Wednesday, 16 December 2009
Our inspiration for the day, among lots of others, was a bag that was made, and I quote "from fabric 1/3 the width of its length" and "you just fold and sew here and just fold and sew here".
It was one of those simple Japanese style bags that I love. You tie the ends and it's a very versatile bag.
Well, over coffee later, could we figure it out? It has taken me days, but I've finally got it. Yeah!
1. First the paper. the width, 1/3 the length.
2. Fold the end squares across the diagonal, just so.
3. Just fold diagonally across the middle. This will show you where you need to sew to create a pocket.
This is the bag I made from a length of machine knit fabric. You can see that it fits all sorts of shapes. You do need to make it up first in something firm, but it works rather well like this. I've made another in slightly heavier fabric.
Just a bit of fun when I have tax to sort out......quickly!
Tuesday, 15 December 2009
What a wonderful place Snb is! The delightful Dr. Bones has given me the most wonderful bag full of moth cocoons. They come from her kindergarten child's teacher who has these growing, I assume, much to the delight of her charges. I'm fascinated by the different colours, ranging from a creamy colour, through soft palest of pale greens through to the vibrant yellow. I wonder if these differences will be seen in the final product?
I'm so excited. Now I have to go and find out how to turn these cocoons into spinnable silk.
PS The boys all liked their new Christmas tree....hooray!
Sunday, 13 December 2009
It doesn't feel like Christmas until the Christmas tree is up. Nobody has been asking about the tree, so, I guess it's up to me. For the last couple of years we haven't had a permanent tree and have bought real Christmas trees. This year, however, I wanted something that reflected the year, the things I did and the things I'm interested in.
So, I extracted a branch from some Wattle that had been trimmed in our garden. Well, nature trimmed it for us, we just cut it up further! Trimmed it up further and gave it a coat of silver paint.
So, it's a handmade sculpture from found materials and the spray paint was only $7 and is probably the only environmentally unfriendly part of my Christmas tree.
It has decorated up beautifully....no electric lights...and I'm very pleased with it. I am getting my 18 year old to contribute something to the tree as his first adult Christmas, a momento of the year. Can't wait.
Tuesday, 8 December 2009
Wednesday, 2 December 2009
I have bought myself a brand spanking new overlocker!
I've been doing some dressmaking at a local shop and they suggested that I have a look at this very marked down machine from Janome. A great deal is going at the moment on this and also an electronic machine. (Yes, I was sorely tempted, but.....) I went along and came home with the new machine.
Immediately, dearest, came out with a pair of pants that needed fixing......on the normal straight sewing machine. I did give him a quick lesson on the difference and I did fix his pants.
Because of Christmas they're not running their introductory class. Next year I'll learn all the intricacies of overlocking. So right now I'm just keeping it simple.
Thursday, 26 November 2009
Monday, 23 November 2009
Friday, 20 November 2009
The Gallery has two exhibitions from 20 November – 20 December 2009, with the official opening on Thursday 19 November.
Mandy Gunn: re-source
In keeping with the pattern of Mandy Gunn’s work over the past fourteen years, re-source focuses on art works constructed from found materials, principally paper. The materials are sourced from the left overs of everyday consumerism, the sort of products which usually find their way into bins, often wrapping or packaging, tickets, envelopes and printed materials.
Leanne Cole: I want, therefore I need
I want, therefore I need examines the culture of consumerism within our society and the excessive need to continually fill our homes with consumerist items. A series of perspex houses containing ceramic objects cast from household refuse, will explore our rampant consumerism and its effect on our living spaces.
Wednesday, 11 November 2009
3. Mixed with Tussah silk. As you can see from the rolags it is beautiful. I wasn't sure that this would work. Even though it came in top form it was still quite long, but I suspect that the critical factor in both the carding and spinning is the thickness, or in this case, fineness of the mixing fibre. For best results they probably do need to be close in micron count.
This could be a problem as these fabulous fibres are very warm. The resulting scarf will be knitted in a very open lace. I'll show you when it's done.
Oops, forgot.....some things I'd like to try: silk noil and cashmere, what about silk waste with cashmere, fluffy around a core......what else?
Saturday, 7 November 2009
Thursday, 5 November 2009
Wednesday, 4 November 2009
I just wanted to thank everyone to wished me well, came to the opening or went and had a look at the exhibition. I have really appreciated your comments. I think I have sold a piece which means that it has been a success all round.
If you want to come and have a last look and a chat with me, there's plenty of time, meet me at 1pm.
Tuesday, 27 October 2009
Monday was my last sculpture class for the year. None of them are finished, but I'm happy with the progress and will be able to finish them on time.
Here they are, in their current state:
There's the plaster sculpture,
and finally, the free choice piece. This is knit copper wire. I'll be doing about 6 or so and need to figure out how to finish them off.
Thursday, 22 October 2009
His costume, for Monday was 'the Doppler effect', a suitably nerdy and obtuse reference in a television program. The names of which I have completely forgotton (and he's sleeping in after having dinner and drinks at the Old England Hotel, so I can't ask him).
Sunday was spent buying a cheap t-shirt and tracksuit pants and cutting up interfacing and ironing it on. (He did most, I did the ironing.......he had a party to go to, so ran out of time!)
It did turn out rather well.
He's had a good week and it is strange to now stand back and watch him make his own way in the world. The last event with the school is the valedictory dinner in November, when the exams are over and we can celebrate these wonderful young people.
Good luck to all the VCE students taking exams this year.
Tuesday, 20 October 2009
I hope the class runs, as this is going to be fun!
Wednesday, 14 October 2009
My favourite post from the said Blogtoberfester (?) is the most gorgeous picture of two of her boys. (One big and one small)
As well, I've been meaning to post about Dr Bones' web site, Luv Lees Knits. We've been following the progress at Snb and it's now up and running. She knits classic styled baby clothes in the most gorgeous luxury fibres.....we all get a look as they come off the needles and suitably ooh and aah. So go over and have a look.
PS, how weird does her logo look on my background......hers is much nicer!
Monday, 12 October 2009
For the past few weeks in my sculpture class we've been working on creating a small wax model in order to cast a bronze statue. Well today was the day we got to travel out to the foundry and watch the pouring.
Creating a bronze sculpture seems exciting enough, however, the process of pouring was something else. Richard, our wonderful teacher, had already taken our wax models to the foundry where they create a ceramic mould around the wax and then heat it up and pour out the wax.
We travelled on the train and bus to Fundere in West Footscray where they were just finishing cleaning up the moulds. We waited as they heated up the bronze to an amazing temperature which produced the most irredescent green flame, cleaned up the bronze (leftover bronze is recycled) and poured the bronze which had a consistency of watery liquid. I'm sorry I don't have pictures but it quite blew me away, that you could heat bronze to that extent.
Left to cool, they then water blasted the ceramic off and cut off the base (the bit that is reused) and we went home with our, yet to be cleaned up sculptures.
And, here is mine.
Friday, 9 October 2009
Tuesday, 6 October 2009
I do love warps, they often intensify the colours and textures you're using and they hold such promise.
The thinner is 60 ends and the larger is 540 ends. However, after much angst, accidents (don't drop partially dented warps!) and redesign, the big warp was slightly smaller (320 ends!) Despite all this, all the new works that I've made have ended up achieving the result I wanted.
Today was the hanging. I spent all morning trying to get it all just right. Thank goodness the lovely Heather Wilson is there with her wonderful pots and dragons. The Bolin Bolin gallery is much larger when you have to put the work up. Finally, it's up and even looks OK.
If you're free Thursday night 6-8pm, we're having an opening, so please come along and help us celebrate our achievements, we'd love to see you.
9th October to 3rd November
Bolin Bolin Gallery at Bulleen Art & Garden,
6 Manningham Rd W., Bulleen. 98505155.
Saturday, 3 October 2009
Monday, 21 September 2009
Friday, 18 September 2009
These are the latest neckwarmers that I've been working on. Handspun, dyed, knit and finished with a button (of course).
And a few more fingerless mittens.
Then on Sunday, I'm part of a team that will be competing in the Sheep to Shawl competition at the Royal Melbourne Show. The competition starts around 10.30am and finishes when all the teams have spun and knit a shawl, however long that takes.
I've always wanted to have a go at competing, should be fun. It would be nice to have a cheer squad?
Tuesday, 8 September 2009
The basic rule for random dyeing is to minimise, as much as possible, the amount of water in the dyepot to reduce the amount of movement the dye particles can make. Dyes are sprinkled on in varying levels of randomness. (I know, it's either random or not.....but bear with me!) You then continue dyeing as usual, with some housekeeping (read 'poking') throughout to ensure that all parts of the yarn has some dye.
I did my dyeing after they'd all left, trying to get a good red. Again, I did succeed but couldn't help adding a little green. I love the yarn and am ready to knit it up! (Apologies for the picture....I'm recharging my battery....)
I have been determined to use the travelling vine pattern. You know how something gets into your head and won't go away, well....
I've rewritten the pattern adding four more rows to the pattern to give bigger blocks of colour, and, changed needle sizes several times.....back to 4mm needles, sometimes the right size IS the right size.
I'm happy....hope I can finish this by the next market.
Tuesday, 1 September 2009
The first yarn was bought from Wendy Dennis at this years sheep and wool show. I had no idea what sort of pattern might suffice.
I have a lovely book: 'Traditional Knitting Patterns from Scandinavia, the British Isles, France, Italy and other European Countries' by James Norbury, which I do love. I found a pattern called 'Mrs Hunters pattern. It's a lovely simple four row pattern and it worked. However, it did skew to the left and would need a little blocking when finished.......This is where I made my mistake.
I decided, in my folly....I had found the perfect pattern....to try and find another. Of course none worked and eventually, giving in to common sense, went back to Mrs Hunter.
It only needed light blocking and is just gorgeous. Lots of movement and of course the yarn is just gorgeous, as you would expect from Wendy Dennis. The joy of knitting is every single length of a beautiful yarn passes gently through your fingers as you watch it grow.
The next yarn is my fine fractal yarn. If you recall (I think I blogged about it?) I was a bit disappointed with the result. However, I now have a request that I knit the yarn up, if the person requesting can have first choice. I am very happy to do this.
The journey for this yarn was a little different. I knew exactly what I wanted and explaining to a friend, found it in a Barbara Walker book (which I don't have, but will one day....), but I then was able to find it in my Traditional knitting book. Hooray! I just love the way the fabric moves, it will work perfectly.....
No, it didn't......it needed larger areas of colour, so I went in search again....how about this one?
Yep, I think I like it!