Thursday, 28 November 2013

Project 8 - Yarns

I have got a large stash of knitting yarns because I have been knitting and crocheting for years and I can never resist buying yarn.  I looked through all my yarns and picked out a selection in all the categories from 100% wool and silk to nylon, polyester and acrylic mixes. The range of yarns available today is vast and ranges from the very cheap to the very expensive.  I like working with the more expensive yarns but they aren't without their problems, I find a lot of the Debbie Bliss yarns split when knitting with them.  For baby clothes and blankets that are in the wash all the time, I find the cheaper yarns with acrylic in them wash much better and keep their shape better.  Modern acrylics can also be soft and keep the softness through many washes. 

I have also looked at the more unusual yarns - video and cassette ribbon, wool roving, old tights, t-shirt yarn and plastic bag yarn.

Exercise 1
I made a series of paper weavings. I used an old sketch and gold foil, then tried a piece of striped scrapbook paper with the addition of thinner green strips.  I then used a patterned plastic and metallic foil.  I especially like this example with the foil strips woven through at an angle.  I then tried weaving with ripped strips of fabric adding a few embroidery stitches to hold it together.  I like how all of these examples have turned out. 

I also tried the same technique using fabric strips.  I like the way this has turned out.  A very quick way to get a patchwork effect.
Exercise 2

Stick Weaving
1. Using DK in 6 colours
2. Using DK acrylic in single colour
3. Using a mix of yarns and a stripe of a bobbly yarn
Woven (Hard)
4. Black and White plastic cord woven around in a square shape to produce a cord.
Plaiting (Rough)
5. Plaited zips
Twisted Cord
6. Same slub yarn as 7
Plaiting (Soft)
7. Slub yarn
8. Wool roving
Crochet (Rough)
9. Multi-coloured DK acrylic, crocheted into a chain, and then the chain crocheted again into a chain
10. Aran acrylic
11. Crofter DK - Acrylic/Cotton/Wool mix
French Knitting (Soft)
12. A long piece of French knitting in DK Acrylic, plaited together

Exercise 3
I started collecting ideas onto my Weaving Ideas Board board on Pinterest.  For my first piece I used a piece of chicken wire as the base. Using plarn (a strip of plastic cut from a bag) I first knitted a small piece and attached this to the base with short pieces of plarn knotted through the knit and the wire.  I then knotted the plarn round the chicken wire.  I also wrapped any bare wire with the plarn.  I like the way this piece has worked I like the different textures and the open pieces with the bare wire covered in fabric.  

The second sample is a piece of open worked crochet that I used as a grid and through which I then wove other yarns and knotted them on all sides.  I like how this piece looks but wish I had used some different colours.

Exercise 4
Inspired by beach finds ...

... I started the grid with four pieces of driftwood which I constructed into a square with string wrapping at each corner.  The same string forms the grid in the centre.  I have used a variegated blue dk and an eyelash yarn with beads and shells threaded onto them before weaving a section.  I added a string of shells, woven in and left to cascade down.  I hoped it looked like it had been washed up on the shore with  a collection of flotsam and jetsam caught in its net.

Reflective Commentary
Weaving has never really appealed to me before.  However after constructing these experimental pieces I have realised that it can produce some surprising results in even in its most simplistic form.  I have enjoyed working on these exercises and think the paper weavings have worked out well. I like the way the stripes are formed when the same colour is used for the warp and the weft.  I also like the metallic foil added on the diagonal.  I like the fabric weaving, a very quick way to produce a patchwork effect. 

In analysing the colour, texture and proportion the use of felt pens to match the colours in the images was not accurate at all.  I had more success with using acrylic paints in earlier exercises, but I wanted to try using felt pens.  I had more success matching the colours on the yarn wraps.  I like doing the yarn wraps, I think they are a good starting point and really create a good colour scheme.

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