Wednesday, 24 February 2010

Drawing in the Botanical Gardens

As part of orientation week for the DVA (Diploma of Visual Arts) is a day drawing in the Melbourne Botanical Gardens. Last year was rather daunting, as while I had done drawing classes, I was (and to a certain extent still am) extremely reluctant to draw in public. However, if you're going to sign up for something you might as well do it right!

Drawing is extremely important, the basis for everything that follows, an artform of itself, and it forces you to LOOK. During the process of a drawing it's fascinating to suddenly realise how closely you are looking and what you can see that you certainly didn't notice when you started.
There was significant improvement. For a start I did TWO drawings, though not completed, were taken as far as I was going to on the day. I felt far more confident. And I tried a different approach, 'encouraged' by the drawing teacher I had last year, to start working tonely with graphite, rather than with lines. I quite liked this and look forward to trying this out in the Life Drawing classes I'll be doing this year.
PS They do look better photographed rather than in the flesh!

Tuesday, 23 February 2010

The Endless Garment or stalking Issey Miyake and Sandra Backlund

Today was off to orientation at the CAE. A chance to catch up with lots of people, but basically an administration session. Instead of going off to the Art galleries that were listed, I went off to the RMIT gallery for the exhibition 'The Endless Garment: The New Craft of Machine Knitting'.

The best reason to go to exhibitions is not to look at pretty pictures, but to be shaken, stirred, inspired, shocked, surprised............In other words, when you have an emotional response, then an exhibition is a success. This was such an exhibition.

This is all machine knitting from a variety of international and local designers. There are so many ideas to absorb, both for machine knitters and hand knitters.

I'm going to purchase the catalogue when it comes out. I highly recommend that you pop in and have a look at the exhibition.

There's a number of event as part of the exhibition, I'm particularly interested in the Public Lecture by the Creative Director for Issey Miyake, and, the talk titled Knit your building. for more details visit: Rmit Gallery

Exhbition dates: 12 February - 21 March 2010

RMIT gallery / 344 Swanston Street / Melbourne

Mon - Fri 11-5 / Saturday 12 - 5 /

Friday, 19 February 2010

What I was supposed to do in the holidays, or making friends with my knitting machine

With the long summer holidays and having made the decision to, again, not do any markets in February, I decided that I would try and develop a new product more suited to the warmer months. Upcycling t-shirts by inserting beautiful machine knitting is still thought, by me to be a good idea......

It's an idea that is still in the general swirl of my thoughts, but it hasn't quite made it to reality. I do have a beautiful op-shop t-shirt to work on, and I have been working on my knitting machine, but not on the same project.

I have created this.

A combination of my favourite machine knitting stitch, the tuck stitch, and long floats has worked out beautifully. I haven't pressed all the kinks out of the floats, I do like them.

I added 9 pearl buttons to each end, just to give it a bit of weight. (it weighed just 50gm with half the buttons on!) These were obtained from the lovely Anne in a swap, perspex for pearl buttons...I think I am very lucky. They finished it off just right, giving just enough of that weight to be able to tie the ends if wanted.

I'm about to start on the next one, having done a sample in what is likely to be the last of some gorgeous red mercerised cotton, that I've used in lots of projects. It's a stunning shiny red and I hope the pattern will work out right for this one. Yes, each shawl will have a different pattern. My knitting machine and I are friends, so I'm going to try all sorts of different patterns.....

Thursday, 18 February 2010

I'm back!

After the most frustrating month without access to my computer and my files, the team (husband and oldest son) have finally got me back online. I did stay out of this as the old adage 'too many cooks spoil the broth' was perfectly apt; two IT professionals and a knowledgeable 18 year old meant that within 5 minutes of working on the problem we were arguing. A hasty (door slamming) retreat was made by me.
The computer problem was payback for the first weekend away that my husband and I have had to ourselves since before children. We've had nights away, and, individually, have been away for weekends, but not together. Doesn't sound much, but anyone with children will know that one night is just that! Drop the children off to babysitters, in our case, if using in-laws was travelling too far, or, cleaning up the spare bed so that babysitter could stay. If lucky we could have an afternoon, then our night out, then get back quickly to relieve said babysitter.

Our weekend was all out for Saturday night dinner, we headed off and spent all Sunday and most of Monday all by ourselves. The big boy cooked dinner for the two of them, so they were well fed and could watch whatever they wanted without my usual ' not THAT again'. (They do like to watch their favourite shows over and over and over again......I know an awful lot of shows, but have rarely ever watched full episodes, just osmosis over time)
Phone call just before returning was 'we've got a virus on the computer'........

Anyway, I have been working but will sort of work backwards through various interesting things that I've done. Not as much as I wanted, but some fun.

What am I working on now?

I have two scarves that relate to each other. The first was a 'just finish off spinning so I can get on with the next project' sort of thing that I fell in love with and kept going. I had purchased some alpace 'bump' they called it. You could pull from the centre and spin and it was in changing shades. I didn't think that I could recreate the original look, but to my amazement I did. I spun half from the centre and then from the outside and plied the two singles together. (This was going to be a whole entry about guessing half - I am always unsuccessful, but that was another story)

The resulting yarn was beautiful. As I spent most of the time at the beach spinning this I wanted a pattern that reminded me of the beach, waves, sand, seashore.....

As I thought the colour was right, I came up with two patterns in one. Half is a scallop pattern with an odd purl row thrown in, the other is double knit stocking stitch with the odd purl row. I'm hoping that because one side will be shorter than the other that I'll get a soft frill. I'm really happy with this so far.

So much so that I started another scarf with the double knit alternating sides and just garter stitch with extra rows for the frill. Out of my stash came a lovely blue and lurex yarn and dark blue mohair, which I 'm running out of! Might be a different blue mohair at the end.
What a ramble. See I missed you all!