Travels – Part One

posted in: knitting history, personal | 4
Just over two weeks ago I journeyed down to Bournemouth on the South coast of England to conduct a hand knitted swimsuit experiment which was to be filmed by the BBC as part of a documentary they are making tentatively called Handmade Britain.

The experiment was to be conducted at Boscombe beach which is a truly beautiful typically british beach with a pier, crashing waves, white sand and beach huts. Perfect.

Boscombe Pier
Beach Huts at Boscombe

To be able to conduct the experiment on the hand knitted swimsuit, I needed a kindly participant who would not only wear a handknit swimsuit but would be prepared to go for a dip in the chilly autumnal sea off Boscombe beach.

Amazingly, the wonderful Fleur, who some may remember, modelled for the first volume of A Stitch in Time, very kindly agreed to take part.
Fleur in Sun ray ribbing from A Stitch in Time Vol 1

I met up with Fleur at a cafe on Boscombe beach while we waited for the BBC.

I wore my Princess Twinset and Crowning Glory beret all from Coronation Knits along with a vintage 1950s skirt and my Rocket Original  sandals in navy blue – all very nautical!

Later that afternoon the BBC arrived. The crew consisted of the Producer, the camera man, and Thea, the researcher, runner and production assistant.

And so, filming began. I was interviewed about hand knitted swimsuits of the 1930s and the purposes of my experiments.

I did feel a little rushed as I didn’t get the opportunity to answer questions put to me more than once, but the crew were happy with my responses so I guess we shall see in the final edit!

I handed the swimsuit to Fleur and off she went to get changed ready for her dip in the sea. I’ll go into the details of the experiment in a separate post as this also formed the basis of my lecture at Shetland Museum a few days later, but I wanted to see if in the right circumstances, with the right construction and fit, if a hand knitted swimsuit would actually behave itself. And on this occasion it did! Here are a few more photos of the day:

Fleur before going into the water
Off she goes!
being incredibly brave
getting wet!
speaks for itself!
Fleur and swimsuit still looking amazing
even the camera man got wet!
filming the filming
me trying to look serious
What the camera saw

The swimsuit Fleur wore is “The Call of the Sea” also from A Stitch in Time Vol 1 and it performed marvellously. But more about the results and progress of the Swimsuit Experiment in the next couple of weeks.

The programme is apparently scheduled to be aired this coming Spring but when I know more I will of course let you know.

so for now,
Ruby xx

All images copyright Gavin Crawford 2012 except for A Stitch in Time image, copyright Susan Crawford 2008

4 Responses

  1. garofit
    | Reply

    Could we please stop cruelty to Fleur?!:) Seriously, I don't understand why this stuff isn't done at the right time of year.

  2. elicia
    | Reply

    How lovely these designs are ! Gosh, you must be well loved by your model to be out in the frigid waters !
    As serendipity would have it, my Mom who lives in the USA has a boyfriend who lives in Bournemouth , who she visits . I know she will also enjoy the beautiful swimwear you've designed.

    Best Regards,
    elise holden mcginn

  3. Nina Pitkäranta
    | Reply

    Looks a little chilly – but fun!

  4. Hélène Magnússon
    | Reply


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