Tuesday, 29 April 2008

wonderwool and mountains

Back now from staying just outside Brecon... stunning, totally stunning is all you can say about the Beacons.
We decided to wrap a few days away around a visit to Wonderwool. The show itself I found a little disappointing and I think I will wait for it to develop more before I visit it again. I was hoping to find stalls and exhibitors there using wool not only in the 'normal' way ( knitting, crochet, felting& weaving etc ) but in innovate ways. I know there are, for example, small businesses in Wales using fleece as duvet fillings etc. It was, essentially a selling show, stall on stall of hand dyed sock yarn! It was nice to see some of the smaller guilds attending, in particular the Longdraw spinning guild, had a go... great fun.... I am still resisting the offer of 2 free spinning wheels... another obsession in the making I think.
This was the IDC stand, the college is in Worcestershire and offers course on Fashion Design, Theatre Costumes and Hand Knitting and Felting etc. their display was from the C&G level 1 Felting course. The standard of the design work was very high and the finished objects showed unique fabric formations and textures. This college is just starting the C&G Hand Knittng course which will be run fortnightly throughout the coming educational year.

The photo on the right is one of the winning entries of the Wonder of Wool competition. It was entitled Forever Blowing Bubbles and was a beautifully rendered 'felt painting', sadly I did not write down the name of the creator on the day and there is no information in the show guide about the competition and its entrants.
I did, however take some great photos of the stock sheds(I seem to be in an 'building phase!)... here are a couple.

Lovely strong lines and blocks of texture, really useful for producing design work.

Blogger seems to have a mind of it's own on placement of pictures today... sorry if they are a little haphazard.

Sunday, 20 April 2008

Japanese stitch book part deux!!

Isn't she lovely, my shiny new Japanese Stitch Book? The stitches are slightly more complex than the ones in the '500' book... with new and different symbol's to translate!! To this end I have joined a group on Ravelry that was set up to help us non-Japanese speaking folks with translating their patterns... still there's a couple of symbols that I'm struggling with at the mo.

And just the one little sample for the course. I really like the way the quilted effect has been caused just by using knit and purl stiches. The top half of the sample was done at a tighter tension to increase that effect.

Thursday, 10 April 2008

Japanese stitch books

I have been lucky enough to receive a Japanese Stitch book from a lovely lady, via a ravelry group, in exchange for some yarn and English sweeties! On the strength of this book I have succumbed and ordered 2 more from YesAsia, which is a great site as you can order from it in English. Here are a couple of pictures from the book. The book gives a diagram of every action(eg.. yarn over, knit stitch) and the designs are charted so its really easy to follow, and being Japanese it is laid out very logically. I saw the exhibition of Knit Japan at the ally Pally in 2005 and was amazed then at the intricacy of the stitch work so its great to have this directory

I have also mounted up some of the samples in the last blog against the artwork that inspired them, but other than that have not done any more knitting for the course, rather I am ploughing my way through the scarf for the ISE6.. nearly done now.

Tuesday, 1 April 2008

'grey' times

I have been fiddling about with some grey yarn I bought from a charity shop, I think it's acrylic... I really don't like the stuff, it always makes my hands sweat when I'm knitting with it...... however I do like the stitch patterns I've been making up. Starting from a basic basket weave stitch I have added ribs, taken away ridges, added more texture and different rib patterns whilst still retaining that lovey curved effect. I am using the artwork done on the rock stacks at the Devil's Causeway, Ireland still for inspiration and feel these work well in that context.
I have also been trying out what happens with the 'fisherman's rib' knit stitch when it is combined with other combinations of knit and purl. At the same time I have also used two different sized needles as I thought this would create more stitch definition and it was a way of using the differences in tension creatively. I know a lot of knitting used to be done in the 70's using one very large needle and one the right size for the yarn, but I used one needle one size larger and one three sizes smaller and I have been pleasantly suprised. It is a technique I think I will explore more. I have also been knitting for the International Scarf Exchange 6, but no pics of the scarf yet... it's already been 4 different scarves, in colour, pattern and shape!! I must come to a decision and the times ticking away.