….. raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens, bright copper kettles and warm woollen mittens, brown paper packages tied up with string, these are a few of my favourite things!
Well not really…. apart from the warm woollen mittens of course! I love mittens 🙂 but I prefer parcels of yarn to be packed in something a little studier than brown paper and string!
However, I do have a few favourite things when designing. Some, like these bird books are things I have been fond of since childhood. I have always loved watching the birds in our garden. Not just the fancy ones, but the everyday birds as well. They all have their different personalities!
Woodpigeons seem dopey and inept at anything except eating and chasing a potential mate. They will pick up one twig at a time when nest building, having carefully selected it, then put it down in what looks like a moment of doubt, before picking up another, almost identical twig. This goes on and on in a cycle to the point where you are amazed that they can actually build a nest at all!
Blackbirds are aggressive and very territorial, but this is offset by a rather comical ‘livid hop’ as I call it, towards their bitter rival. Sparrows are playful, hopping in and out of puddles and chirping excitedly, and Magpies are furtive, and wait until you’re not looking to snatch those scraps of leftover food from the garden.
Not only are the birds themselves inspiring, but their Latin names can make especially good pattern names 😉
I also have sketchbooks and notebooks aplenty, which are always to hand if I have an idea worth preserving in the middle of the night (this is not unusual)! This one is huge and handily spiral bound with sections of plain, lined and graph paper which is especially handy if I think of a charted lace or colourwork pattern that I want to jot down. I also has a handy pocket at the back which is useful for any inspiring cuttings and pictures (if you look carefully you might notice that this is stuffed with such things). If this sounds good to you, Paperchase do these every season in different cover designs (although there is usually only one to choose from at any time) so get yourself down there!
This one was bought for me for Christmas a couple of years ago by my colleague Anne along with a perfectly proportioned propelling pencil (try saying that quickly), and though much smaller than the other book, it has all the same features, plus several little clear pockets throughout, which are perfect for keeping errant yarn labels next to the pattern I’m drafting so all the yardage and content information is close at hand!
It’s also the perfect size to slip in your bag or take on holiday, so now I never have to be without my sketchbook. I love the pattern on the cover, which makes me think of Japanese Amigurumi toys! Weirdly, the colours and pastel rainbows also remind me of (80’s/90’s throwback alert) Care Bears (although if you have no idea of what Care Bears are, I suggest you avoid clicking that link and remember that sometimes, ignorance is bliss).
What do you like to keep handy when you’re knitting?