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| www.xnmedia.co.uk | July/August 2014
Ever fancied knitting a fruit cake? With designs based on a biscuit tin and a beer mat, Felicity Ford is a real knit wit. VIVIENNE JOHNSON casts off to find out more
ever judge a book by its cover, or its title. The Knitsonik Stranded Colourwork Sourcebook may not fully convey the fun, inspiration and downright “wackiness” of the contents. Local artist Felicity Ford has a love and dedication to the art and craft of knitting that knows no bounds. She has travelled from Shetland to Estonia to study the fantastic colourwork knitting you will recognise on Shetland jumpers. Not content with knitting other people’s patterns she wanted to design her own textiles and you won’t believe what she has used for inspiration. “I’m really interested in celebrating everyday life,” Felicity said, adding: “The ordinary, which we often overlook.” The ordinary, everyday things that motivated her include the A4074 road that she spends so much time on, Reading’s famous brickwork and a fruit cake. Felicity is using a photograph of a patch of flowers at the end of her street for her latest pattern. “At the start of the swatch [pattern] you can see the brickwork, the dandelions,” she explains. “I got excited about it, I would never pick those colours. But suddenly you get a picture to work with and in the picture you’ve got this grey, bluey, browney warm colour.
Felicity Ford with a creation inspired from a Huntley & Palmers biscuit tin PICTURE: LYNDA BOWYER teach people about her system. “Then you’ve got this bright People brought items to her class green with this yellow, then you’ve that were important to them such got these pops of blue and you as vegetables from their allotment think, right, this can work as an or a piece of china they had found idea.” on the beach. Even a photograph of a road “There was something very excites Felicity. “How amazing is the tarmac? It’s got purple in it, it’s got grey, you get these bright umbels at the side of the road. There’s a bright red road sign. You get this amazing colour.” Felicity feels that a lot of people who knit aren’t necessarily from an artistic background. “People who knit are incredibly technical, there’s a lot of mathematicians, scientists and so on,” she explained. “Actually it’s quite scary if you haven’t spent 10 years in Art College to just start a creative process. People worry it’s going to cost money and ask ‘What if I make something really ugly?’ ‘What if it looks terrible?’” Felicity had an idea of how to solve this problem and started to
v A little bit of lunchtime music A READING church is planning two lunchtime concerts this summer. St Giles in Reading in Southampton Street is opening its doors for organ appreciators on Wednesdays, July 16 and July 23. Starting at 1.15pm and ending at 2pm, each concert has free entry and refreshments available. Organisers will welcome donations towards costs.
The first concert will be given by the church’s resident organist Ian May. The following Wednesday, it will welcome Malcolm Stowell, chairman of the Windsor & District Organists’ Association. Everyone is welcome. v For more details, log on to www.sgilesreading.org.uk or call 07765 118895.
rich about that,” she said. “The level of personal meaning in this knitting was really exciting. Then there was this sharing of practical knowledge. “So, OK, you have this thing you are really inspired by, how do you turn it into knitting?” Felicity found that the classes weren’t long enough to teach everything she wanted to and the idea of writing a book was born. Felicity uses all these ideas and more, in The Knitsonik Stranded Colourwork Sourcebook. In it’s pages you’ll find the brick of Reading, the Gillette building, the sloes from a tree in her garden, the pattern from a Huntley and Palmer biscuit tin. There is even a beer mat pattern. “It’s the Hop Back Brewery,” she said. “Their beer is my favourite.” Keep your eyes open for Felicity Ford’s book later in the year. v For more on Felicity, log on to www.felicityford.co.uk and www.knitsonik.com. v For an insight into woollen textiles, log on to wovember.com.
Community magazine for Thames Valley region including Reading, Henley, Wokingham packed with excellent news.