Monthly Archives: October 2011

Printmaking

I’ve just spent a lovely weekend at Llanthony Art in the Black Mountains of Wales, doing a fantastic woodcut printmaking workshop taught by painter/printmaker Veronica Gibson. I’ve wanted to try woodcut printmaking for ages – there’s something about the quality of the images that really appeals to me.

I’m definitely going to do more woodcuts, having done this star as a first attempt – but the surprise of the weekend was collagraph printing. Whilst playing I created this series of images, using knit and crochet samples and the printing press.

I love the simple collagraphs, which show off the structure of the fabric so well. And exciting things were starting to happen with embossing the fabric textures into the paper, especially with further woodcut prints on top, which really brought out the structure.

Can’t wait to do more, could someone arrange some more hours in the day please?!

Workshops: crocheting, stitch-hacking, granny squares

I thought I would share the fun from a few recent workshops. First up was a crochet lesson in a tent, which formed part of the hen party celebrations for Lisa, organised by her sister Claire. None of the group had crocheted before, but in the two hour lesson they managed to produce enough pieces to create a stunning – and certainly unique – cushion cover panel!

I had a fun afternoon puzzling the rectangular and not-so-rectangular pieces together.

Each person tagged their piece with their name, so Lisa could remember everyone who contributed.

Next up was my Stitch-Hacking workshop at Prick Your Finger, held to coincide with the start of my exhibition in the shop (more on the exhibition, and what stitch-hacking is, here).

It was a lovely cosy afternoon and everyone got the hang of the technique pretty quickly. Here’s a picture of Rachael Matthews stitch-hacking a plain pink jumper she picked up when we were in Shetland last year.

And here’s a birds-eye view of some more of the action (including Tomofholland wearing his amazing red knit-frock which he’d just completed – read about it here). Good work everybody! I would love to see pictures of any ‘hacks’ you do in future!

And finally, I wanted to share an email I received after running a Hand Knitting and Crochet Workshop here in the Keep & Share studio a couple of weeks ago. I had a little group who worked really hard all day, going from absolute beginners to competent crocheters! The email is from Amanda, who particularly wanted to learn so she could make a granny square blanket:

“I just wanted to drop you a quick line to say a really big thank you for a most excellent Crochet workshop on Saturday. I have attached my first granny square attempt that I completed on Sunday evening. Although not perfect I am so pleased that it actually looks like what I set out to accomplish and two others actually can tell what it is. I am now planning on putting the quilt to one side and trying to do a single square blanket – hopefully in time for Christmas Eve (will let you know how I get on!)”

Here’s Amanda’s granny square – good luck with the blanket!

crocheted granny square

You find out more about my workshops here. My next Hand Knitting and Crochet Workshop runs alongside a Stitch Hacking Workshop on 17 March 2012.

 

 

 

Stitch-hacking and pattern-blagging at Prick Your Finger

Tomorrow I’m off to set up a exhibition of my work at London knitting mecca Prick Your Finger. I’m focusing on stitch-hacking and pattern-blagging, two techniques that I’ve developed over the last couple of years:

Stitch-Hacking the laddering and reconfiguration of stitches in an existing knitted garment

Pattern-Blagging the modification of an existing knitting or crochet pattern to create a personalised item

The techniques are used to adapt existing garments and patterns to include personalised content. On a conceptual level, these pieces explore authorship and ownership; on a personal level, they allow me to put something of myself into my wardrobe.

Here’s a sneak preview of the pieces in the exhibition – though I reckon it’s worth seeing them in the flesh, if you can.

Who Made This?

Found cardigan

Stitch-hacked

This cardigan has particular personal significance, and was the first piece I made in this body of work. The original cardigan was found in my late great-aunt’s house, in a chest of drawers full of hand-knitted cardigans. We think it was knitted by my grandmother (who taught me to knit) but can’t be sure. Who made this cardigan? The original knitter made the stitches, but I laddered and re-formed them.

20.11.09 – 1976

Filet crochet smock

Pattern-blagged

Original pattern published in ‘Knitting, Crochet & Embroidery’ in 1976.

My first pattern-blagged piece. I originally intended to make this piece ‘true to pattern’, but when I came to the first row of the original design (a floral border, created within the filet crochet structure), I rebelled.

Amy 2010

Found cardigan

Stitch-hacked

I acquired this cardigan at some point in the last few years, at a charity shop or perhaps a jumble sale. It languished, unnoticed, in my wardrobe for some time before I heard its call to be hacked.

St Michael – 12 – 40

Found cardigan

Stitch-hacked

All of the information hacked into this St Michael cardigan was taken from the labels inside the garment. The hacking celebrates, and painstakingly brings to the surface, the unremarkable story of its original creation.

1.12.2010 – Lugwardine – Amy – 1.10.2011

Shetland lace shawl

Pattern-blagged

Original pattern ‘The Rosemary Shawl’ designed by Gema Ord for Jamieson & Smith, published in ‘My Weekly’ in 1994.

In September 2010, following my presentation on Stitch-Hacking and Pattern-Blagging at the ‘In The Loop 2’ knitting conference in Shetland, I boldly stated that I would pattern-blag a Shetland lace shawl. Twelve months later, here is the result. My rules: the personal adaptations had to be decided upon during the making process, and constructed spontaneously without sampling.

Want to have a go? I’m running a stitch-hacking workshop at Prick Your Finger on Saturday – enquiries/bookings to the shop on 020 8981 2560.

The exhibition will be on for 6 weeks or so – private view tomorrow from 6pm, all welcome so hope to see you there! (260 Globe Road, E2 0JD, nearest tube: Bethnal Green)