'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 27 August 2012

Plan B

When I left you I was about to start coiling some nasty coloured stuffed knitting ribbon into a basket/bowl/vessel thingy. 

I did start it, honest - and it looked - well - nasty. And very orange. So I uncoiled it and it is sitting in my work basket while I work on Plan B. Which, if you don't know, is thinking of Plan C. Dye comes to mind...

I have not been idle, however. In my quest to:
a) use up my stash and
b) find a firmer core for coiled pots,
have been researching different sorts of cords. You can see the somewhat dubious results on the right. (I seem to have lost any colour sense I ever had.)

I remembered making finger looped cords for City & Guilds, so I dug out my C&G folder of print-outs - and came to the conclusion that if I understood the instructions then, I don't now. In any case I found them slow to do, almost impossible to put right when I (frequently) went wrong, and of limited length.

Back to the drawing board.

I thought of finger knitting. Googling suggested there are 2 sorts of finger knitting, one round 4 fingers, and one round 1 - although I suspect you can use 2 or 3 as well. In - er - on - my hands all were sloppy - and the one finger one seemed structurally equivalent to crochet chain. So I found my crochet hooks - I can just about manage a chain. 

This is where things started to get silly... I'd been working with yarn, but I decided to try fabric, hence all the lumpy things. And then I tried plaiting, a lucet and knitting. With a plastic bag. Did you know that an Asda bag cut into 2.5 cm strips will make about 1.25 metres of 2 stitch I cord on 5.5 mm needles? In pretty green and white stripes. Never say my blog isn't educational.

In the process of working little coils with some of the samples I reached two three conclusions:
a) if you want firmer coils, just pull the thread more firmly (doh!)
b) plastic cord and rayon thread don't play nicely together
c) I really don't like this type of coiled vessel thingy, I much prefer the ones where the core is completely covered.

So I went away, and inspired by this post, and Sheila Hicks (did I mention I've got a crush on Sheila Hicks?) made a little loom. Hicks apparently makes simple looms for her smaller pieces, using stretcher bars and nails, but they are not as small as this - the weaving area is about 8 by 8.5 cm,and you can fill it, warp and weft, with one hank of tapestry wool with, I suspect, some left over.

What am I going to do with it? Who knows? But I want to make some more elaborate ones, so the intention is that it is the first of a Hicks inspired series. 

Can you tell that our Bank Holiday was spent at home? Wensleydale upstairs grouting, me downstairs coiling/weaving, occasionally meeting for a cup of tea. Fun.

I also took some time this weekend to set up a website for neuf. There isn't much over there yet, but please take a look if you wish, (and let me know if the link doesn't work!)

What on earth is neuf? I hear you cry. We are the exhibiting group of the nine graduates from the Foundation Degree in Stitched Textiles at Eastleigh College - or we think we are. We haven't actually been told that we have graduated, you understand - but we have been invited to the degree ceremony, which suggests we may have done...

No apps today. Normal service will be resumed as soon as possible.

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