Monday, 28 April 2014

Knitting a Winslow Homer painting!

It's not every day you get to knit pieces that will be stitched onto a sheet and that will form a knitted version, of a Winslow Homer painting!
Well that's what I was doing today along with several other volunteer ladies and a socially interesting and fun time we had too!

Sue Mcbride standing and Maureen Wilson on the left, with an enlarged, folded, photocopy of the painting, which all but covers the table in front of them.
That's Jean above right who has some smashing pictures on her blog of items being made for the exhibition by volunteer knitty folks at the moment.

those are the skirts of two of the lasses above

some pieces of sky above and below a smaller version of the painting we are recreating in knitting!

It's all to do with this Follow The Fishes exhibition which will come to Hull in june.
The play 'Tie up Your Fingers' and featuring the story of 3 herring fisher lasses will be staged at our Hull Truck Theatre and this knitted 'painting', will hang at the theatre as part of a knitting event -
much yarn bombing will take place in Hull at the end of May yeahhh!
Jean's post explains about the 1881 Eyemouth fishing disaster where 189 men were lost at sea.

Above is the upside down sky pieces and two skirts for the fisher lasses and below was the start of some big needle knitted sea! Such a lovely Greek lady this whose lived here for a couple of years and by the time she left the 'sea' must have been about 10' long!

Sue Mcbride  whose mum lives in Hull, decided to organise a knitted version of a Winslow Homer painting and encourage local folks to get involved in knitting bits, which she and her fellow 'Materialistics' member pal, Maureen Wilson would stitch to a backing sheet.

The Materialistics have done this kind of thing before, take a look!

And Sue of course is responsible for the book

Knitting for Gold -

and if you nab a copy of the current Simply Knitting magazine,
you will see the London taxi that the Materialistics wrapped in knitting, that helped bring Safia Shahs book
Carnaby Street's Great Univited, to public attention last October in London.

There is also the most divine Alan Dart pattern for Feline Flappers in the magazine too !
Okay hope that's given you an insight into why Im knitting at the moment and the hexis are on hold.
Ive starfish to knit and a large puddle on sand to construct and im so looking forwards to helping Sue yarnbomb Hull the wknd of 24th May!!
I think I was born to yarn bomb lol though it's Jean who is knitting the bomby bits most successfully at the moment - Go Jean, Go!
: )

The British Jumble Sale

Now it has to be said that this great British event, once a very popular pastime, generally taking place on a Saturday and mainly during the summer months ~ is becoming a rarer occurrence.
The so much more popular 'car boot' craze, has ensured that the jumble sale is fast becoming a thing of the past!
( pics here from one I attended yesterday - before the mad rush of bodies in the queue after me, surged in lol)

Yes in more recent past times folks donated their 'junk' to the guides, schools or scouts for them to sell at 'fairs' for  local fund raising.
Yes folks like myself cadged 'junk' to sell at a car boot stall and every two months or so, we'd sell what was left at a jumble sale ~ in our case to funds to pay for food and vets bills for the rescued cats we looked after.

I suppose the tradition goes right back to the rag merchants in Victorian times, who would sell the still wearable clothes they collected to the clerks or lowly paid workers, who couldn't afford to buy their clothes new.
They would sell the tattered clothes to the Fagins of the day and only the very, very worst of fabrics would be deemed to be rags back in those days.

When I was running jumbles the best of them cleared about £300-400 with us receiving about £100 - £120 for the best part of a ton of residue clothing by the end of any jumble.
Then the rag price dropped drastically and we got very little for what was left at the end, much of which was clothing in very good condition.

Then we would box up the reasonable bric a brac, bag up the better clothing and offer it to a charity shop for them to try and sell on.
It meant us driving it to charity shops at the end of a jumble, when we all bloody tired lol but we figured some of what we had left over, was still eminently saleable, so we'd let someone else maybe benefit - rather than the rag man, who all but asked us to pay him, to take it away!
So some of us took crap to the dump whilst others drove the better stuff to charity shops.
The price of rags has risen sharply again, so rag men are able to cash in on jumble sales when a lot is left over at the end and the organisers just want rid of it all.
Imagine my surprise them to find that yesterdays jumble pulled the church in well over £700!
I may have to run jumbles again but for myself!!
I have a dilapidated garage so could store gear in there lol
Did I buy anything at this jumble then?
Yes of course lol
Fabrics, for more clippy and peggy cushions, a couple of white lacey bits ( Mary Anne take note lol) and this little fabric trivet ( 10p) but I only bought it because its been made by the that technique Mary Anne mentioned on her blog - coincidence again MA!!

Some vintage aprons too, for the cotton fabrics but its almost a shame to cut them up - classic 50s as they are.

Anyway, thought Id give the flavour of a jumble sale here, for those of you far away who have garage sales, which I guess would be largely outdoors.
Jumble sales at best have clothing from Marks and Spencer ( clothing that never, ever wears out, its so well made!),
last years designer clothing,
1940's,50's, 60s original gear, snapped up by students and retro traders 
but are also the epitome of tat bric a brac, for sale for pennies,
 but it just goes to show how much tat is needed by the masses lol
- and I include myself in that : )

Friday, 25 April 2014

Hexi update : )

I've been happily hexi-ing away here.
That sounds nice doesn't it, as if it's almost a transcendental state to be in lol
Well maybe it is, since I do find hexi making and stitching, to be very relaxing.
My planned idea for my bed cover using batik hexis, with white on white fabrics is evolving, so I'm just going to see how it plays out with whichever fabrics I choose to use.
The central area is done and I am gathering some hexi soupcon shapes to play along with.
I'm using 5 different white on white patterns, so you won't see the real interest in the white fabric on the photo, but the white outer path is in one pattern design and the central hexi's are a mix of two other designs.
Hard to believe its almost the end of april but the bonus is that the
May Hexi BOM will be due soon : )

Tuesday, 22 April 2014

The ironed and finished april hexi BOM and some stunning horses heads!

Some amazing art works of horses heads, have been officially opened for public viewing up in Falkirk and they even have them lit from within at night, so I reckon they will look even more striking then.
They were featured on the news this evening and they called them the Kelpies............which are imps of some kind as far as I recall from Brownies lol

an interesting time lapse film about their construction is here

AND take a look at these pictures !;_ylt=A7x9Uk_trlZTCGUAxGx3Bwx.;_ylu=X3oDMTBsZ3ZhODNnBHNlYwNzYwRjb2xvA2lyZAR2dGlkAw--?_adv_prop=image&fr=yhs-ironsource-fullyhosted_003&va=falkirk+horses&hspart=ironsource&hsimp=yhs-fullyhosted_003

Saturday, 19 April 2014

April hexi BOM ~

Almost finished stitching it to the back ground.
I liked that some folks had added flowers to their baskets
so I did too : )
gosh it needs a jolly good pressing!
Happy Easter folks ~

Sunday, 13 April 2014

Glimpses of Britain with Gail Lawther - a brilliant talk!

Well our monthly club meet yesterday was a humorous feast of all things delightfully British and a delight to listen to.

Gail Lawther gives a fast, funny and informative narrative of her reasoning behind the planning and making of the 24 panels,
that form the basis (of two and half years of work!) of her new book.
These following links can do a far better job than I, so do please trip over to You Tube and watch them.
One shows Gail herself chatting briefly about her former book
Glimpses of New Zealand

and the other SO delightfully and pictorially shows the
Glimpses of Britain book itself!

I bought a copy of her book yesterday since I was captivated by several of her pieces of work ........... the Beatles one especially is divine!
But for example, having decided that cricket, Halle's Comet and also King Harold should be included somehow, in things British ..........
she's depicted Bayeux Tapestry like scenes of King Harold with accompanying cricketing wit and words, whilst Halle's comet flies overhead!
Seemingly King H saw it before he chased off to fight and thought it was a portentous sign ........... sadly it wasn't for him!

Inspirational interpretation lol

There are 24 projects in it as well as close ups of her pieces and explanations of what she did on them.
So, well worth seeking out for a read or treating your book shelf to a copy, since she uses so many different techniques there's a bit of something for most every stitcher.

She asked that no photos should be taken, but then said I might take a couple if I was putting info about the book on my blog after all, but having taken a couple of pics ............ today they simply wont download but thankfully the You Tube link should give you an idea.

I must say after listening to her talk, I was really proud of our British heritage, spelt out as it was in this most unusual manner!
Okay some of it was creatively and poetically air brushed into the panels , as is all history, but even so, it was a joy to hear and see listed, the very many attributes these collective islands do have.
And Gail's stitching and creativity is a delight to see!
On a personal and political note ~
Please Scotland,  stick with us -
                   and vote against separation from Great Britain~
Scotland, England, Wales and Ireland ARE Great Britain!

Meanwhile some other completed hookies from last weekends workshop were on display >>>>

Jean's tee shirt shaggy sample piece she'd made some time ago -
with her completed circle, which will form a rug when she's made more circles to join together.
A great idea I reckon that and doesn't it look like an agate or something in its design?

I must have wobbled on this one but you can still see the delightful flower shapes and then the lovely stained glass effect below too.

And below are some of the knitted herring fishes that members had made for the Follow the Herrings theatre and exhibition that is travelling down the east coast, following the herring fishermen's  and fisher women's trail of old ~

And although I don't 'twitter', this link if you scroll down through, has some amazing pictures of knitted, sea themed items that will be used for display during the 'Tie up Your Fingers' theatre tour.
The women folk who travelled down the east coast, following the herring fishermen as they landed their catches, and who gutted the 'silver darlings' needed to tie rags round their fingers,
so they didn't cut themselves ( as much!).
Hence the title of the play.

Friday, 11 April 2014

Hooky cushion completed!

Yeahhhh it's finished and I'm happy enough with it thankfully.
It's padded quite firmly, so sits really nicely in my back and does just what I hoped it would do, gives me lumbar support whilst sat sitting!

I had a length of vintage, pink crimpoline, so used that for the backing and it seems to work quite well with the colour mix on the front.
It was either that or a felted black woolly jumper, but the vintage fabric called out to me.
It's about 14" across and was quite fun to make up so think I may have to make some more.

I have an unimaginative plastic covered, circular poufe that I was going to cover with chunky knitted yarns and fabrics but I may top it with a hooky circle instead, maybe.

Now the hooky is finished I am back to making up hexis into an easter basket shape, for the BOM.
There are far too few hours in the days when you work,
I'm going to have retire!
It's our club meeting tomorrow and we have Gail Lawther coming to talk to us, again, since she's been before with her amazingly beautiful New Zealand stitcheries.
I hope to take photos so may have something interesting of hers to show you over the weekend.

Tuesday, 8 April 2014

Change of hooky pattern lol

I kept looking at the design and decided all the circles should be circular patterns so spent time pulling out the scrappy circles and have in filled them again. bet it doesn't look any different at first glance does it lol but I like it much better now and am filling in the outer edges now.

Here's more of Heathers work to show you -


Hooky rugging is as infectious as hexi making!!

I'm having fun with this hooky technique though the colours don't look as interesting as they are in reality, a late evening shot under a side table lamp light - must try for a daylight shot next.
Im going to have to practise a lot, no ALOT, if Im ever to achieve the even tension of Heathers work but then, I do like texture in my work!
And she does steam press her work finally, to meld it all together and that no doubt flattens her tension out too.
Forgot to say, Heather said never use your best dressmaking scissors to cut fleece fabrics, because it will blunt them, after all you are basically cutting plastic - well who knew!
She also suggested using the rotary cutter to cut out narrow and uniform fabric strips - so sensible and of course it never even occurred to me!! Mind you it seems to blunt back the old blade quite quickly and plays havoc then with the cutting mat surface!
But cutting the strips that way works just fine, so I wont be buying a fancy fabric cutter gadget, even though I do love natty gadgets lol
: )

Saturday, 5 April 2014

Heather Ritchie rugging workshop : )

I had an interesting day today, attending a rag rug technique workshop with Heather Ritchie who has many years experience of rag rugging and who also founded and supports Rug Aid.
Rug Aid allows visually impaired adults and children the opportunity to make rag rugs which they then sell on to tourists for very little, when you consider the effort that has gone into making them.
This stops them however, from having to beg for money to buy food and gives them a sense of achievement and personal confidence.
The blind are considered the dregs of Gambian society but then Gambia is a poor nation and visual impairment is not considered important.

It's worth looking at these pics of some of her work;_ylt=A7x9UncifUBTmS4ALvd3Bwx.;_ylu=X3oDMTBsZ3ZhODNnBHNlYwNzYwRjb2xvA2lyZAR2dGlkAw--?_adv_prop=image&fr=yhs-ironsource-fullyhosted_003&va=heather+ritchie+rugs&hspart=ironsource&hsimp=yhs-fullyhosted_003

One of the small mats made by the Gambian ruggers -

Anyway about 20 of us had a great day listening to Heathers delightful Sunderland accent.
Sometimes the obvious is the last thing you think about doing...
like using a rotary blade to slice quickly and cleanly through fabrics to make your fabric strips! duhhh <<< never occurred to me lol

I have made a couple of rag rugs in the past, one door mat sized with floral cotton fabrics which turned out well. I also made a denim larger rug but it got so heavy I lost the will to continue lol
( I donated it to charity, hope someone else finished it!)

Anyway here's a selection of Heathers work - hooky technique and some proddy (shaggy) embellishment you'll notice too.

 loved the little houses and the flower is a pin

smashing wreaths these

Fabulous freeform rugging, love this technique especially

fabulous bags here and one supersized using up small square samples

This natty gadget cuts fabric into thin strips with very little effort but it costs ALOT by all accounts : (

This is my textural effort so far using the hooky technique, hardly inspiring but fun to do ~

Tuesday, 1 April 2014

Hexi faffing and woe is me no more Sunday Muskateers!

Now I'm itching to know what the April hexi BOM is but I cant find it yet on the Yahoo groups page, frustrating that !

Since I still haven't found the hexi bed cover I started last year, but had packed away for moving, I feel I have to start another one.
I mean it HAS to be still in a box here somewhere and no, I've looked under the ironing pile lol it's not there!
So I started doodling away and am going to make a sort of doodly hexi cover, using a mix of hexi pattern ways, using predominantly batiks and white on white fabrics for the pathways round about.

Not altogether sure it will exactly follow this central plan but the hexis above, that Hilly cat is trying hard not to notice, is the centre in the diagram above, using up my soupcons for now.
I may yet embroider round one or all of them but am still in the thinking about it stage, although I did buy some variegated threads at the NEC for that purpose.

Ive laid the red star one on as you can see, but it is not a batik fabric so wont remain as part of this final design.

I took Max dog for a walk along the river bank footpaths near the out of town shopping area and I've rarely seen the Humber look so calm and flat.
The Humber is tidal and the tides riding high but here you can get an idea of how dusky and hazy the sunset was.  It was quite delightful really.
The fresh air was a real tonic after feeling so rough but my recovery is going well : )
Oh and mortified am I, since The Muskateers series has ended,
what will I watch now on a sunday evening!
Were I only younger, yes  Athos and I could have made an interesting couple ............... sighs with feeling .........
I have had an altogether change of heart about wearing,
well okay, men wearing, leather !
The Musketeers
Oh and more proof I am feeling much better!
Gordons Gin have a new brew according to an ad on tv earlier!
Gordons Gin with Elderflower
Got to trial that for medicinal purposes naturally....