29 Mar 2011

Crochet blanket

My effort of a heart on my crochet blanket - kinda looks like bows I think. I am going to keep it and carry on with the shell patterns. x

28 Mar 2011

Investigating if traditional knitwear can be produced using modern mass production methods

Master's Idea -
The more traditional styles within knitwear differ from country to country. This was in response to direct and specific requirements, in some case's this was the garment design, the yarn used or even the texture within the knit. With the introduction of mass production methods these difference's have mainly been lost. It is now quicker, easier and cheaper to produce knitwear in China that will travel all over the world. A generation of knitwear wearer's are now unaware of the difference's in traditional knitwear from their countries compared to any other. We now have a collective 'world style' within knitwear, this is usually the easiest styles and textures that can be made through mass production.
In the future can we look at re-gaining the separation of knitwear styles between countries and see more of traditional textures. This could mean re-introducing knitwear production into countries like Britain, which would reduce the production capacity within factories and create more of a distinctive style. However can the traditional textures and styles be reproduce in modern production? Can this be done in a intelligent and modern way to produce garments that work for today?


Something to do with knitwear being a women's craft and if this is outdated in modern times.....Does knitwear hold women back because it is an outdated craft?

What ya' think?

17 Mar 2011

30 Years Of Japanese Fashion and such

A few weeks back, in the freezing cold I made my way down to the Barbican to see the '30 Years Of Japanese Fashion' exhibition. It was a small but very good exhibition, full of those interesting and forward thinking ideas that Japanese fashion is all about. Definitely something to inspire anyone -
Knitting merged into wool
Doll necklace

knitted corset anyone?

Practical and pretty

blend into your environment

The question is what to do this weekend - apart from watching the England rugby team winning the 6 nations. There is the stitch and craft show on in London, which looks good but is it worth the £10 to get in? Or the Design Museum which is showing Fashion Fringe and the Designs of the Year awards. I really want to see the design awards as it will have a lot of interesting things in it from cars to cups to fashion. 



16 Mar 2011

Barbara G Walker

Barbara G Walker is a author of many knitting books from the 60's, 70's and 80's as well as many feminist books.
Some knitters may already know her works, but they were just introduced to me by a work colleague. I was searching for a stitch dictionary - something to inspire and learn from when designing. My work colleague told me the best one she had was by Barbara Walker, and brought in her copy of Charted Knitting Designs: A Third Treasury of Knitting Patterns. In this books pages were many new stitches - different and exciting ways to look at knitting. And all written in a way that both new knitters could understand and experienced knitters could quickly access. No many, many lines of cryptic code - just a graph to follow and the occasional written pattern. Although they are from the 70's and the pictures are black and white, it does not put me off. The pictures are big and clear and mostly not needed in colour. However if you need colour photograph's then there is a website out there for you - The Walker Treasury Project - a group that collects colour images of Barbara's pattern's. They are added by the users and so they are not all there, but there is a good collection for sure.
I found it very interesting as well to see her two subjects were knitwear and feminism. I wonder how she found the two, if she related them or kept them separate. Can knit wear be a part of feminism or the other way round?

13 Mar 2011

Knitting, rugby and knitting

This weekend I have been working on 3 of my 5 projects I have on the go. I heard of this idea of having 5 projects on the go from my Mum, who got it from a pod cast. The idea being to have 5 projects on the go to swap and change when you get bored or for different time's. My 5 are -
Baby blanket for my niece,
Jumper for my brother,
Crochet blanket for me,
Cardigan for my Boyfriend, 
and patchwork hanging for my sister in law.
As they are all in different stages and in different techniques this stops me getting bored with just one project and I can pick up something at anytime - when I'm taveling, when I'm watching TV or when I am too tired to concentrate. I have a project for each day of the week and the weekend is a mixture if I want.
This weekend was a big push on the baby blanket, getting a good amount of block's finished, unfortunatly finishing off my yarn in the process - awaiting some more in post. Also getting a few lines on the crochet blanket done and seaming my brother's jumper. And in between all of that was the rugby.... I'm not a huge fan of all rugby but I like a bit of international and not just for the boys in their tight shirt's!
My traveling partner - the crochet blanket
Baby blanket on saturday morning
Baby blanket on Sunday

10 Mar 2011

MA in Knitwear Design

I am working at the moment in a high end fashion company, I am a product development assistant for knitwear and jersey, meaning I help the designers get their design's into the shops. But what I really want to do is an MA in knitwear design, it would be my dream come true. So in order to persue this dream I went to an open evening last knit at a very good University. I was in LOVE. The machine's...the space...the tutors....
Just what I want to get out of the mundane horror of office work! Now I just have to apply, get in, get funding and quit work at the busiest of times.... nothing big then.

Last Night I Dyed

Last night I raced home to dye up a few hanks of baby Alpaca lace. I had bought three hanks of undyed yarn a couple months back meaning to dye it up, I of course didn't. It came from a great website called Fyberspates - it has a section of undyed yarns for sale for people who want to have a go at dying.
I rinsed them and lay them out on a bin linner on the floor. Then using Dylon mixtures and a sponge I space dyed them. It wasn't a huge success but I got three dyed skeins out of it, I think I need to do more research on dying yet.
Next up I will be trying out natural dying I think. Only problem is a don't have the space in my tiny flat....cue a lot of mess and a mad boyfriend. The things I do in pursuit of some nice yarn.

7 Mar 2011


This is a test post from flickr, a fancy photo sharing thing.
All set up and ready for action!
I spent most of Saturday cleaning, taking a part and putting back together my Brother knitting machine and ribber attachment. I've had it for about 2-3years now and I don't think it's ever worked very well, it drops stitches constantly, bends needles all the time and generally makes a mess. The ribber attachment is worse and I gave up on it some time ago. After trying to find someone to service it (not easy) and talking about it to friends, I decided to have a go myself. So I jumped on my laptop and hunted around for answers. I came up with my sponge bar being worn out, it should have been 1/2'' and it was less than a 1cm. Replacing it was easier than I thought - I found a upholester's that gave me some scraps of high density foam to use. It was a case of pulling out the old foam, dissolving the glue from the metal, cutting the new foam to shape and glueing it in using UHU. I ironed on some woven facing to stop it from catching and there we have it.
My machine actually started working - I was amazed and a little sad that I hadn't done this earlier. Everything started going right, I got my ribber set up and managed to make some decent swatch's.
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