Wednesday, January 04, 2017

Happy 2017 (I had hoped for a witty pun for a title but nothing rhymed)

I did consider migrating myself over to a new blog. I had a quick skim of Wordpress but some of the time, (ok a lot of the time) I cling on to the old for now I will stay here.

I haven't managed a post since Woolfest 2015! How time flies! Well a quick round up of 2016 is in order and then we can put it behind us! In October 2015 I started a part-time job....making posh sofas! I loved this job, but it did mean my time management was challenged when it came to crafts! 2016 was a challenging year for most of us, politically and personally! I left a job, moved away from Hastings, and got married all in a short space of time, and went from living with just Maddox to what is now a family of 5. There was Brexit, then Trump....a lot going on, but things are settling down now.

So my knitting mojo seemed to wane a bit. In 2016 I managed to knit a Matchmaker (Martina Behm) and 3 pairs of socks and finally sewed some buttons onto a cardigan! I did find my way back to my looms once we were settled into our new home and finished off a project that had sat at the loom for far too long. Infact I haven't quite finished the ends off yet! I shall add it to the list of things that need doing!

Next I put a beautiful handspun merino gifted warp on the loom. (thankyou Yarnspider). I'd quietly been spinning up purples knowing such a beautiful warp needed handspun weft.

 It took me a week just to get it all threaded on (it was just a busy week). The weaving went by effortlessly. I worried it would be too long, too wide, too woolly, but at the end of the day I just wove as it came, intuitively and it turned out perfect. I am very happy with this piece. You can see all the photos on my Rav project page here. I didn't fret about the fringe twisting either, I get very frustrated trying to get the fringe all twisted and the same perfect length, but from now on I'm going to be perfectly happy with imperfect fringes!

The next chapter....

I found Zentangle back in 2014, I'm not sure how or why but I had some pens and paper and drew a couple of tangles, I knew it was cool, I just didn't make any time for it. 2014/ 2015 also saw the rise of adult colouring books, I even bought a few .In early 2016 I had bought a Zentangle magazine from WHSmith, it was still lurking in the back of my mind. Every year I say I'm going to get back to working in a sketchbook, drawing every day, making art for arts sake. But it's only with the move and the craziness of life that I found sitting down with pen and paper to doodle calming.

I did a few pages of my sketchbook, and there's a simplicity to doodling. To taking the pen for a walk and not worrying about the finished result...because that's the key. That's what all the how to draw books tell you, let loose, don't worry about the results and that's what happens when you doodle.

 Don't get me wrong, I spent 4 years at art college, but I've never been very confident about drawing. I remember being at school and drawing every day....I used to draw and I used to read, and yet when I got to college and we had to do life drawing and produce sketchbooks, I lost my confidence at drawing. I could produce a piece of work but I didn't really feel I could draw....not in the sit in front of me and I will draw a portrait of you kind of a way. I can draw a face, a figure, a hand, I can draw things, I can shade, I can see, but none of that really matters any more because I can doodle.

It's about simplicity and spontaneity and learning to incorporate a mistake into a drawing, or start over with a new idea if you just don't like where it's going. You can keep your ideas in your sketchbook or you can share them with the world. Infact there's a lot of artists and doodlers and illustrators out there working, drawing and showing their work. But it's not just about jumping onto a bandwagon, it's about a personal journey, creating calmness, drawing practice, creates confidence, lines start to flow with more fluidity. I used to do everything in pencil, I used to be afraid of making mistakes.

I used to be afraid of blog writing. Maybe I think it's self indulgent and by writing stuff down I then open myself up to criticism from anyone who reads it. It doesn't matter any more. It never really mattered how many people read it. It never really mattered what anyone thinks, I always knew that, and if I feel like it, I will keep on sharing and writing and showing off. Most of my pretty pictures will be on Instagram but if I have more to say I will post here!

I'm hoping to do something creative everyday in 2017, at the moment it's drawing but there will be more sewing, spinning and weaving too, watch this space!

Thursday, July 09, 2015

Happy July!

2 weeks ago tomorrow I drove up to Woolfest and back again! It's 8 hours but I'm not complaining about the driving, we left at 4.30am and arrived by lunchtime. It was good fun catching up with old friends and enjoying the sights and sounds!

This is my modest little collection, I did say I wasn't going to buy any fibre but couldn't resist this little 'goodie bag'.

There has been a little spinning going on, although my wheel had to have a new lower band whilst at Woolfest which meant I didn't get to spin at the spin-in, then whilst plying this week my upper band broke, luckily I had a spare, which reminds me I have to order another one now. Still I think I have had the same bands on since I have had that wheel and I'm sure I've had it since 2008, plus who knows how old my Little Gem 1, actually is, I expect they were original!

This was superwash, nylon, stellina, dyed by me and chain plied!

Finished plying this yesterday whilst waiting in for a parcel. It's Southern Cross Fibre colourway Huckleberry Train from the 2011 Fibre Club, purchased in a destash earlier this year!

Put this on the loom this week. I treated myself to this purple ready made warp when I went up to Fibre East in 2013.

Dotted Rays has been on hold for a few weeks waiting for me to get hold of the right colour. In the mean time I've been weaving more squares on my weavette. Always a handy mindless project when I haven't got anything else on the go!

Tuesday, June 02, 2015

Unfinished Symphony...

So here we are in June and just for now I have 2 more unfinished items. Yes the scarf looks pretty finished but I haven't trimmed the fringe for now while I consider twisting it. I don't twist fringes as a rule because of the extra time doing it and because I kind of like untwisted fringes, but I recently twisted the fringe on the wall hangings for the hospice and it wasn't too traumatic.

 In the mean time I love this scarf and have taken alot of photos of it, you can see more on flickr here:

Also almost there but not quite is my cardigan in the vintage Jaeger yarn, as you can see I still need to sort out some buttons.

Monday, May 11, 2015

Has Spring Sprung? should possibly called why are we waiting!

So there has been a gentle plodding in the jelly house of late. I did finally finish off these wall hangings for the hospice. Why does actually finishing something become so difficult at times. The weaving was all done last September by the public at the Hospice Vintage Fair. All I needed to do was finish the ends, sew a couple of seams and turn them into hangings, it didn't take me long.

This reminds me that there is a certain weavette square blanket of 304 squares which requires an edging...ok I know what the hold up is here, that edging isn't going to be fun, firstly it involves me crocheting and secondly it requires a crochet technique I am unfamiliar with, thirdly it's getting warmer and I'm not ready to sit under a blanket crocheting an edging, I can quite rightly put this job off until it starts getting colder. Let's just face it, even if we suddenly had a freak cold snap,  I'm sure I could still find any number of excuses not to do it until I am ready!

Some things do get finished around here! Another cowl off the loom and completed. I really like this one, if I do get around to putting it in my other etsy shop it will be called Easy Like Sunday Morning. There's nothing on the big loom right now, while I do some test weaving on one of the rigid heddles!

Handpainted warp and weft, actually this is waiting patiently for me to start weaving, and has been for a week!

In other news, I have finished sleeves for the cardigan I am knitting, this is now waiting for a bath and some blocking. It has only been waiting one day so far, so not excessive but I do wonder why I didn't get the main bit blocked and ready, now I have sleeves and body to block, another task I feel ready to put off until I am ready!

In the mean time I can carry on with the Jazz Hands mittens who have been back to the frog pond and cast on for what I hope is the last time. I found that my row gauge was so far out they were going to be too short and the thumb looked weird. I am now reknitting and planning to knit a different thumb to the pattern.