The weather was grey and gloomy all this week, but for a couple of days we had the pleasure of seeing an extravaganza of knitted colour – a human yarn bomb – making his way around a few knitting stores in Paris brightening things up a bit. Can you guess who?
Right. Stephen West was in Paris to give classes at L’ Oisivethe on Thursday and Friday. From Wednesday evening pictures started appearing on my social media feeds from a few of the sites I follow as Stephen visited yarn stores around the city. Every picture showed a larger-than-life character, colourfully attired in his signature accessories. I had registered for his Color Play class on Thursday evening and was really looking forward to meeting Mr Westknits himself.
In real life he is quite a presence; he is TALL. He is also down to earth and a very nice person indeed. The class was a treat; a charming group of participants translating for each other as necessary (it was conducted in English), tasty refreshments and yarns galore. We had been instructed to bring balls of yarn from our stash (no problem) and Stephen supplied additional samples of unusual textures and neon colours to mix it up even more. We started with paper and scissors to cut a random shape and then knitted that shape in colour; stripes, slipped stitches, short rows, new colours and a change of direction…….away from familiar territory. But when you are a little bit challenged, you learn, and I did.
The evening went by in a buzz of chatter, knitting, questions and fun. We tried on Stephen’s trunk load of knitted creations and each fell in love with half a dozen different designs. I’d seen them in pictures and liked what I had seen, but in real life they were even more impressive. With clever use of simple knitting techniques and not being constrained by conventions for colour or yarn combinations his designs are distinctly inventive. What’s more, the garments looked really good on everyone who tried them.
To finish off there was a lucky draw for prizes; my luck was in, I won a Stephen West signature project bag. Any knitting in that bag will be blessed with colourful inspiration, all the better for the Westknits designs I have put straight onto my project list.