Saturday, September 11, 2010


Friday, and a day off, so I make my way to the i-knit London Weekender, getting off at St James's Park and walking over a few streets.
I'd booked the class on Celtic Knotwork by Alice Starmore, whose work I have admired since I first saw "The Celtic Collection"


I don't know what I had imagined - she has a ferocious reputation - but she was charming, friendly and helpful, patient with those having troubles.   Her accent has that Gaelic lilt, quite different from Scots but with the odd trans-Atlantic nuance.  In the picture you can see the wonderful purple cardigan she was wearing, the shaping achieved alongside the Celtic braids and cables.  It is a lightweight Aran and certainly looked quite different from the boxy affairs in Celtic Knitting", especially on her svelte figure.  She was wearing Westwood - either that or her tartan skirt had got caught up in her underwear, but no - it was Westwood.

This was my first ever knitting class, so what did I learn?  To be fair, other people all around me were having lightbulb moments, as they realised how those closed motifs are started and ended.  And I did grasp for the first time what was meant to happen at a crucial point in the manoeuvre.  But I had basically got my head round the method when I started my throw, or at least by the time I had finished it some eighteen months later.

No, what I learned was how to make use of an OHT without someone using the dreaded word "PowerPoint."  I learned something about how she began to design knots and a little about their life on a croft.  I also learned that she will be seen using natural dyes on an episode of "Coast" some time in the future, using a cauldron they unearthed in the garden of their croft, which sounds remarkably like the one I have standing in the centre of my garden which came from my parents' Cumbrian farm. 

Sadly, I didn't learn how to translate source material from Viking crosses into knitting patterns.  But it was worth every penny to have Alice Starmore declare my knitting sample excellent.


j-9 knits said...

My very first knitting class was with Alice Starmore also, in Salt Lake City, Utah, USA, many many years ago. She is a wonderful teacher, very gentle in her guidance and a lovely lady. It was a lightbulb moment for me, she said you need to learn to read your knitting, simple concept but you really can't be a good knitter without reading your knitting. So glad you enjoyed, j9knits

Mary Lou said...

You should print that on a label and sew it on the blanket. Which is gorgeous, BTW.

catdownunder said...

Wow...I am glad I purrowled over here from Jean's knitting to look at yours. It is lovely.