.
An addition to the Curiosity Cabinet
Finally I talk about a forthcoming addition to this Curiosity Cabinet: an occasional pamphlet of long-form essays to complement the podcast.
Music: As I figure by Kevin MacLeod on FreeMusicArchive and licensed under Creative Commons By Attribution 3.0 License.