Tuesday, November 28, 2006

My 'Eight Great' almost there!

I have more or less chosen the eight fabrics I am going to submit for the first project although a couple still need a bit of work and none of them are mounted or presented in any way yet, but here is a taste of what I have been doing.

The black and white patchwork piece was hand knitted and then felted. The black and white striped and Fair Isle pieces where machine knitted and felted. The top right black and white piece was machine knitted on the double bed with needles out of work and a feather yarn woven through the ladders. This sample needs a bit more work with an alternative colour and/or yarn threaded through the other gaps. The middle left piece is a combination of ladders cables and transfer stitches on the knitting machine and the lower left sample is 3 variations of the fabric and knitting idea.

I'm supposed to be starting work on my next project which is colour so will let you know how I am getting on.

The Good and the Bad

I have now got around to photographing the fabric samples I have made so far as part of the HNC Stitch Textiles course. Some of the samples are good, some are so so and some are pretty bad but I thought I would include them all.

This first set of samples where the initial stage of gettting a number of ideas down at once based on the mood boards we created the first week.

I haven't included a picture of my mood baord but the pictures on it where largely in white and light naturel colours with some bright pink and dark purple.

A lot of the pictures where of clothes being modelled, some outside and some on the catwalk. I was particularly interested in the garment shapes and the way the fabric draped.

The first 2 pictures where a collage of ideas.

The third picture is some of the early fabric samples I made but have not incuded in my final choice of 8.

These 3 pieces combine fabric or lace with knitting. In the white sample the knitting has been added on top of the fabric whereas the 2 brown samples the lace has been knitted into the sample fabric.

The top left hand image is of another group of samples combining fabric and knitting. The knitting is worked by hand but they were inspired by some samples created by Iris Bishop, a very experianced and inventive machine knitter.

The right hand picture shows a sample of hand knitting, a sample of machine knitting with lycra and a couple of pieces of fabric that where pleated and dyed.

The bottom left hand picture is of a couple of pieces of hand knitting based on the patchwork/domino knitting technique and a piece of machine knitting using a cut float weaving technique.

Several samples led to more work and some of the samples included in the final eight.

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Knitting shops

I thought I would also keep a record of the vaious knitting shops I visit as I am being asked to teach workshops for different wool shops.

The first shop is Alton Knitting and Woolcraft. Earlier this year they moved to new larger premises next door to Alton Sewing Centre in Alton, Hampshire. The shop has a good range of yarns from basics to Rowan yarns and some more expensive yarns e.g. Noro and Gadifra.

As you can see from the photo the shop is well laid out with a table to work at if you want to knit or need help with your knitting. The shop also has knitting books and magazines.

The shop staff are very friendly and helpful. The manager, Marion also happens to be taking the City and Guilds 7922 course in Hand Knit Textiles. The shop runs a knitting circle on alternate Tuesday nights.


I have been busy teaching workshops as well as my usual City and Guilds class over the last few weeks. A couple of Saturdays ago I taught a 'Finishing Techniques' one day workshop at Alton Knitting and Woolcraft.

The workshop was held in the back room of the sewing shop next door. It was a bit of a tight squeeze teaching 10 students in a fairly small room but we all had a good day.

There was lots of discussion on the best way to complete garments and how to deal with problems when following a commercial pattern which doesn't explain how to use the techniques we covered e.g. short row shaping for shoulders rather than casting off. Everyone worksed hard and went away with a number of samples covering sewing up, necklines and short row shaping.

I ment to take photos of the workshop during the day but forgot right untill the end of the day, so here are a couple of pictures of the student just finishing at the end of the day.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Taken the plunge

I've been thinking about writing a blog for some time and have finally taken the plunge. Never having kept a diary this is all new but hopefully enjoyable.

I also hope this blog will help me keep track of my various knitting and textile project, of which there are many! I am also taking an HNC course in Stitched Textiles and will record my progress here.

I am the only knitter on the course. Most of the other students work mainly in embroidery and patchwork and quilting although some of them do knit as well. The course is a progression from the City and Guilds Design and Craft Diploma i.e. theC&G 7923 Diploma in Embroidery but the tutor is very open to all textile crafts.

We are currently working on 'eight great textiles' inspired by a mood board we created in the first class. When I have worked out how to post photos I'll upload some pictures of the work so far.