Thursday, 18 October 2007

What do you do on a holiday?

Textiles, of course! As I've just finished off my knitting from my holdiays, I thought I'd write about the textiles activity in my holidays. The Kimberley is an amazing landscape and hopefully amongst the four of us (hubby and boys - all armed with cameras), we've been able to capture some of it. My film will be developed by Friday so I'll add a visual feast to subsequents ponderings.

My plane trips were the forum for tatting and I kept to that. No problems taking it on board, though only children passed comment. Surprisingly few comments from adults, even when I was knitting in public I received surprisingly few comments. There was little craft evident in any of my travels.
I was glad about the lesson at the HWSG as I was able to interpret the book. I certainly enjoyed this activity. The only problem being that my fingers tried to be in knitting position, not tatting position. I need to also think about how I might use this technique in my work.

My knitting proved to be far more interesting and frustrating than I expected. Frustrating, as the linen I used was determined to be in one continuous knot. I put a sock around the cone, which merely delayed the inevitable knot. (I didn't have pantyhose - which I have heard might help!) Anyway, we got there and I did enough knitting to have a good sized piece and I didn't cut the thread!

For the knitting, I decide on the linen and cast on 90sts. The aim was to be influenced by what I was seeing. I also wanted to try some of the stitches from 'Creative Knitting' but only if they fit into the main aim.

I proceeded as follows:

1. Shoreline - basically garter stitch, but adding in short reverses every now and then to reflect the breaking and choppy waves.

2. Aerial view of mountain ridges. These branched like trees which I didn't quite manage to capture. I used YO to create defining lines and k2tog to create ridges.

3. Mud flats. Large areas of and in wedge shapes.

4. Boab Tree nuts. This was a Creative Knitting Stitch, Bell, which created holes with hoods. Sort of round boab tree nuts!

5. Stairway to the moon, an interesting effect of the moon rising over mud flat at particular times of the month. I used the bell again, only larger, to create the moon and a knit,purl ladder on a garter stitch background.

6. Boab trees. They are striking and everywhere. Groups of odd shaped bobbles to form the bulbous trunks.

7. Ridges, always in the landscape. Knitted back and forth in a long line, slowly decreasing and increasing, folded and picked up starting stitches to join.

8. Bungle Bungles. Absolutely amazing scenery made up of rounded features/hills/mountains/monoliths, I don't really know what to call them. They're striped from different layers of rock and soil and weathering. I used the YO method to create rounded forms (well almost!) with knit and purl stripes.

9. Cockburn Ranges. Sloping rock fall/slopes topped by dramatic straight rocky cliffs. St. St slope, with a ribbed cliff top.

10. Closer examination of rocky cliffs with trees on top. Wrap yarn around needle serveral times, knit same number of stitches together. On next row, knit into each wrapped stitch - should end up with the same number of stitches! Repeat exactly, add couple of garter stitch rows, repeat with a shift. A fancy crossed throw for tree-trunks and little bobbles for the tree tops. (I really liked this sequence!)

11. Tussock Grass. Shell pattern.

12. Salt pan. areas with between (2 sts, couple of rows) to try and create a cracked look.

I finished off with a garter stitch heading, and as you can see, it needs serious job!

It didn't always work, but if you wanted to repeat the piece to get a more polished finish, it could easily be done. I learn't new stitches, created something totally free form and had fun!

It was a great exercise which I am determined to both use as inspiration and repeat the exercise whenever I can.

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