Wednesday, 3 February 2010

Technology and Tradition

I thought it was about time I laid off the shop promotion - possibly saturating everyone's FB and Twitter accounts is not the best marketing strategy - and actually just wrote a blog. Which, as it turns out, is quite a relief.
Thanks to the beauty of technology (i.e. my darling little iPhone, which pretty much runs my life) I've got on the move access to tutorials, KD's two points of sale and online haberdashers for stock; great for me while I'm running KD largely from the 2 hours a day spent on the 295 bus. As much as I could grumble about an unnecessarily long commute (it would probably take me as long to walk it in the mornings) I've always found that an hour in the morning is the perfect length of time for me to get my head together, wake up properly, and having something like knitting to do in that time is a lovely kind of meditation. Not always entirely practical, I have to admit, but I am a practised within-the-elbow-range knitter, and I defy anyone to prove I take up any more room knitting than I would not. And if they do, well, I'm armed with two pointy sticks. Bring it.
So there I am, iPhone balanced on knee - music playing in background, pattern up on Safari, Twitter and FB beneath my fingertips - as I knit furiously away. And it got me thinking: however much we London guys and gals like to think we're ahead of the curve there's always a part of home that comes with us wherever we go. Some people go back home to an ancient blanket, some people wear a necklace passed down through the matriarchy, for some it's a simple as homemade soup in their bag ready for lunch. Hell, even Lady Gaga has a favourite teacup that travels everywhere with her, supposedly. Whatever happens to the fickle cycle of fashion, an element of nostalgia always sticks stubbornly to the spokes.
Which is sort of why I started the shop proper in the first place. It came about almost by accident - I've been knitting things for myself and friends for years, so this Christmas (by special request) Andy got his very own Bridget Jones stylee reindeer jumper with a pompom for a nose. I dubiously agreed to make it, originally thinking that the joke would last 2 hours and the thing would be in the charity bin by the twelfth night. Surprisingly, after proud outings to a Christmas Eve party and two meals (he accidentally left it behind for the third) it became something of a cult object, ironic though it remains as a present, and I'm already commissioned for a snowman variation next year. Bless him for wearing the thing at all - it's not the most flattering of garbs - but I was reminded how much a present is appreciated when some thought and effort goes into it, not to mention the exclusivity of it (sorry friends, it's a one off :D). And so requests trickled in here and there, first family and friends, then when I opened it up to the online community some not so distant strangers. I think, although most of us rely on the Topshops and the Primanis for our workaday clothes and accessories, there's a lot to be said for something a bit original, a bit off the wall, something you know has that extra bit of love woven into it, something that means more to you than its purpose. Or maybe my mates are just being awful sweet about the latest in a long line of my crazy schemes.
Right, I'm going to stop getting mushy and Lorraine Kelly about this... *dries eyes* I want to know what you have that's yours and only yours - something passed down from Mum and Dad, something you made for yourself, some random item the origins of which you have no idea but that is never out of your reach. Tweet it to me at @charminglass and tag it with #onlymine - I'd love to hear what you have hiding in the bottom of your Balenciaga... :) (boys: that's a handbag)

Ciao bella/o!

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