The other location for the photographs in Lace Knits was the Armley Mills Museum. This has many features like the spinning mills of Huddersfield; beautiful sandstone walls, long runs of windows, a mill pond, and beautiful ironwork.
The windows are painted a glorious shade of red, which works particularly well with the red Netheroyd shawl. This is the simplest shawl in Lace Knits, a great first lace project.
Woolly Wormhead, who did all the photography, loved the train graveyard behind the museum, so we got special permission from the museum management to shoot there (the area is out of bounds to the general public), resulting in a great series of shots of the Reinwood and Ainley cardigans. Ainley is my favourite cardigan in the book,so you’ll likely see me wearing one I’ve knitted for myself sometime.
The second day of shooting was one of the windiest days of the year, presenting lots of difficulties for Woolly. It was particularly challenging getting clear photos of the Wessenden shawl due to the joint effects of the vagaries of the wind and the challenges of photographing an item knitted in yarn wit a lot of halo (Rowan’s kidsilk haze). I love the good shots we did get though! For me the mill pond is so romantically evocative of the ‘Mill on the Floss’.
The Lascelles cardigan was similarly challenging to photograph, with the cardigan skirt endlessly flapping in the wind, and Diane having to maintain a firm grip on the stylish hat that Susan had her wearing.
The last things we shot that day were the Cowlersley hat and cowl. Yes, there’s a part of Huddersfield called Cowlersley, so that had to be the name for this set!
On the following day I was particularly excited to have my childhood friend Sajida modelling. It is profoundly significant to me that the book has that connection to the privileged multicultural childhood I experienced growing up in Huddersfield. Sajida was my best friend for a number of years, and through her family, and those of other friends, I was introduced to the richness of a wide variety of religious and cultural differences in a context of familial kindness. After re-connecting with her last year, eating chapattis in her mother’s kitchen was like slipping on a beloved pair of old slippers!
She modelled the Gledholt jumper pictured below (‘sweater’ to non-Northerners). This is named after the specific part of Huddersfield where I grew up, and features a lace yoke with a knitted underlayer, a technique I originally developed for the Mallorn jumper in A Time To Knit.
She also modelled the Slaithwaite socks. I love the cobbled road! The wonderful primary and infants school that Sajida and I attended was surrounded by cobbled roads like this, so for me this picture is another lovely connection back to my childhood.