I like to play to devise designs. I may use them or not, but usually learn something – be it good or bad.
Design is universal – an idea may be adapted and interpreted in all sorts of media. It depends what your interests are, how your mind works and how far you want to stretch it. Set aside your preconceptions and explore. Where will you get to? You may love or hate the journey, but I hope you can take away something from it.
Creating a design
There are many approaches. We will try three that I sometimes use.
What to do with a design when you’ve got one!
Don’t imagine the design on your drawing board is set in stone: you may need to adapt or develop it as you work on samples. In weave, using hand manipulated techniques can help understand difficulties in matching design to technique.
But if you enjoy other textile crafts too – knitting, crochet, felt, embroidery, patchwork or applique for example – your designs may suggest other options. Have a go! You might find new areas to carry forward into your work.
This workshop is aimed as an introduction to the art and craft of tatting. In this workshop we will use a simple shuttle, thread and one stitch/knot to make complex looking, lace-like pieces. You will discover that, although the traditional uses for tatting might be termed ‘old fashioned’, there are plenty of exciting and innovative ways in which it can be used to present it as a more modern craft.
As a self-taught tatter I hope to show you the basics of the craft and by the end of the workshop help you to be able to produce simple motifs and small projects. For the more ambitious and fast learners I will also be giving some hints and tricks to enable more complex pieces to be made.
The plan for this talk is that I will explore the development of ecclesiastical textiles over the years. I will explain the thinking behind their design, terminology, symbolism and use. We will look at some of the techniques that have been used to create them.
This will be a six-week workshop for tapestry weavers with some experience; that is, you can warp your frame, start and finish effectively, and weave weft-faced tabby in discontinuous wefts. If you are unsure of your skill then you could visit Margaret Parker’s workshop in Files, Workshop Notes, 2002, 02-10 Tapestry Weaving for a refresher.
Tapestries are normally woven flat, with great care to keep the surface even and avoid buckling or distortion, and are then displayed flat as wall hangings or mounted as pictures. However, it doesn’t have to be like that. Tapestries can be woven with raised, textured or uneven surfaces. They can be made to be deliberately wavy or buckled. They can be freestanding objects. This workshop will begin with a brief survey of 3D methods in use. Then we will focus on four methods: weaving on a 3D support; leaving open warps to be pulled up later; adding layers; making twists.
Nalbinding is a fascinating textile technique that predates Knitting and Crochet by thousands of years. It has been used by people all over the world to make everything from hats, gloves, scarves and bags to sweaters, jumpers and even dresses. It involves looping yarn via a Nal (needle) around through itself, creating a knotted fabric that (with only a couple of exceptions) will not unravel.
Like all skills, some people will pick it up quickly, others might take a while. I crocheted for 40 years before finding this technique, so it took me a bit of time to get the hang of it. However (again like most skills), with continued practice and lots of test bits and pieces all over the house, I am able to create some lovely and functional items – and I know you will too.
Acid dyes tend to have a reputation for creating bright and bold colours. While occasionally there can be a need for fluorescent yellows or in-your-face scarlets, as dyers we are often looking for a bit less stridency in our colours. In this workshop we will explore the different routes to obtaining subtle shades and blends with acid dyes. We will be working with a combination of protein fibres and yarns to investigate how the application of dyes at different stages of fibre preparation affects the final results. Also how the choice of dye mixes themselves will have an impact. Additionally, we will consider the use of the colour wheel in guiding our blends and helping us to match pre-existing colours. Each week we will build on the results of our previous dye batches to create a broad portfolio of techniques to enable you to branch out and experiment further. No previous experience with acid dyeing is required to participate in this workshop, as all materials and methods will be fully described, but if you are already a more experienced acid dyer, hopefully you will find some new and interesting approaches here as well.
A time of evaluation for the Online Guild. This week features an open discussion in which all members are encouraged to participate.
I am going to talk on production fiber work. Production work varies with the environment around you. I live on the west coast of USA, in Portland, Oregon on the 45th parallel, in a temperate climate zone much like England. My water supply is city but from a rain shed (Bull Run/Mt Hood). Meaning not hard water with an almost neutral PH value. Why is this information important? It is because in production work your environment changes the way you work and the choices you make. This environment includes the loom you have, the space around it, the heating, cooling and humidity will affect the items you weave. This environment also includes the other commitments and care you give to others and the shared space you live in.
Advice will also be given on what tools and fibres are required for different types of yarn, should you need to make purchases for use during the workshop. This will be in the form of an introductory file giving more details of the course content.
This month’s workshop will cover two of the less well known crochet techniques, Tunisian Crochet and Broomstick Lace Crochet. In recent years there has been a lot more information published about Tunisian Crochet and the various stitches you can work using this technique including working in colour and lace stitches. Patterns include garments as well as blankets and soft furnishing. Broomstick lace can be worked as a feature with other crochet stitches or as a technique on its own.
This year’s annual challenge title ‘Going Green’ can be understood in many ways; a straightforward consideration of colour, a link to envy, or an invitation to reflect on environmental issues. There are sure to be many more approaches and thoughts than those mentioned here. However you interpret this title, enjoy the process of translating an idea into a finished item.
At least one of our core skills should be used. The deadline for submission is 30th September 2021. All submissions completed by this date will be included in a dedicated eBook. Late submissions can be added to the 2021 Annual Challenge photo album.
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