Monday, 13 May 2013

A Fab Day in London. . .

I don't think I'll ever tire of the thrill of popping down to London for the day.  It's always been my favourite city to visit and no matter how many times I go, I always discover something new.  Despite the early train (5:47am) I was raring to go; it truly was an exciting day, full of inspiration and great company (thanks S, S & J).  First stop was London Bridge tube station and Borough Market, nestled under the railways bridges in the shadow of the Shard.  I'd never been here before and I can't recommend it enough. 

It's just brimming with stalls full of gorgeous food of every variety, colour, texture and of course smell!

The cover of this patio nearby made us all smile.  Fortunately we only experienced a few drops of rain the entire day.

Our main reason for the trip (we're all knitters) was to check out the Kaffe Fassett exhibit at the London Fashion and Textile Museum and we weren't disappointed. We've all been fans of his work, but to see all those colours and patterns in one place is quite overwhelming.  Quilts, knitting, tapestry, mosaics, costumes, paintings - all were juxtaposed against each other in a stunningly visual kaleidoscope.

I think all of us came away immediately wanting to start new projects based on some of his patterns or colour combinations. And as knitters, we took heart. There's no denying Fassett's talent for design and colour mastery, but when you look closely at many of his knitted works (which of course we did), I have to report that he's not the greatest knitter.  His tension is all over the place, there are dropped stitches, and he often doesn't weave in his ends, or does so rather clumsily.  But what does it matter? Take two steps back and gaze at the same piece and all you see is the brilliance.  And yes, you too can knit a gorgeous scarf in multiple colours of Kidsilk Haze using plain stockinette.  The price for one in the gift store?  £600! It was all very empowering.

But our day didn't stop there.  Speaking of colour and inspiration, it was then off to Persephone Books   which we'd all just like to move into.

Then of course we needed to visit a wool shop, so went to spend a glorious hour oohing, aaahing, squeezing and deliberating over the tantalising yarns and patterns at Loop.

Followed by a mad dash to Ray Stitch, five minutes away, and closing in fifteen.  This is a wonderful haberdashery shop/cafe and needless to say, I blew my budget both there and at Loop.  I'm blaming it all on Kaffe.  I'll assemble all my goodies in an upcoming post.  My head is exploding with various ideas on what to do with it all but suffice it to say I think there's some intarsia and quilting in my near future.

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