Review: The Secret Lives of Colour

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links meaning if you purchase the book through these links, I receive a small commission to help keep running the blog. However, any recommendations and opinions in this review are my own. For more information, please click here

For regular readers of the blog, it will come as no surprise when I say I really, really like colours. I like looking at them, playing with them, making them and stumbling upon which combinations come together to make something even more exciting than their constituent parts. It probably also comes as no surprise then, that when I saw Kassia St Clair’s ‘The Secret Lives of Colour’, I felt as though someone had written a book just for me.

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Knitting and Stitching Show 2018, Harrogate

From November 22nd to 25th, Harrogate Convention Centre was transformed to a den of fibre and fluff for the annual Knitting and Stitching Show. For those of you not familiar with the Knitting and Stitching Show, it’s a convention hosted at several sites in the UK, with the biggest being at Alexandrea Palace in London, features teams of suppliers, workshops and demonstrations for all things knitting and stitching.

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Circular Mounting: Silk Shading Bird

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links meaning if you purchase the book through these links, I receive a small commission to help keep running the blog. However, any recommendations and opinions in this review are my own. For more information, please click here

Sometimes finishing all the stitching is only part of completing a piece of embroidery… Having finished quite a few pieces now that I’ve ultimately ended up framing, the process of mounting it up has become a lot less intimidating. This is great but it also means that it has become a bit routine just putting pieces on square mount board to stick in a frame.

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Maedeup Adventures

After my maedeup class at the Dong-Lim Knot Museum, I wanted to make sure that I didn’t leave Seoul without a few supplies to have a go at carrying on what I’d learnt. I was keen to try and find a maedeup specialist, rather than just trying to buy cord at random, as my recent experiences with kumihimo have suggested that sometimes, if you want the right effect and the right feel to a piece, it’s better to start with the right materials. I think this is even more true when you’re a beginner and don’t necessarily understand the challenges that a stiffer or more slippery fabric or cord might pose, as I found out during my first dressmaking project on nice, evasive, easy-to-fray polyester!

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Chojun Textile Museum and More

I really love visiting museums. Where else can you cross a thousand years of history in a few hundred metres, or from central London to deepest Patagonia? I have a sentimental fondness for the V&A in London, and have been to some other great places, such as the breathtaking National Palace Museum in Taipei to the highly specialist Quilt Museum in Boston. Luckily for me, Seoul has a great blend of museums at both ends of the spectrum, from the expanse of the National Museum of Korea, or several, small gems of textile history.

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Maedeup and the Bukchon Hanok Village, Seoul

When I knew I’d be going to Seoul, I was really hoping to find a chasu course, and learn a little in particular about the silk embroideries with their dazzling colour schemes, or maybe some bojagi, the traditional wrapping clothes that are often worked in silk, or light gauzy fabrics in a patchwork style. Unfortunately, there was nothing available I could fit into my trip, but I did stumble across a maedeup class instead.

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Dongdaemun Fabric Market, Seoul

This year I happened across the opportunity for my first visit to Seoul, South Korea. For being one of the world’s biggest megacities, cities with a population over 10 million, Seoul has a lot of charm, from a little book library park in the middle of the city, to the rivers that divide it up. The food is excellent and chimaek (chicken and beer) is a genius idea and I would be very happy to see, along with the Japanese izakaya bar traditions exported all over the world. Preferably alongside fabric markets as mindboggling as Dongdaemun.

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Little Lion Yarn

I’ve been without a spinning wheel for quite a while now and have been missing playing with fibre so much that I’ve even tried learning to use a spindle. However, I never got along particularly well with that, until a very fantastic person gave me a 10 g spindle which revolutionised the whole process. If you’re a beginner at spindling, don’t like making aran-weight singles, and don’t enjoy putting dents in your floor, try a lighter spindle. I promise it’s good!

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