In Episode 26 of the Fruity Knitting Podcast our guest is Tom of Holland, textile practitioner, best known for his Visible Mending Program and his expertise in darning and repairing garments. Knitters of the World features Rosie, a prolific garment knitter originally from Coventry but now resident in Edinburgh. There’s KAL news, tips on picking up stitches around a neckline, and a little talk about muscle health for knitters.
Tom of Holland Interview
Tom van Deijnen, known in the knitting world as Tom of Holland, has developed a particular expertise in the area of traditional garment repair techniques. As a textile practitioner, Tom carries out research into textile crafting skills, conducts workshops to share his expertise, and also does commission work to save and restore treasured pieces.
In the interview I noticed that the bookshelves in the background were sagging under their load, but Tom does not restrict his research to books. More recently he has been making a study of the living skills to be found in Savile Row, the London home of bespoke tailoring. Tom spent time observing the individual roles and skills of the workers at Gieves & Hawkes, which has its origins in military clothing, but has also created costumes for film and outfits for the royal family.
Normally, repairs to garments should be concealed as far as possible. Tom has taken an alternative approach, making an art-form of his “visible mending”. The theory is that the repairs are an integral part of the life of the garment, and the “re-creation” can be celebrated and enjoyed as much as the original creation.
Finding Tom of Holland
- Tom’s adventures and explorations in textile repairs are documented in his blog which you can find at tomofholland.com. This is also a good place to find out about upcoming events.
- And at tomofholland on Instagram.
Rosie Fay – Knitters of the World
For a challenge, Rosie sets herself a project without stranded colorwork. She can do it (check her Ravelry projects), but I suspect she gets a little edgy, feeling that her left hand is not really fully productive.
Rosie is originally from Coventry, in Englands West Midlands, but now lives in Edinburgh. She mentioned her appreciation of the Edinburgh knitting culture, but we’ve also noticed more than a few pictures of Rosie out in the Scottish hills, not to mention one shot of a young fellow in a kilt who may also have been an influence.
Cable KAL Selfie Collage
A huge thank you to the Cable Garment KAL participants who sent in their selfie videos for our collage. Going left to right, top to bottom:
- Kelly, from the “Canadian North”, wearing an Alice Starmore design, made by mum. Bonus points for modelling in the snow, with real crunchy walking in the snow sounds, but also extra bonus points for wearing cycling pants (and are they Ug-Boots). Awesome.
- Tina, from Sydney, Australia, showing her Dill by Marie Wallin, yarn from Adagio Mills. Tina gets a special mention for the glimpse into the great Aussie backyard. Note the wooden paling fence, just like I grew up with, and is that pumpkins sprouted out of the compost heap, now taking over?
- Lynn, from Victoria, British Columbia, Canada. Design is Cascade, by Michelle Wang. Lynn is no longer intimidated by those cables.
- Sue, from Wellington in New Zealand, design is Rhapsody in Cables by Joji Locatelli. Joji will be smiling to see those cables, and I always love to hear a NZ accent.
- Lynn is an experienced KAL Selfie contributor and I’m sure she told us where she is from last time. The modifications on the Traveller by Joji Locatelli are a success and again I am sure that Joji will be pleased with the results.
- Christie, from Exmouth in Western Australia, here wearing her Elizabeth I by Alice Starmore, but also showed her Vivian by Ysolda Teague.
Daffodil, by Marie Wallin
Andrea’s current project is Daffodil, by Marie Wallin, taken from her Springtime collection. The yarn is the Hampshire 4-ply in the Dancing with Olive colorway from The Little Grey Sheep. (See notes in Episode 25.) Andrea has done the calculations and has determined that the garment is eligible to go in the Lace Garment or HAP KAL.
The body is knitted in a rectangle with no armhole shaping. (No decreasing across the lace and cable patterns.) It is a drop shoulder design even though it will be relatively fitted. There is shaping in the shoulders and in the back neck. The stitch pattern is a combination of three lace panels, two simple cable braids and two smaller twisted stitch patterned panels – the last two giving a delicate cable pattern, consistent in weight with the lace panels. It is a 31 row repeat, but the patterns in the individual panels are not difficult. Seems to have a very high “wow” factor for the degree of difficulty.
Drachenfels by Melanie Berg
I got my first taste of blue in my Drachenfels, more to come soon.
Picking Up Stitches around the Neck Line – Tutorial
Some viewers have mentioned that they are not confident about picking up stitches, especially around a neckline that might be curved. Getting a good result on the neckline is important because any problems tend to be noticed, simply due to the location. Some points that I picked up were:
- It might be a good idea to pick up more stitches than you will require in the upcoming pattern, and then decreasing as required on the next row. This approach was specified in the Alice Starmore pattern that Andrea was demonstrating with, and Deborah Newton also mentioned this approach.
- Be careful about where you pick up the stitches. Check that you’re not going to make a hole by putting the needle in and giving a little tug. If it makes a hole, go slightly deeper into the fabric.
- If you have a gap or corner in the fabric, pick up stitches on either side to close up the gap.
That’s what I recall, but it’s probably wise to watch the video again. I’ll try to put in a link directly to the right location once the video is live.
Fruity You and Me KAL
Our newest KAL is the Fruity You and Me KAL. The key requirement, according to Andrea, is to knit two garments or large shawls – one for yourself, and one for a loved one. The two garments have to be connected in some way so that when you are both wearing them you think of each other and celebrate your relationship. The connection may be that they are both the same pattern, but it may be a common yarn, colorway or something else. For inspiration you can check out Tin Can Knits or the latest Rowan magazine.
Go to the Fruity Knitting Podcast Ravelry group for more information on our KALs.