Women in Wool part I

Starting the series, Women in Wool is an introduction to a lady I would regard as having been rather influential in modern knitting trends in the UK.

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Despite her tender years, Laura Parkinson has quite a following. She runs a successful blog, writes for Knitting magazine and somehow finds time to be a mum too. I asked her where it all began….

As for so many of us knitters, Laura’s mum was a major influence in getting her started, teaching her to cast on and make squares at the age of five (if Laura is anything like me, she’ll still have a few of these kicking around!). As time went on though, the knitting got put aside for her teenage pursuits only to stage a comeback whilst she was at university. “I needed a hobby” she said, “and knitting seemed a natural thing to pick up again”.

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Picking up where she left off Laura got herself a copy of one of my favourite magazines, Rowan, and ambitiously started making a pair of arm warmers in lace yarn with a cabled pattern, something that even many experienced knitters would shy away from. Her infectious enthusiasm soon wore off on friends and she started a London branch of the famous Stitch & Bitch knitting group. It soon snowballed into a 3000 strong membership of ‘Stitchettes’ as they are known.

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As a mum and wife, Laura gradually stepped back from the group to write for Knitting magazine where the column ‘Purl About Town‘ was born. She now comments on social trends in the world of knitting so I asked her what she thought would be in season in 2013. “Garter stitch is still very much here to stay. It used to be a beginner’s stitch but it’s having a revival. Cables too are very much in, make them big and heavy!”. I asked her about the trend for more adventurous knitwear for men on the high street “Greys and vivid yellow hues are very much now for men. I am enjoying seeing pastels too”.

Read more of Laura’s blog here http://purlabout.blogspot.co.uk

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One thought on “Women in Wool part I

  1. As a friend of your mum, I’m glad she had a positive effect on your growing career in knitting and craft. When we worked together in the 70’s she encouraged us to make things. A very clever lady, now I am retired I have the time to encourage my granddaughter’s to sew and knit..I’m in the process of knitting a duffel hoodie for my 3 year old granddaughter and a baby cardigan for a friends new baby. I will watch your columns with interest. .

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