Just over a year ago I started listening to a new-to-me podcast on my way to work: The British History Podcast. My commute was at least half an hour in the morning, sometimes over an hour on the crappy snowy days, and Jamie’s storytelling, dad jokes, and references to diverse topics like football and the Thundercats kept me amused.
I’ve always been a bit of a history geek, especially when I am able to follow my own interests. I wrote a 5 page summary of a Cleopatra biography in grade 4. I’ve always done a lot of reading. And then I did a Classical Studies degree by correspondence for fun while in my first full time job. I blame my excellent high school Latin teacher, Mrs. Bell, for making that a dream.
Anyway, listening to Jamie tell the history and stories of Britain was a delight, and made the commute enjoyable. But what really struck me was when he turned to talking about the Staffordshire Hoard. Hearing about the amazing golden treasures wasn’t enough, so off I went to look things up. The stunning work inspired me, and I’ve been yearning to do some related knitting designs ever since.
This year I finally got around to making some sketches and swatches, but my routine has changed. I’ve started a new job with a fantastically short commute, but longer work hours. This means podcasts are now a weekend thing and I’ve got less knitting time in general. Instead of my original idea of publishing a collection, I’ve decided to put out designs as I’m able to complete them.
The designs won’t all be based on the Staffordshire Hoard, but the first one in progress is. You see, there’s some amazing textures on a golden mount featuring eagles holding a fish. Check out this video that shows how it would have looked untwisted and whole to see the full beauty. I’ve taken some of those textures and put the eagle feathers on the back of a mitten and the fish scales on the palm and thumb.
Tentatively named Fish and Fowl Mittens, they’re currently in testing with some friends, and I’m hoping to be done soon, but I’m not pushing too hard.
There may also be a related eagle hat in the works.
I am a fellow history geek (I have a degree in history from Carleton!) and will check that podcast out. The mittens are golden!