'If you make happiness your goal, then you're not going to get to it… The goal should be an interesting life."

Dorothy Rowe

Monday, 26 January 2009

Two endings and a beginning


It is surprising how often I seem to finish several things at around the same time. For example - I have just finished this, which has been my computer knitting/knee warmer for some months.
Basic recipe - collect all your bits of green yarn, asking yourself why you have so many when you don't wear green. [Apart from 1 sweater, known as the green blob because that's how a visually impaired student described me when I wore it!]. Add a bit of turquoise and grey.
Find a circular needle in an appropriate size - I think it's about 5-6mm - and cast on a lot of stitches. [No hope of remembering how many!] Knit a moss stitch border and then in a pattern of 1 row knit, 1 row knit 1 purl 1 - except when you forget and do a knit row instead.
Work 2 row stripes and change to a different yarn every 3 stripes - except when you forget and do a stripe too many - or when you run out of one colour before the third stripe is completed.
When you have used up all the yarn, knit moss stitch borders on the remaining three sides because you were clever enough to leave some yarn on one side to do it with. Darn in a lot of ends - enough to see you through 'Lark Rise to Candleford' and beyond. Feel pleased with yourself and cast on for something a bit smaller, like a pair of socks.

I have also finished the mystery machine embroidery, which has become this. I belong to a Yahoo group called 'Stitched Textile Design' which is aimed at post C&G students. There are monthly challenges and although I often fail to complete challenges despite the very best of intentions, I had to do this one because I set it! The challenge was to 'be good to ourselves' and make something personal after all the things we had made for others for Christmas [possibly].
I set the challenge because I realised I had never made myself any embroidered jewellery - and I needed a brooch for my new mac. My original plan was to make one the way Margaret Beale suggests in 'Fusing Fabric' using PVC and felt - but my PVC and felt resolutely refused to play. Individually they were happy to be cut with a soldering iron - but not together.
So Plan B came from one of the books I bought on Thursday at the show - Janet Shipley Hawks 'Sculpted Threads'. The design is Hawks - 'being good to myself'' involved being lazy and not inventing my own. I like the result, but unfortunately it is just a bit too big for the lapel of my mac. I suppose I'll have to make another one ...
I did do some desing work with another favourite technique - making an eraser stamp of a rather stylised pebble. I particularly like the 'flower' in the centre, but the individual shape also reminds me of a tulip. In my C&G Klimt cushions I used a [string] stamp to stamp direct onto the fabric and then layered sheers and nets over the top before adding couching and FME - and I think I could do the same with this.
Doing this design exercise has both stretched and surprised me. Stretched because I have tried so many techniques - and surprised because I have found so many to try - and I still have some ideas. When we went to hear Susie MacMurray speak she recommended either doing the same thing in lots of different ways - or lots of different things the same way. I think I've tried the first - perhaps later I can try the second?

1 comment:

Blue is my colour said...

Wow Celia, you have been exceptionally busy over the last few days. What was the name of the lettering book you mentioned in your blog a few days ago? I have finished my course and now getting back into the creative groove by having a mass clearout and a new book could provide me with some tantalising inspiration! Best wishes Lesley