We here at Anglotopia have come across many creations hand crafted by fellow Anglophiles. These hand-knitted, crochet, sewn, or painted items not only show off the immense talent of their creator but also show a love for all things Blighty. We want to highlight some of the really talented things that we come across in this column, Brit Knits.
Our first Brit Knit artist, Brenna Eaves, I met by chance at a local convention just by chance. I was handing out Doctor Who cards promoting Anglotopia and she walked past me with one of her marvelous creations. When I saw her hand crocheted David Tennant I knew we had to feature her as our first artist for this column, so without further ado:
HELLO ANGLOTOPIA! My name is Brenna Eaves, also known as Brenedict Cumberbunny, I’m a 5 foot 7 inch ape descendant from the same bloodline as Rupert Graves [BBC Sherlock's D.I. Lestrade] and am hopelessly, shamelessly and irrevocably Anglophilic.
I began crocheting when I was eleven or twelve, I think. Newly unschooling and trailing my dad around a Joanne Fabrics, I found a very colourful and attractive book entitled ‘Teach Me To Crochet’ and convinced my dad to buy it for me, along with my first crochet hook and two terribly mismatched skeins of yarn in light blue and bright orange…. By thirteen I had started designing my own patterns (I make amigurumi -or ‘stuffies’ as I call them). Soon after my first pattern was written, my parents helped me open my Etsy shop, and I’ve been sharing my better designs with the world ever since!
I first watched the BBC series Sherlock in August of 2010, having previously refused to on the grounds that Benedict Cumberbatch was too ‘pretty-boy’ to be playing Sherlock Holmes, and seriously who was this Martin Freeman bloke playing Dr. Watson without a moustache? I thought the whole thing was laughable. Now I’d give anything for a trip in the TARDIS… to go back and punch myself in the face – I mean, how wrong is it possible to be?
Shortly after I became a Cumberbunny (all it took was one word out of Benedict’s mouth and I was head over heels) and avid Sherlockian, I started watching Doctor Who since I heard it was well worth my time and my dad has been a Whovian since the days of the Fourth Doctor. Nine was my first Doctor, Ten stole my heart(s), but if I were to choose I’d be hitching a ride with Eleven, because he’s my favourite and of course bow ties are cool.
I started using my crocheting skills to channel my inner fangirl/Anglophile after I got my sister hooked on Doctor Who. Her birthday was approaching and I wanted to completely blow it out of the water with a gift she’d appreciate above all else. I couldn’t summon the TARDIS, but I could crochet! Thus Tiny Ten (as I affectionately refer to him) was born, a two-foot crocheted caricature with two button hearts and fantastic hair, and finally my sister and I could travel with the Doctor (we took him to London with us last year) and give him hugs whenever we wanted! Tiny Ten got a mind-blowing response online, the most exciting of which was Steven Moffat’s reply through Twitter, which rendered me dead for a couple of hours (after a good fangirl scream I can assure you).
Even though Tiny Ten had been such a huge undertaking, the project taking me around a month and a half to complete, it wasn’t long at all before I started on my next project; I had been wanting my own Consulting Detective to hug, and since Tiny Ten had worked so well I was incredibly eager to attempt it. A month and a half later I had Bitty Benny (as I affectionately refer to him), who proceeded to win major awards and praise at my local county fair and secure a spot at the Wisconsin State Fair 2012… but once he got home all he did was lie around and complain about the absence of his blogger. So, to keep my walls and sanity intact, I had no choice but to craft Mini Martin (as I affectionately refer to him) whom I finished a few days before Christmas and just in time for Season Two of Sherlock (whew!). My mini John Watson is 23″ to Sherlock’s 25″, has a tan but no tan above the wrists, and wears the matching button heart to the one inside my Sherlock.
Mini Sherlock and John have earned a nod from Amanda Abbington [Martin Freeman's wife, his wife, you guys!], and sat with me along with my shock blanket and a cup of tea while I watched the first episode of the long anticipated Season Two of Sherlock.
I don’t plan to stop here, oh no, you haven’t seen the last of me yet. As long as I have hook and yarn I will be stitching the praises of AngloLand. Cheers to you all!
If you know of an artist t hat you’d like to see featured in Anglotopia’s Brit Knits colum please contact us to let us know about it!