Pussy cat, pussy cat where have you been ?
I’ve been to London to visit, no not the Queen, WoolHouse.
It wasn’t really such an odd thing to do; I love wool, and I love knitting and fashion and interior design. The global project “Campaign for Wool” has set up a showcase of all things wool to celebrate its beauty and glory – and downright practicality – at Somerset House in London from 14 to 24 March. It’s free and the Council of Wool Interests New Zealand is one of the major sponsors. So it was the perfect reason to treat myself to a trip under the Channel.
Just as an aside, on the topic of sheep and wool, the most common question I am asked by people here when they find out where I am from is how many sheep do you have in New Zealand, it is a lot no? The answer, according to Statistics NZ, is yes a lot, 31.1 million, that’s a little over 7 sheep for each person. The next most common question is about the All Blacks and 3rd is about the Christchurch earthquake. I have my spiel en français off pat for all those topics.
Arriving at historic Somerset House – it’s huge! Although I had read the instructions about which wing to find the exhibition (the West Wing) I had a YIKES moment until I saw the four luridly coloured sheep in the distance. Bit of a clue.
The exhibition is a knockout; right from the moment of stepping in the door, the black and white tile designed floor, a giant crocheted brown bear and a gorgeous “hummingbirds in flight” wall hanging designed by Alexander McQueen had me lost for words, except Wow. Walking over to admire the wall hanging I remember being surprised how soft it felt underfoot. My brain had registered the striking black and white tiles but, looking down to check, the floor covering was thick luxurious wool carpet so of course it was soft.
There was a knitting workshop going on in the craft room with the people from Sublime. As I had only popped over for the day I didn’t really have time to participate, but I couldn’t resist thoroughly checking out the knitting wool displays. There wasn’t as much fashion on display as I had thought there might be. Only a minor quibble, but interestingly there was a prototype of wool jeans – 34% wool, 66% cotton – on display. The fabric felt really nice so let’s hope that comes to fruition.
The interior design room displays were every bit as inspiring as I’d expected from the photos already posted on Facebook and blog sites, including the long blue stripey carpet runner made from 100 % NZ wool. Of course everything was better in real life and I found even more little details that appealed to me. I loved the wall covering in the Kit Kemp designed bedroom. It’s actually a wool fabric, grey with intricate soft blue, gold and khaki green embroidery detail in the design. Subtle as a background and exquisite up close. Have a look at the Campaign for Wool website for more info http://www.campaignforwool.org and this link has great photos http://www.designloversblog.com/design-and-decoration/wool-house/
The gentleman’s study, the snug and the natural (antique) room were probably my favourites.
I came away inspired with more ideas for my future knitting projects list – I know, I know it’s a lifetime’s work already – and interior decorating projects. Some of which, knitting and interior design, are one and the same, so that might just keep the household finance director happy.