Thursday, June 6, 2013

Hobby Hoedown: Knitting with Author Helena Fairfax and Giveaway


Welcome author Helena Fairfax. I'm thrilled to have Helena here today since she is a busy gal hopping around cyberspace letting everyone know about her new release last month, a very romantic story, The Silk Romance from MuseItUp Publishing. Watch for more information about it at the end of her article.

Be sure to leave a comment to enter the drawing for a copy of The Silk Romance.


Helena's adorable knitting is spotlighted today at the Hobby Hoedown. Adorable, you ask? Yes, indeed! Take a peek at her pastime.

Helena Fairfax:  All About Knitting, Biscuits, and the Royal Family
Hi Jan, and thanks so much for having me on your blog.  Am loving the idea of a group of hobbyists getting
together!
In case your readers don’t know me, my name’s Helena Fairfax.  I’m a British romance author, and I live in Yorkshire in the north of England.
A couple of years ago the wedding of HRH Prince William and Miss Catherine Middleton took place with great ceremony here in the UK.  Although most of us British have a high regard for the work of our Royal Family, on the other hand, we do like to take the mickey out of them a little as well.  (Translation: make fun, in a light-hearted way.)
Here’s an example.  This is a photo of a biscuit tin my niece gave me at the time of their engagement.  (Translation: biscuits = cookies.)



Did you ever see anything more kitsch?  If you look closely, you will see a royal crest on the tin.  This means that McVitie’s, the biscuit manufacturers, are suppliers to the Queen.  I wonder if Her Majesty has the same tin in her kitchen?  Somehow I doubt it!  But as you can guess, the tin now takes pride of place on my kitchen dresser.
And for Mother’s Day in 2011 I received the most fabulous present from my daughters.  This tremendous book! Knit Your Own Royal Wedding!  





I love knitting, and I was so excited!  The book was printed before the actual wedding, so of course the authors could only try to guess at what everyone would be wearing on the day. For example, Prince William wore his red Irish Guards uniform, and not the grey uniform of the RAF which is seen on the cover of the book.  But all in all the book’s authors made a really good guess at the clothes the family would be wearing.  I was very impressed.
And they also produced the best book trailer ever.
So, I spent a lot of the summer of 2011 knitting my own royal wedding. (I amended the patterns slightly so that the figures wore the correct clothes.)  And here are the photos to prove it.  My figures are even posing beside my friend’s Royal Albert tea service.





The final picture shows the whole balcony scene



I was taught to knit by my mother, who is Irish. My mother was a needlework teacher.  She and my Irish grandmother were both beautiful needlewomen, and highly skilled. 

Although I’m not as clever with the sewing needle, I did inherit my mother’s love of textiles, and this has had an influence on my novel, The Silk Romance, which is set in a silk-weaving mill in Lyon, France.




Here is the blurb:  Jean-Luc Olivier is a devastatingly handsome racing-driver with the world before him.  Sophie Challoner is a penniless student, whose face is unknown beyond her own rundown estate in London.  The night they spend together in Paris seems to Sophie like a fairytale—a Cinderella story without the happy ending. She knows she has no part in Jean-Luc’s future.  She made her dying mother a promise to take care of her father and brother in London.   One night of happiness is all Sophie allows herself. She runs away from Jean-Luc and returns to England to keep her promise.
Safely back home with her father and brother, and immersed in her college work, Sophie tries her best to forget their encounter, but she reckons without Jean-Luc.  He is determined to find out why she left him, and intrigued to discover the real Sophie.  He engineers a student placement Sophie can’t refuse, and so, unwillingly, she finds herself back in France, working for Jean-Luc in the silk mill he now owns.
Thrown together for a few short weeks in Lyon, the romantic city of silk, their mutual love begins to grow.  But it seems the fates are conspiring against Sophie’s happiness.  Jean-Luc has secrets of his own.  Then, when disaster strikes at home in London, Sophie is faced with a choicestay in this glamorous world with the man she loves, or return to her family to keep the sacred promise she made her mother.

I hope you’ve enjoyed my photos and my knitted royal family.  If you have, please visit me on my blog sometime: www.helenafairfax.com.  Or you can visit me here on my Facebook page.  I love to meet new people!

The Silk Romance is available in the MuseItUp bookstore, or from Amazon and other major e-tailers.

I’d love to give a free copy away - please just leave me a comment for a chance to win!

Thanks so much for having me on your blog, Jan.  I’ve absolutely loved being here, and showing off my eccentric English hobby.



19 comments:

Helena Fairfax said...

It's been really fun talking about knitting on your blog! Makes me want to get my needles out again. There's a royal baby due soon - I'm sure he/she will need a jumper :) Thanks again for having me!

Glynis said...

Such a talent! A lovely knitted collection.

Glynis Smy: Author

Suzanne's Thoughts for the Day said...

That's about the funnest blog I've ever read! Love your knitted royal family!

Helena Fairfax said...

Thanks for coming, Glynis and Suzanne! I had a lot of fun knitting the figures.

J Q Rose said...

Hi Helena, glad you shared your knitting project with us. I'm sure you will have to update the royal family with the royal baby. Lots of excitement about that babe. Anyway say spoiled???!!

J Q Rose said...

Suzanne and Glynis, thanks so much for stopping by today.

Heather Brainerd said...

Helena, I'm so impressed!! I have a book about the Royal Wedding, the William and Kate paper dolls, and a knock-off of the famous sapphire ring (which I still think of as Diana's), but a knitted Royal Wedding Party!? Now that's something I've never seen before. So jealous!!!

Heather Brainerd said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Helena Fairfax said...

Oh the famous sapphire ring - fabulous! (And I'm with you on still thinking of it as Diana's.) Your collection sounds superb. I hope the paper dolls will soon be joined by a royal paper baby!

Leona~Author said...

Hi Helena, what a wonderful post and amazing talent with those knitting needles.

I've always been fascinated by the Royal family and love historical fiction about them.

J Q, you have a very nice blog.

Mary Waibel said...

What a lovely royal family you created!

Helena Fairfax said...

Thanks for coming, Leona and Mary. Glad you like my knitted family!

Marsha said...

Hey, Helena and JQ. Nice blog. Great pictures. Helena, do you make these 3-dimentional? I've always thought of knitted items being flat, like with the side of a sweater that then gets sewn together to make a cylinder to go over one's head. (Can you tell I don't knit? LOL At least not in many, many moons, and even then I didn't make anything. Thanks for sharing. You're such a multi-talented person. JQ, this was a great way for us to get to know folks better.

Marsha said...

P. S. I have your book, Helena, but haven't started reading it yet. Look forward to getting that opportunity.

Helena Fairfax said...

Thanks for coming, Marsha! I made the figures by knitting them flat, sewing up the seams, and then stuffing them with a special stuffing that you can buy in craft shops. Then I put the knitted clothes on, jewellery, etc. I can't really do any other crafts, apart from knitting and cross-stitch. My drawing is absolutely terrible, for example. But I like knitting. It's really relaxing, and good for stress. Hope you enjoy The Silk Romance when you get a free moment to read! Thanks again for your great comment.

Tess Grant said...

I love these! What a fabulous hobby. You could make a mint...what author wouldn't want to pick up a set of the characters from his or her books? Of course, that wouldn't leave you any time for writing!

Helena Fairfax said...

That's a great idea, Tess! You could also have all the greats: the Bennett sisters and Mr Darcy, Heathcliffe and Cathy, Mr Rochester and Jane Eyre...that would be brilliant. But you're right, when would you ever do any writing? Mmm, will definitely give it some though, though!

J Q Rose said...

Hey everyone, thanks so much for stopping in to see all about Helena's eccentric hobby. I call it very cute hobby, eh? Check out her new romance too...great read!!

J Q Rose said...

Helena, now you know you can add a baby boy to the royal family! What an exciting time. I almost want to say congratulations to you! LOL..God bless this little blue bundle of joy who has brought so much joy to this dark world.