ATV - Ex 4.1 - Yarns inspired by stitch & marks · ATV - Part 4 - Yarn and Linear Exploration · Textiles 1: A Textiles Vocabulary

Oh such pretty lines

On the advice of a very dear friend I’ve ‘ploughed’ through these set of exercises and have actually discovered that I’m happy with the results. It looks like I’ve unblocked the blockage and I am again on a roll.

I decided to revisit my original observation drawings to find a design source that had a more linear pattern. 

Bringing in the colour from the other source material I make some quick paintings of potential shapes for the experimental threads.


When I had been eco dyeing I had dyed some mulberry silk rods and when they were still very wet I had peeled them apart to create lovely scraps of rod. Some of which I had also added some dye from the drip dyeing experiment. 

I hand stitched these together and added some embellishment. I love their delicate quality. I prefer the thread on the left, as usual I find the knots a bit too twee.


For the patterned thread I returned to my first design source and tested out a design with paint.


Using coated metal wire and the mulberry silk rod scraps I made this little piece that I’m really quite pleased with.


It was lovely and a huge relief to be creating again and actually enjoying it.

These experiments had been made with 30cm lengths of yarn and the next part of this task was to repeat the 3 experiments with 100cm lengths.

I chose this time to use my sewing machine to attach the embellishments, mostly because it would be quicker!

Originally I was going to try and needle felt some silk tops into the trapunto yarn; a very fleecy wool that is used to pad out the quilting. But this didn’t work so the sewing machine was used instead.

Again I used the mulberry silk rod scraps and now added in some silk noil and tops. Matching the colour palette to the stitched source material


I like the way this thread makes me think of nature, particularly in the summer.

The second experiment I kept more simple and this one makes me think of Africa.

The mulberry silk rod scraps were influenced by the shapes on the stitched source material and I further developed that idea for the final experiment by ripping up the fairy cake cases that I’d used to hold the dye in the drip dyeing experiment. 

I stitched the dyed ripped bit of waxy paper to more trapunto yarn adding green and orange silk noil and tops to replicate the stitching.


So that’s that exercise done, as usual I’m running very late but I’m in no rush. I’m doing this for pleasure after all.

ATV - Pt4 - Pj1 - Exploring Lines · Textiles 1: A Textiles Vocabulary · Uncategorized

Down the garden path and back again

Linear Studies? These have been giving me some hassle. I took quite a running jump into this part of A Textile Vocabulary, I filled in some sketchbook pages and worked though some worries about how to make the outcomes my own and decided on a process that involved using dripping dye to make the individual strands more interesting.

On a visit to Bilston Art Gallery I was very lucky to see an exhibition by the Through Our Hands group and specifically a piece by Clare Jones. Clare’s piece made a statement about our treatment of the environment and particularly about our use of water and dye. She hung the most beautiful strips of pieced silk and above she placed tubs of dye. On the ground were bowls of grains to symbolise the bounty that the earth gives us. Over time the dye slowly ran down through the fibres of the silk, following their own paths and creating their own organic patterns.

It was no small ask but I wanted to try and replicate this idea using yarn instead of dye. My brain buzzed with ideas but it soon became evident that I had bitten off more than I could chew. So because of the tight timescales I decided to have a go at implementing some of my ideas in a very simple way.

First I experimented with one length of yarn.

I was very excited and in my haste I made a good few mistakes, I didn’t wet the yarn so the dye just bounced off where it hit. I didn’t put enough work into making the dripping tray fit for purpose and the dye struggled to get out of the pot in a nice steady stream. It was an interesting exercise and I learnt a lot about what needed to be done next time.
I chose a variety of 30cm pieces of yarn in lots of different thicknesses but all in creams or whites with a few pink and green variegated elements.

They looked very lovely and nice together.

For a while I included some eco- dyed threads but decided they were too drab to be included.
Using these yarns I made some interesting threads by adding knots of some of the yarns along the lengths of the others. I used my instinct to decide what should be a length and what should be a knot.

I decided that this time I would use coated paper fairy cake cases to hold the dye; this would enable me to make a bigger whole with a nice jagged edge. I attached the knotted lengths to the cake cases using a nice big solid sewing pin.

This I then hung these between a variety of jars I had sitting around my workroom. This bought on feelings of doubt, I knew I was rushing and that things would become very messy!

This time I had actually thought to wet the lengths but I’d still not done this properly and had to spray the yarn with my expensive Elemis face toner just because it had a spray top and was to hand. At least the smell was very nice.

The dye still wasn’t dripping properly, I couldn’t see any movement and I soon became impatient and started to add water to the cake cakes. Let the messiness begin!!
Thinking quickly I grabbed some plain cloth to catch the dye as it ran quickly, too quickly down the lengths. And mopped up any mess with kitchen towel, not quite saving my notes!

In the end I forced myself out of the room and let the dye drips take their own course.

After they had dripped for a while I let them dry and then cut of the threads leaving just the knots.

In the end this just didn’t inspire me. They are not the delicate organic pieces that I wanted. They are stiff and quite drab. I really love subtle but I’m not very comfortable with drab.

It felt so deflating to have had, what had felt like such a great idea, an idea to turn to something I didn’t like. I blamed myself for rushing and not taking the time to be more considered and accurate with my experiments.

I ignored the whole exercise for some while, probably sulking and definitely procrastinating. The whole exercise has left my workroom sticky and dirty and me feeling frustrated and ready to abandon the whole course. Really, I promise I’m not a drama queen, really, I’m not!! Okay, okay I can sometimes take this all far too seriously.

The best outcomes have come from the unexpected accidents and ‘tools’ I used. Typical!!

ATV - Part 4 - Yarn and Linear Exploration · ATV - Research

Still Procrastinating

Yep, I’m still at it: being very, very busy but not doing a lot! 

I did finish a baby hat for a gift though. Well the knitting anyway, it still needs to be stitched up.

  
Another time bandit I’m favouring at the moment is this book. I’m hoping it will give me some answers!

  
The guy’s name never fails to make me smile. It’s a great book, there’s not a lot of technical science stuff, thank goodness but there are lots of insights into how the brain works. All very interesting.

I particularly like hearing about white matter which is where all the little nerve fibers that link the cerebral cortex and the thalamus, which are crucial to consciousness are housed. 

This got me thinking about what they look like and if they are linear. 

This Pinterest board holds the pictures I found looking for suitable images. The brain is an amazing thing. Even if it drives me crazy at times! 

I love this quote :

We’re convinced that events happen exactly as we remember them and will state as much under oath in court. In fact, our brains are just knitting neat stories out of the countless scraps of information they receive, leading to all kinds of consequences.