Wednesday, 3 February 2016

Bits and Pieces

In Circles, 2015. Currently on show at Upfront

We have made it through the first month of the year! Wind, snow and gale force winds have made it an interesting start but each day takes us closer to spring. I've had a good start to the new year with several new projects starting off, a piece of my work on show in the Upfront Gallery Open exhibition and a large textile piece finished. I've also been to two workshops and have been busy making, drawing and creating. I thought I'd do a little round up of some of the bits and pieces I've been up to...

My new spinning wheel!

Spinning (with helper)

Getting used to a different system

Having developed a new interest/obsession over the Christmas holidays I have spent the past few weeks trawling the interweb and ebay for a second hand spinning wheel. Having been outbid on several wheels I did eventually get one and it arrived this week. It's quite different to the wheel I learnt on as it is a double drive but I'm having fun figuring out how it all works. The spinning wheel was made by Haldane (who now make staircases, apparently) and is a lovely dark wood. I'm trying hard to get all my prep and planning work done quickly so I can get back to spinning!

My hand-spun, hand knitted cushion (front)

My hand-spun, hand knitted cushion (back)

My hand-spun, hand knitted cushion (detail)

I have also knitted up my first lot of hand-spun yarn. I've made a big cushion cover using plain old stocking stitch to show off the character of the yarn. I used all six skeins that I'd spun and it was interesting as I knitted them in order so that I could see the progression of my spinning. The first skein was very irregular with lots of odd lumps and bumps but by the time I reached the last skein it was much more even. It's lovely and squishy and it is very satisfying knowing that it's something I've not only knitted but have created the yarn for.

Daily Drawing

Daily Drawing

Daily Drawing

Most years one of my resolutions is to draw more and to keep up my daily drawing practice. I'm feeling quite pleased that, so far, I have actually managed to do that this year. I've been trying to spend a little bit of time in the studio each day. Even if it is only five or ten minutes I feel like it's a good habit to get into. I've also managed to finish a big textile piece that I'd been ignoring for some time, I'm now quite pleased with it and it's good to have it off my 'I really should work on that' list.

Circle scarf

Circle Scarf

Another of my resolutions is to use up some of my fabric stash before buying more. I'm doing less well with this as I went to a local fabric shop and ended up buying more fabric because they had such lovely prints. On the plus side I did then use this fabric plus some from my stash to make a couple of big circle scarves. They're made from fat quarters and are a nice way of mixing and matching prints. Plus, you can never have too many scarves...

Silk Painting

Silk Painting

Silk Painting

I've also had a go at weaving a hare from willow and silk painting (not at the same time.) But, I think that's enough for one post so I'm off to play with my spinning wheel...

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