Sunday, November 1, 2009

The Knitting and Stitching Show 09

What a crazy few weeks it has been. I am almost glad it's raining today, so I have an excuse to just sit at home...

I was due to catch the morning train to Dublin on Wednesday, so on Tuesday I did a little search in the charity shop for a book to bring. For some reason I'm luckier with finding books that I like in the charity shop than in the library. I don't know why that is. Maybe the scavenger in me, likes a good bargain. I know you shouldn't judge a book by the cover, but you do, don't you. I tend to go for the publishers first, then the cover. I know I'm safe with certain publishers, like Penguin and Faber and Faber. I saw the ff logo on a nice dark cover, the title was Mauve, I though the back and gasped. It was about William Perkin, an aspiring chemist, who discovered the first artificial dye, mauve at the age of 18. Not only did it make him the richest chemist in Britain, but it changed the world.

My friends and family know I harp on (especially after a few pints) about textiles being the beginning of everything, civilization, commerce, world economy, etc. I have the notion that whoever is the current leader of textiles is the current leader of the world. Look through history, and you will see a direct link between ruling powers of the time, the Romans, Genghis Khan, Ancient Chinese dynasties, the USA, Modern China, etc, etc..., and the textiles favored.

But now, I have proof in this small, unassuming book, that the invention of artificial dye, changed the world, in an amazing, yet a bit scary, way. I had brought lots of yarn with me with the intention of crocheting lots of coral on the way up and back, and didn't get a lot done. I couldn't put this book down. If you are into any kind of textile history, artificial or otherwise, into chemistry, the history of chemistry, read this book. I am not exaggerating, the invention of mauve created a new world, the first every direct association of chemistry and industry, leading to the discovery of bacteria, cures for illnesses, such as chemotherapy, even the discovery of DNA. Simon Garfild, thank you for writing this book! (Would make another very interesting exhibition in the Science Gallery!!)

Okay, so back to my trip... Got to Dublin, then went down to the Science Gallery for a meeting with Anja and Lynn, organisers of the up and coming Irish Crocheted Reef. It works out that our deadline is 4 months. Not that much time, so another plea, if you can crochet, please have ago. Anything, even one small piece of coral can make a difference.. Keep an eye out for an updated Science Gallery website with all the relevant info...

After the meeting went across Trinity to the Douglas Hyde, and caught a small exhibition of Japanese CountryTextiles from C18th/C19th. Interesting fabrics and stitches, but you sometimes wonder whether the peasants who wore these patched up and rough sewn garments would have believed many years in the future,they would be exhibited in a gallery. I don't think my child would appreciate me leaving him rags as inheritance saying,in the future they will be worth something...

Thursday was a very very busy day at the Knitting and Stitching Show. Where I bumped into old friends rarely seen, and new friends, fellow Ravelrs. I didn't get to the Ravelry meeting, but since I had told everyone where would be, a few people came up to say hello. Thank You, was lovely to meet you!!

The Cork Textiles Network stand was very busy,and we sold some pictures and lots of postcards. A good day all round. I didn't get to see much at the show.Probably because every time I took a break and went for a wander, I'd bump into someone and stay chatting. That's what the show means for me anyway. I don't got there to shop. I bought a few things, postcards, I always buy a few of those, especially from the graduates, a beautiful book of drawings, etches and prints by Ernst Haeckel , a 2010 calendar from the Weavers, Spinners, Dyers group and surprise, surprise a crochet hook. A Tunisian crochet hook,(which I am glad to say the The Yarn Room stocks now!!). I did get to make a Morsbag. Great idea, great stand, make your own shopping bag for free. Started in the UK by a lady sick of plastic bags.
Another train trip back home, I have barely unpacked my bag at home, as it's Halloween. So we made some spiders and ghosts to decorate the windows, and got our facepaints ready...We're all exhausted from sweets and generally spooky excitement. It's nice to be home, and be able to chill for a few days, well, chill while crocheting coral.


Debbie said...

The book sounds awesome - you lucky thing! I am a total dye/textile history nut, too, so I know exactly what you mean. Don't suppose you have the isbn?

Stitchlily said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Stitchlily said...

Hi Debbie, honoured to have you reading my humble blog!! Here's the details about the book. You mightn't like the chemical industry it helped creat, but it is still very, very interesting...It is now one of my favorite charity shop finds!!

Author: Simon Garfield
Publisher: Faber and Faber (2001)
ISBN: 0-571-20917-3

(wrote the ISBN wrong in the previous post....)