Assignment 5: Initial textile ideas

I am finding it SO challenging to resolve my experiments and as per usual feel like I still need to explore more possibilities and compositions, delve more into yarn creations; however I am conscious of my time and he need to get all work ready and sent off really by mid September.
Here are some photos of some of my development:
I am using different coloured linens, some paper like parchment paper.
I find both work better for me if I ‘treat’ them with PVA glue to stiffen them.
I have worked heavily with the diamond style stitching as I I find it works well suggestions he texture of the fish leather, copper bottle and suggests a stylised/ geometric form that creates crystal compositions.
I am at times combining yarns when stitching.
I also want to keep playing with screenprint, possibly on a smaller but repeated scale.
It may be that 1 or 2 of my outcomes may end up being trims, so as to allow for intricate stitching.
I m also interested in the ‘line’ that keeps coming up, like a boundary/the strong edge of the fish leather:

Despite turning up and working, I don’t know where I am going or what I am doing! It feels like I am in the dark. I am observing how this must be part of the process. I feel very much like I am following breadcrumbs. There are many possibilities and ways and avenues to explore, yet there is a fine line between going for all of them and then losing focus.


I have found cutting out interesting and continuing on from the concept of  ‘fragment’ I am looking to use any scraps.

I’ve used the brown paper bag that my croissant came in. I liked the ‘waxy’ parchment quality. It echoes something about the copper bottle – something a bit bashed or crumpled. By playing with layering, I have observed how using negative space through cut outs allows me to incorporate another fabric underneath.

I knew that I needed to consider yarns too. I revisited assignment 4 and remembered how much I enjoyed making the flat type yarns.

I attempted this using the yarns and fabrics from my yarn wraps.

I din’t think these worked well and didn’t reflect the qualities of the theme.

It did help to continue thinking about how best to combine colour together through materials and yarns however.

I thought about the diamond style stitches and researched how to make nets. Using this, I created a ‘net’ out of wooden yarns which I thought might have more scope with being incorporated into more resolved samples.



Assignment 4, Yarns: reworked and re-presented

I continued to work on the last 2 parts of the project. In particular sticking and attaching in multiple ways to construct the yarn. I sewed bits on and also experimented with sellotape to join.

I still feel that I could explore these ideas much further. I would have been interested to explore using plastics, and to refine ways to make slit film-esque yarns.

One thing I am still learning about with studying this course is how to discern when enough is enough. How to manage the time I have left. The more I reworked this part of the course; the less time I was giving myself for Part 5.

When I sent my work off originally, I chose to temporarily stick the yarns in a book as I hadn’t worked out the most effective way to show them. My tutor suggested card or sketchbook but finding more subtle ways to stick them in.

So I took them all apart and decided to present any initial small samples along with the inspiration piece as a ‘landscape’ board. End then selected yarns to show side by side, perhaps elevating one or two by showing them on an individual board.

I think this worked much better, I appreciated the importance of giving work S P A C E !


As I had reflected on in my earlier reflection post, I chose to present my yarns on A2 boards.


The Art of Spinning and Dyeing

A while ago, I joined my local Guild of Weavers, Spinners and Dyers. And so grateful that I did. I have so far attended one meeting, where I felt a bit out of place and very much a novice. All the women there had their looms and spinning wheels and were confidently working and chatting away at the same time.

I finally plucked up the courage to approach a lady with her spinning wheel and asked her if she would be happy to teach me how to use a drop spindle. And before I knew it, I was sat down and part of a circle, spinning away. And what was lovely was that everyone was so encouraging, despite me spinning a very uneven yarn. I really enjoy the process. I’d like to spin more and create 2 ply, 3 ply maybe even 4 ply yarn.


A couple of weeks ago, I went to the annual dyeing day. I had to prepare by getting some undyed wool and create skeins (I used the back of a chair), and then washed them and put them in a pot with mordant – alum and cream of tartar. The following day was spent with a  a number of women from the guild, all bunging their skeins in to vats of onion skin, chamomile, daffodil heads, fustic chips, brazil wood and indigo. It was fun, intense and lots of quick decision making on the spot. As a complete beginner I did have any agenda other than to experiment. I learnt that next time, it would be a good idea to somehow tag or label my skeins after bringing them out of the dye pot, because by the end of the day I couldn’t remember which skein had been dyed with what, especially when it came to me mixing things up, creating greens by putting the yellow skeins in to the indigo, and viva-versa.

I don’t know what I’ll do with these yarns as yet. Maybe the next step is for me to rent a loom from the guild and learn to weave?!