In the Knit

first_imgKnitting has enjoyed a revival over the past few years, as stars like Julia Roberts, Cameron Diaz, Kate Moss and, curiously enough, Russell Crowe have all started to knit one, purl one. It seems that after a hard day’s night and a punch up down under, Mr Crowe likes nothing better than to snuggle up with his knitting. It’s a 1970s craze – knitters want free love and happiness. At the Peace Rally in February 2003, ‘Cast Off’, the ‘Ultimate Knitting Society for Boys and Girls’, knitted a banner that read, “Drop stitches, not bombs. Make jumpers, not war.” That’s right, if only George Bush had knitted his dog, Barney, a little woolly ‘Peace’ waistcoat, then the war in Iraq may have been avoided. What Crowe and knitters everywhere have discovered are the meditative and fashionable benefits that can be gained from weaving wool. Rachel Matthews, the founder of “Cast Off”, the same woman who brought you that essential contingent to your winter wardrobe, the “Willy Warmer” (a bestseller in Japan), claims that “knitting is guaranteed to boost your immune system and clear your head”. The repetition of the activity helps a person focus, with many benefits. One of the brightest stars to have emerged this year at London Fashion Week was the young knitwear designer, Clare Tough, who made an incredible collection of intricately knitted tops, skirts, ponchos, and woollen stilettos. She is currently dealing with buyers in London, while the rest of her fellow students from the Central St Martins fashion department are crying over broken dreams; their future career as a stylist for Kim Marsh and the Sugar Babes stretching before them. Wool is back and the way to wear it is loosely, wrapped around you, like an ethereal fairy. Keep it loose and wispy over dusty coloured, patterned dresses and skirts, or soft worn-in jeans. It’s a good way of wearing less at night, while keeping warm and it also takes the edge off an enormous cleavage, or lack of one. To avoid looking like Grandma Mildred, choose your colours carefully; try baby pink and black mixed together or rainbow coloured. The best way to get this look is to start knitting yourself and create a one-off, original piece, that’s just your colour. Knitting passes the time, it’s relaxing and helps you think – go to KnitSoc, branch out, expand your interests and make some new 100% woollen friends. Or, if you can face it, go to Unicorn, on Ship Street and sift through the unbelievable wasteland of clothes it has to offer. Genuine vintage shawls, ponchos and scarves start at around £10, and can be found somewhere in a tangled heap in this slightly Dickensian establishment. So start knitting, for all the therapeutic and stylish opportunities it has to offer. This summer I say wrap yourself up in wool and look lost in a garden. All we need is Woodstock 1969, a field of comatose, drug-addled hippies and Hendrix playing on stage. Those of you who managed to get tickets for Glastonbury this year, don’t forget to wear a poncho for me and shake your head wildly.ARCHIVE: 5th week TT 2004last_img

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