What do Edgar Allan Poe, Parisian strollers and knitting have in common? Read on…

Last week the latest edition of Interweave’s Knitting Traditions magazine plopped through the letter box, and it had my article and knitting patterns in it – hoorah, fame at last!

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I wrote an article about flâneurs in 19th Century Paris for the magazine, which was such an enjoyable experience. It’s been a while since I’ve researched for a written piece like that and I loved every minute. It was researching the article that led to me reading Zola’s The Ladies Paradise, which is the first Zola novel I’ve read and whetted my appetite for more of his Rougon Macquart series, and I got to read some fascinating articles on Flânerie, its historical emergence and evolution.

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I also wrote the knitting patterns for a mid 19th century Parisian flâneur and flâneuse, and Edgar Allan Poe. It was a close call between my choosing Poe over Baudelaire, after all, Baudelaire had first coined the term ‘flâneur’, but then he, in turn, had been inspired by Poe’s short story The Man in the Crowd, and I knew that if I knitted Poe, I could stick a raven on his head, a factor which proved too compelling to resist.

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Photograph by Julia Vandenoever, Knitting Traditions.

And here he is again with his pals, the little flâneur and flâneuse.

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While I’m used to knitting figures out of my head for the knitted footballer I’ve only knitted a certain amount of period costume, mainly for the handful of knitted authors I’ve made. So one of the real joys (and challenges) of this project was the opportunity to research the authentic clothing for the figures, and then recreate those into knitted miniature garments and write the patterns for them. It was a little exasperating at times, but great fun and really rewarding!

If you’d like to know more about my article and patterns, and the rest of Knitting Traditions, Spring 2016 edition, you can do that here at the Interweave store

 

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