Saturday, 9 June 2012

A Right Royal Knit-Wit (Saturday Snapshot)

And now for something completely different for this week's Saturday Snapshot... a Not The Jubilee Knitted Queen! I spotted the pattern in Fiona Goble's Knit Your Own Royal Wedding (published last year by Ivy Press) and decided she would be perfect as Alan Bennett's book-loving monarch in The Uncommon Reader, but I altered her a bit.

I changed her face and hair, because when I followed the instructions she looked like an Oompa Loompa, from Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory (the film starring Gene Wilder, that is, not Dahl's book, or the Tim Burton movie). And I made her a glittery, golden crown, studded with red jewels, because otherwise how would you know she is the Queen? In addition she has a book, and is wearing spectacles, so she can read it, and pink, fluffy slippers instead of shoes. because, she says, one has to take care of one's feet when one spends so much time standing and walking! Her cardigan is a little old and shabby and has probably been worn on too many visits - read the book and you'll see that her maid threatens to outlaw just such a cardigan.
Here, I'm afraid, my imagination took over, for this is not her usual chair. Ma'am as she is known around the Palace (to rhyme with jam or ham rather than charm or farm) prefers a nice upright seat, with a firm back, and likes to keep her feet on the ground. But her favourite chair was sent away for conservation and came back with a shiny, slippery satin seat, to match the gilt party chairs in her office. Her private secretary explained, rather sternly, that the chair had been restored, at great expense, to its original state, and is now an object of desire, much admired by those who know about these things. So the Queen gave a reception for the restorers and conservators, to thank them for their work at her various homes, and to show her gratitude she insisted that the chief conservator must sit on her own special chair, where he spent an uncomfortable couple of hours sliding around on its hard, slippery surface. The Queen smiled. If one thinks about it, she thought to herself, though it may be the kind of expression not suited to polite society, there is more than one way of skinning a rat.

Early the next morning the chair had disappeared, and in its place was this very battered and squashy 'recliner' belonging to the chief conservator, who likes to relax in comfort, if not style. Her Majesty, who is not given to lolling about, is disconcerted each time the back drops down but, as she says, one cannot be rude, especially when the chief conservator is 'unrestoring' her own chair. He did offer to put new covers on the gilt party chairs as well. However, the Queen said than you very much, but no thanks, And she smiled again, because one finds that those particular chairs discourage unwanted visitors from remaining too long.
I had such fun knitting the Queen (not not to say making a story to go with her) I'm now producing corgis who will chase and chew books. And I've some orange wool in the scrap bag, so I could knit ginger-haired Norman, the kitchen assistant who advises the Queen about books and reading, and is promoted to being a page! Reading this through, I fear you will all think that a) I don't have to do with my time, and b) I must be totally mad (and you'd probably be quite right). But should anyone want to try their hand at a knitted Royal, it's not that difficult – I'm only a novice knitter, but I managed quite well, and the pattern can be adapted fairly easily. And if you've never read Alan Bennett's The Uncommon Queen, it's very funny, and you can see my review here.

For more Saturday Snapshots see  Alice's blog http://athomewithbooks.net/

48 comments:

  1. oh Wow! Love the story and the Royal that you knit. And the funny title :)

    Have fun knitting :)

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    1. Thank you Meoww. Alan Bennett's book is much better than anything I write - do give it a go if you haven't read it.

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  2. Admittedly, I have had a few socks that did fancy an encyclopedia how and then, but other than that -- this is the most literary-minded piece of knitwear I have ever seen! Lovely.

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    1. Cipriano, like I said, I obviously don't have enough to do with my time! Maybe I'll try and knit someone from another book - when I've finished the corgis.

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  3. Ha! They're so cute :) I love the expressions on their faces, especially the Queen that you knitted - she actually looks like she's reading!

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  4. Oh my gosh, that is too funny (in a good way, I promise!) and SO adorable! I can't believe that you can knit things like that. I have no talent for knitting whatsoever. (Granted, it has been a long time since I tried, but still....)

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    1. I'm not very good at it - I have to keep unpicking when I go wrong!

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  5. Aww this is cute, I've never attempted to knit but it must be hard, so well done beautiful job!

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    1. Thank you Mazz. I can't knit clothes, or big things, because I get in such a muddle - but I can do little figures, and hats and socks.

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  6. That's so funny. My daughter is an Anglophile and when I showed her the top photo, she said, "Is the queen showing her knickers?" I explained that it was a book she was holding, not her dress pulled up. Here's Mine

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    1. Paulita, I hate to say this, but she is not wearing any knickers! I didn't even think of making her any, which is terrible - do you think I should?

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    1. My family think I'm nuts! I'm just looking for things to do to avoid the housework.

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  8. I Saw the book in a large bookstore and thought, O how fun. I'm a knitter but don't have time for such a project these days. Love the story you wrote to go with it. Entertaining!

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    1. That's very kind of you, and it was great fun to do.

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  9. She's really pretty. Love the glasses and crown.

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    1. I designed the crown myself, and it was quite simple, but when I did the glasses I ended up wit bits of wire all over carpet!

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  10. Ha-ha! I thoroughly enjoyed your knitted pieces and the story...what a hoot!

    Thanks for sharing...and now I'm smiling.

    Here's MY SATURDAY SNAPSHOT POST

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    1. I'm glad I made you smile.I like to make people happy!

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  11. LOL!
    Fun reading queen, and she really suits the book. Great story too. I'm looking forward to seeing the corgis.

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    1. I'm glad you agree about her suiting the book. I'll post the corgis when I finished. but I am a very, very slow knitter!

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  12. I don't think you're mad at all, just very creative! What a fun story--and project, of course! Now I want a little knitted queen... Loved The Uncommon Reader too, by the way. :)

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    1. I'm glad you liked The Uncommon Reader - I keep urging people to read it. Whenever I enjoy a book I want everyone else to like it too.

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  13. How cute! I love the corgi idea, hope they turn out as well as the queen did! Book Savvy Babe

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    1. Thank you - the first one I tried looked a bit like a seal because I couldn't get the legs right (the looked like flippers!) so I'm tweaking it until I like it.

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  14. Oh, how sweet Her Maj looks! Haha!

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    1. Thank you for dropping by Susan - I'm pleased you like it.

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  15. Oh this was highly entertaining! I have read that book and you have such a wonderful imagination to bring it to life that way!

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    1. Alyce, I had such fun doing it, and it must be OK if you've read the book and thought I brought it to life! Thank you so much for the comment.

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  16. That's adorable! I knit, but I'm better at large pieces than anything small and fiddly.

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    1. You're the opposite way round to me Lisa - I haven't got the patience for big things!

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  17. How clever you are! And what a nice-looking Queen she is. But no knickers! I am shocked.

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    1. Helen, I am shocked at myself. How could I have forgotten such an important item of clothing - and for the Queen as well. I hope they don't send me to the Tower!

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    2. I think you probably need to read this: http://www.amazon.co.uk/The-Queens-Knickers-Nicholas-Allan/dp/0099413140 :)

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    3. That looks fun. I've never come across it before, but I'll have a look in the library. Thanks.

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  18. LOL. The doll you've so ingeniously knitted does look like The Queen herself. You're versatile indeed! Reader, reviewer, writer, knitter, gardener, naturalist... ;)

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    1. Oh, you have really boosted my confidence. Thank you.

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  19. You did an absolutely fabulous job! (I would not have known that you were a novice if you hadn't let the cat out of the knitting bag.) And a marvelous story to go along with her.


    Here's my Snapshot

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    1. It's what comes of being at home - I try to find silly things to fill my time, or I'd go crazy.

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  20. I think this project is just priceless!!! She even looks like Her Majesty!!! Aww!

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  21. Very creative.
    Did the queen's story gradually develop in your head while knitting?

    And I learn a new word: corgi.

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    1. I wanted to make a chair, but I couldn't do the elegant sort I imagined from the book, and then the story came to me (based on things in the book_ and I knitted the squashy chair.

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  22. Love the mini-Queen, paricularly the glasses and the crown. Very cute! I enjoyed reading your lovely story and do feel a bit acquainted the mini-Queen now.
    :)

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  23. Those are adorable... and so clever.

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