Art · ATV - Part 4 - Yarn and Linear Exploration · ATV - Reflections · Textiles 1: A Textiles Vocabulary

ATV – Assignment 4 – Written Reflection

What a huge relief, it’s been posted. The assignment has gone, its long overdue and I had to sprint to the end but it’s done.

Now for a little bit of reflection, what have I learnt? I’ve learnt that great ideas don’t always bring great results and focusing and narrowing down my choices helps to create interesting results.

My favourite material across all of the exercise was the photographs, both the Instax pics and the ones printed on sticky back paper. It was less fiddly than working yarns with my hands. This leads to how I preferred knitting, crocheting and weaving to the knitting and macrame.

I really had never thought of making my own yarn, it wasn’t something I had considered before but now I would definitely like to work with the ideas that I have had along the way. I like the small layered pieces but still feel they aren’t really yarn but they could be pieced together to make larger collages.

The twisted yarns and the yarns made with the sewing machine would also be good for crouching and would add big patches of colour and texture.

Working on yarn is quite a different beast from working with fabric, there is no real handle or drape in the same way. The qualities that you are looking to create are different and I’m not sure that I always hit the mark.

 Many of my samples have only one side, they would have to be attached to a piece of fabric they could never be stitched or knotted.

I shall be waiting for my feedback to see if I have understood and done what I was expected to, I really have no idea on this one. It’s been very different and very new but I’m so glad I’ve done it even if it’s not right.

Art · ATV - Ex 4.5 - Collage inspired yarn · ATV - Part 4 - Yarn and Linear Exploration · ATV - Pt4 - Pj2 - Creating Linear Forms · Textiles 1: A Textiles Vocabulary

Collage Inspired Yarn – Ex4.5 – the yarns

If every excercise in Part 4 had been as much fun and as quick to do as this I would have been finished a lot earlier, but that could just be because of my change in attitude.

I started by going back to the beginning, I wanted to try out the dip dye technique again, it didn’t work so well before but I still had the tubs of dye and thought maybe I should try it again.

On each of the photos I tied a ribbon strip of sari silk and after clipping all of the photos together with small bull dog clips, I then balanced them onto a little jar of dye. 

Once the dye had soaked into the ribbon I hung them over a jar stuffed with more ribbon letting the dye drip down onto the pale fabric.

I then moved onto dyeing some threads and ribbons. I soaked my materials threads in water and lay them across the chenille sample with the ends dipped into the jars of dye.

The dye ran quickly because of the water and the thread was soon damp with colour so I put the threads in the jar stuffed with ribbon.



All the threads and ribbons then had a nice sprinkling of pale blues and greens. Very delicate and similar to the retro colours in the Instax photos.

I started by using up the remaining pieces of the camera bellows, I laid them onto a piece of dyed sari ribbon and sewed them down with dyed thread. I’m always looking for little extras that are lying around so I also caught up some bit of thread etc in the stitches. This gave me a fairly long yarn suitable for crouching. I am a little worried that they look a bit like Xmas trees, it’s really to early to be thinking of Christmas.


Alongside this blog I am also keeping a handwritten technical log which records how each of the yarns was made. To do this I print photographs of the yarns onto sticky backed photo papers. I had a small pile of outcasts from the last print run which I had ripped up ready to through away but then I thought I should use them in the designs. 

I cut the photos into circles and stuck them onto holed hand made paper back to back so I was able to make a reversible yarn.


Now it was time for me to make some yarn with the photographs, I bought all of the materials together, using the sticky backed photos to hold the yarn and elements together. This made a nice long, energetic yarn with lots of detail and texture.


I still had lots of materials left including some of the camera negative and I decided to use them as the base for a layered thread. I love the bright orange sari ribbon, it’s so bright and eye catching.

For the final piece I put together the last of the burn metal with the last few bits of the camera bellows and made a quick layered thread, well it really isn’t a thread but I like it anyway.

Art · ATV - Ex 4.5 - Collage inspired yarn · ATV - Part 4 - Yarn and Linear Exploration · ATV - Pt4 - Pj2 - Creating Linear Forms · Textiles 1: A Textiles Vocabulary

Collage Inspired Yarn – Ex 4.5 – Planning

I’ve been looking forward to this exercise right from the beginning and it’s been fun. I usually start most exercises with a bit of a brain dump and this one hasn’t be any different.

I looked back at the collage work that I had done during Colour Studies and picked out some of the main elements and points that appealed to me and then put some of the ideas together with the instructions in the course materials and some of the more interesting elements from Ex 4.4. 



The idea that appealed to me most was the Polaroid photographs and at first I thought I would take photos of the workroom to replicate the original collages but time got the better of me and I ended up taking the Instax camera out with me on a dog walk. My plan was to look for fairly interesting shapes, flowers maybe but I soon became drawn to the fences that are all along my usual dog walk and I took 9 photos of the various fences. I was particularly drawn to the ones around the children’s play area and those around the wildlife areas and pools.


They were really interesting, I enjoyed taking them and they started me thinking about the feelings that they gave me.


It’s quite a well worn path, this one looking at the loss of our green spaces and the way that us humans are slowly spreading out across the world. Inch by inch covering more and more of the land with structures and concrete and tarmac. 

I need more time to think about this to stop it just becoming another cliche, therefore I decided to keep this idea on the periphery, let it develop on its own.

Before I started the last yarn concepts I put together some ideas and materials, it’s lovely layering up colours and fabrics.


And I had a go at a couple quick little yarns.

Art · ATV - Ex 4.4 - Deconstructing Colour as Yarn · ATV - Part 4 - Yarn and Linear Exploration · ATV - Pt4 - Pj2 - Creating Linear Forms · Textiles 1: A Textiles Vocabulary

Deconstructing Colour as Yarn – Ex4.4 – Focus?

Before I show you what I have done to finish this exercise I’m going to quickly mention ‘focus’. This is another of my weak points, I find it very difficult to focus and to work within self made constraints. Today I received another reminder for the submission of Assignment 4. I really am so far behind on my deadlines but once I get started on something I enjoy I find it very difficult to restrict myself. Is it the case that these ATV exercises should be done in a day? If I was attending classes is that how I would work? If I give myself deadlines I become a quivering mass of tension and anxiety, just how am I to find a balance between working swiftly and not sapping all of the fun out of what I am doing? Everyday I think about the exercise I’m working on, I reflect on it and research but I just don’t accomplish anything. Is there a habit I should cultivate to kick start me and get me going. 

It has been very difficult for me to prioritise my collage work, there are 3 of us studying in my household and I’m the one studying at the highest level but I am always the first to drop what I am doing to help and support the others. They are my offspring and I naturally put them first. But, the big but is they are growing up; 22 & 16. In truth they are more independent now and it’s up to me to change my attitude and acknowledge that I am undertaking a serious piece of education and that I should give it the time and respect that it’s due. Well, after a quick cuppa and a look at the latest edition of Uppercase!

So back to business. Despite giving myself a nail infection from the grub and dust on the camera bellows I’ve really enjoyed making these linear explorations. I haven’t stuck religious to the brief and I’m really not sure that all of the pieces could be categorised as yarn, in fact I know they aren’t. I have made some in longer lengths that I believe would function well as couched yarns, I would not be able to knit or stitch with them and after reflecting on focus and deadlines I’m going to have to accept at this point that I can’t explore that avenue at the moment. 

For these pieces I cut the camera bellows into strips and then used sandpaper and a file to roughen up the edges and surfaces. To emphasise these frayed edges I added gesso and some liquid watercolour. My intention was to lighten the very dark colour of the bellows. 

I had a little play with the first two strips, adding some sniped mulberry cocoon and beads from a deconstructed bracelet.


I wasn’t particularly pleased with these samples and they have been relegated to my ideas book, not the yarn collection. I felt they were just a bit too fussy and twee. 

This next piece brings together all of the various elements (materials) that I have gathered. There’s a piece of the burnt out car, some of the beautiful holed paper, thread from the ladies Thai blouse and a cog and some of the bellows from the camera. Yep, I know it’s not yarn but I love it anyway. 


After making this piece I decided I should at least try to make a yarn like sample and I went onto attach some of the thinner strips of bellow together.


These pieces have more of the gesso and paint and are lighter. The pieces had some interesting holes which lent themselves nicely to having threads worked through them and then I added a little yellow bead from another old bracelet to add a focal point. 

For the final piece I tried to keep with the idea of length and more subtle embellishment. I’m really happy with how these 3 samples and how they look together.