Camberwick figures designed by knitting guru Alan Dart.
The world of knitting & crafting is a modern day phenomenon.
Because it's actually grown in popularity in recent years,when you might reasonably have assumed that time spent tapping on various key pads would mean less time spent actually making things.
And the growth of a nationwide chain of superstores like HobbyCraft is pretty tangible proof that it's big business.
Sadly,I know that I don't have the manual dexterity or patience required to produce anything I'd be remotely happy with.So I don't think I'll ever be tempted
Which is why I'm indebted to a couple of contributors who've provided all the following information and photos.
In their own words ......
a " joint effort by Munki Munki who knitted them and Nekoglyph who owns them and would not part with them for all the tea in China." ("munki" & "nekoglyph" are their www.flickr.com pseudonyms btw)
The pic,below,shows part of the magazine article where the patterns were launched.
A few general observations :-
If you're approaching these completely cold for the first time I'd imagine the initial reaction might be mixed.
But don't be too quick to judge.
Just remember how small these are,and that wool isn't actually that small a material to work with.
A pen and ink artist can get fantastic detail in a drawing. But that's only with the aid of an ultra thin flow of ink,and a tiny nib.
And the Sistine Chapel would've looked a lot different if they'd only given Michelangelo a 4" emulsion brush and a few hundred tins of textured ceiling paint.
In other words,set your expectations accordingly and I think you'll appreciate them a lot more.
Not that I'm qualified to judge the technical execution of them of course,but they seem to be what Alan Dart had in mind.
Although I still expect to get a few emails saying things like "they're not as well done as mine".....or,"I would've chosen a different colour for that bit." and so on.
Which is absolutely fine,because there's clearly a little bit of wiggle room for interpretation.And if you've done some versions that look slightly different,then why not send them in too.
Just remember that it's not a competition to see who's best. But merely an opportunity to show people what's possible.
Here's the email I received from Nekoglyph :-
" You probably know about the patterns already but they're from a Woman's Weekly Knitting Special,page 68 onwards, from 2006
(I'm guessing the year,because they mention the 40th anniversary of Camberwick Green in a boxout with a link to the Robert Harrop website) They are original pages clipped from the mag and I bought them on ebay at great expense !
Alan Dart knitting patterns are highly sought after.
You'll notice Mr Dart has erroneously called them characters 'from the tiny hamlet of Camberwick Green' - tsk!
They were a bugger to knit as they are only 18cm tall for the chaps,17cm for the ladies and 5.5cm for the dogs.
Any inaccuracies,such as the pekes looking more like poodles are from the original pattern and of course we had to find suitable colours of balls of wool,copied from the DVDs with varying quality of colour transfer,plus all the trimmings,which is why the Mayor has a rose,not a carnation. "
A few comments re.the email :-
-The link with the 40th anniversary of the 1st broadcast of Camberwick is probably correct. Unfortunately,none of the characters chosen actually appeared in Camberwick. They're all from Trumpton. And whilst it's certainly true that "Camberwick" has often been used as a generic term for Trumptonshire in general, you'd like to think someone would've checked their facts.
And,as Nekoglyph rightly points out,even the "tiny hamlet" comment is wrong.
Slightly pedantic of us both maybe. But people in the licensing and promotional food chain are paid good money to get these things right. And it's all very basic stuff.
-Full marks for the rose/carnation insight. It was actually Ep.3,"Mrs.Cobbitt & the Ice Cream Man",when the tree crashes through Mrs.Cobbit's roof.
Hard to tell from the M & N version whether it's a rose or carnation to be honest. But that's hardly surprising on that small a scale. And I presume it's covered up by his chain of office in the magazine photo,rather than missing completely.Although it should be noted that Mr.Dart forgot to include a flower at all in his pattern,so any such addition is purely personal preference -even if it is more factually accurate to have one than not.
-But special thanks is reserved for the reassuring comment "They were a bugger to knit"
Because,if you're cack-handed like me,the last thing you really want to hear is "We knocked them all off in about 20 mins".
And whilst I don't normally countenance the use of a "b" word on Trumptonalia,it nicely reinforces the view that even some experienced knitters might be better off sticking to a nice cardie.
Although even a nice cardie can be a hand grenade in the wrong hands.
So please do think twice if you're knitting one for an impressionable youngster.Because a lot of us still carry the childhood scars from some truely awful examples !