Monday 27 July 2009

Knitting in a Field

I love knitting in public (or KIP as the knitterati like to call it). I have had lots of positive comments from total strangers because I have been knitting in a place that some people find unusual. Conversations start about knitting and end up being about everything and anything. I think this weekend was taking knitting in public to the edge. I actually knit in a field, surrounded by thousands of people all watching music. I was at WOMAD, a world music festival held at Charlton Park in Wiltshire. This was not our first attendance at WOMAD, I think it was our 4th actually, but it was our first at this site.

My OH and I travelled down to the festival on Thursday afternoon and got pitched before the rain started. The actual festival proper started on Friday, but we like to arrive the day before, so I can recover from the journey and we can find a pitch. In this instance we were very pleased to arrive in time, because there was hardly any space left by the end of Thursday night.

Most of Thursday evening was spent lying in the tent and reading, with this as our view.

It was a mite depressing that the rain set in so early. The weather forecast had not filled us with hope either. However, I did find time to start knitting as we sat out of the rain. The first thing I made was an i-cord necklace on which to hang my scooter key. I got sick of losing the key in my bag after the first 2 attempts. So that was Thursday night's project.

On Friday we woke up to find that though the sky was grey, there was no rain - yay! Of the bands I saw on the first day, the one that really stood out for me was Caravan Palace. They are a French group who take swing music and add some extra ooomph. It was fantastic music with fantastic performers. The tent was definitely hopping.

On Saturday we actually had some sunshine. I took a couple of photos as the site was looking so pretty.

One of the things that always makes me think of WOMAD, is the the beautiful flags they have all around the site, in different colours. The other thing is the big blue Siam Tent.

This tent has provided shade in blistering sun and shelter in pouring rain, and housed a great many amazing performances over the years.

The first stand out performance for me on Saturday were The Black Swan Effect, who were a replacement act. They are probably much more mainstream rock/pop than alot of the audience were expecting, but they were fantastic. They reminded me of Manic Street Preachers, both in sound and the singer's voice. The other great act on Saturday were Hypnotic Brass Ensemble.

The attitude of this group was all "gangsta rap stars", yet they play brass instruments. The music was punchy, toe tapping and performed with passion.

Saturday was my main KIP day. I was able to lay on the grass listening to music drifting over the field, while people walked round me, gazing in amazement as my needles clacked. I was making a festival headscarf. As any festival goer knows, by day 2 or 3, your hair, no matter how dry, is going to get a bit disgusting. There are many techniques for dealing with this, including the scrunchy, the head band and everyone's favourite, the hat. However, I decided for this year's outing I wanted a head scarf. I started off following a pattern from Ravelry but it was a bit lacy. I decided I needed something with better coverage for my hair, as the object of the exercise was hiding it!

I managed to get my headscarf knitted by the end of Saturday, and I was very pleased with my improvised pattern.

I added ties at the ends to allow me to fasten the headscarf more easily.

I think it will get worn when I go camping in August as well, as it certainly did the trick.

As well as my KIP gaining attention, my On Target Bag, got a couple of compliments too. In fact one woman, who was serving us food, got into an in depth interview on how to felt things as her mother had sent her some wool for felting! I really wish I had thought to take some cards with me with the blog address on, as I think I might have had a couple of interested parties.

On Sunday I was glad to have finished my knitting project. Because on Sunday it rained, pretty much ALL day. It wasn't particularly heavy rain, but it was constant and drenching. I was really glad of my rain cape for the scooter, and I think there were lots of jealous able-bodied folk around the site, as they gazed in envy at my mobile tent.

Again, I have two favourites from Sunday. The first is 17 Hippies. The group is from Berlin and perform fantastically Bohemian music. My final recommendation of the weekend is The Apples, who are group from Israel, who are a brass funk combo with two djs. The tent was jumping with this act. It has to be my joint favorite with Caravan Palace.

I am now back at home, safe and sound after escaping from the mud of WOMAD and can lay back on my comfy sofa and surf the net looking for albums to download. Maybe next year it will be sunny in July, I can live in hope!


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