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Large Motifs

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Hey hey!

Continuing with the theme of the Deramores Blog Competition 2015, I thought I’d share some more with you today!

 

 

You’ve probably seen this garment appear quite a few times over the last year or so. It was on a mannequin in my studio loft for months when I was doing my A-levels, and I was gradually adding to it when I had time (when do I ever have time?!) haha.

 

 

I was initially going to enter this post into the “DIY Crochet Garments” category for the competition, but then I remembered that actually, the whole thing is made up of the same large crochet motifs, so why not enter it for large motifs? I’m a genius – I know.

 

#WIP #workinprogress #crochet #knitwear #knitting #knittingmachine #yarn

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Some may be familiar with this story, but for those of you who aren’t – I was given some beautiful blue cotton by a friend of mine well over a year ago, and it sat on my desk for months whilst I decided what to do with it.

It was so lovely I didn’t want to waste it, but at the same time, as someone told me the other day, if you were to get hit by a bus tomorrow, wouldn’t you regret not using all that yarn you’ve saved for something”special”? Extreme example I know, but it’s one I’m starting to live by.

It started off as just playing around with the idea of a heart motif, and gradually it expanded into this corset. It still needs lining, and then I’ve got a very talented photographer/student lined up to take some lovely photos of it when it’s finished.

 

#WIP #workinprogress #crochet #cotton #blue #knitting #knittingmachine #knitwear #yarn

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This garment for me is just pure indulgence in all honesty. The rich colours, beautiful yarn, the fact it can be whatever I want it to be without following a brief – it’s a welcome distraction when times are tough and I just want to enjoy myself.

 

 

 

I wouldn’t be doing a knitwear course if I didn’t enjoy it, but sometimes (a little bit like today), it’s nice to be reminded of why I fell in love with the craft in the first place. The freedom of being able to create your own fabrics, and have so much control over a design that you can influence something with something as small as a single stitch.

 

There we go – I’ve been promising for ages that I’d share with you what I’ve been up to recently – I hope this is an acceptable about of Granny Willis for you all!

Until next time

Bex

xxx

 

This post is my submission to the Deramores Craft Blog Competition 2015. Deramores is the UK’s number one online retailer of knitting and crochet supplies. Visit http://www.deramores.com for more details.

Rainbows

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Hi all,

Some of you may have picked up on what I said in my last post about the possibility of some unexpected new posts this week. I was sceptical that this would happen because of the fact I’ve got a deadline on Monday which means I’m working every hour God sends, but look – I’ve managed to find time!

I’ve wanted to share my current project with you, but the most I seem to have managed is the occasional photo on Instagram. So now, I’m going to use the Deramores Blog Competition 2015 as an excuse to find half an hour to sit down and share a few bits with you.

The project I’m talking about is called “The White Project,” the brief for which specifies that I should look at various cubist and futurist artists and then take inspiration from their work and translate this to knit.

 

#pablopicasso #picasso #art #stedelijkmuseum #amsterdam #painting

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As usual, I had so many ideas when I first got the brief, it took me awhile to be able to filter through them all and finally settle on a path that would give me enough scope to be able to get together a decent body of research, but at the same time not give me SO many ideas that I just spend all my time lying on the floor trying to reign in my imagination. (seriously, that’s happened before)

 

#clivebarker #motivation #quote #trustyourmadness #wordporn

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I started by looking at Picasso and Braque specifically, printing images of their work in black and white so I could really focus on the shapes within the images and not get too distracted by the (undeniably beautiful) colours – it’s the “White Project” after all!

 

 

Something that I noticed, and I’m probably stating the obvious, was that Picasso used a lot of triangles in his work (as well as ‘cubes’ obviously), so I decided to start playing around these shapes, because whilst some may consider then fairly ‘simple’, I felt that they had the potential to be something really exciting.

 

Today I drew triangles. #artstudent #cubism #thewhiteproject #knitwear #knitting #triangles

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I settled on this drawing of triangles to mainly inspire my final garment, but I still didn’t feel comfortable with just using black and white as my two colours, I wanted to be able to incorporate some of the beautiful colours I’d seen, but not so much that the whole concept of the project was lost.

 

 

It was at this point that I was brainstorming with a friend of mine who does Fine Art, and he suggested I looked a prisms.

After some research, I suddenly felt like I was back in a year 8 science lesson learning about refraction! Was this how I would be able to bring colour to my project?

 

 

Obviously this was a perfectly justified excuse to go and splurge on some lovely rainbow coloured yarn, and laden with goodies, I headed back to halls feeling triumphant that I finally knew where I was going with this project.

 

 

Instead of focusing on machine knitting, I decided to take a step back to A-level and let my work grow organically in the form of free-form crochet. I decided to add subtle texture, as you can see, by picking up and knitting along the edge of each triangle I made with the bold colours that white light splits into when refracted.

 

 

After a few nights of crocheting into the small hours, kept company with my Sex and the City box set (no judging please) I finally felt that my work was beginning to take shape.

 

 

 

It’s still a work in progress, but I’m super super happy with how it’s growing so far. I love being able to use both knit and crochet together, because as silly as it seems, some seem to consider them as completely different entities because the patterns are a “different language” but they really do compliment each other.

I’m probably going to continue to work on this one over the weekend, as I’ve got this week off work – good job I’ve got a secret stash of jammy dodgers at home – I think I’m going to need them!

There we go, now you know how I went from cubist paintings, to The Dark Side of the Moon!

 

(for those you may not have quite got my joke :P)

 

Until next time

Bex

xxx

This post is my submission to the Deramores Craft Blog Competition 2015. Deramores is the UK’s number one online retailer of knitting and crochet supplies. Visit http://www.deramores.com for more details.

2014 in a nutshell…

What a year. Without wanting to crack out the New Years cliches too much, it’s been a roller coaster.

I can’t believe it’s actually been a year. When I started looking back over 2014, things seemed like they happened a lifetime ago, not 12 months!

I thought I’d walk you through my year (don’t worry, there’s pictures) just to share with you what’s happened to me, and I hope you’ll be as surprised as I was!

 

JANUARY/FEBRUARY

This time last year, things were just starting to go slightly crazy with the ‘Blood Doesn’t Grown on Trees’ campaign that some of you might remember my involvement with.

 

#sheffield #yarnbombing for Blood Doesn't Grow On Trees

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For those of you who are unaware, I was involved with a campaign organised by the NHS Blood Transfusion Department, which involved me designing and creating 9 knitting patterns for knitted blood drops, which were then sent out nationally, and knitted by different groups across the country (and the world, it turned out!)

Once we had collected all of the blood drops in, local councils and the NHS did an amazing job of ‘yarn bombing’ them on to trees country-wide, in order to raise awareness about the fact that ‘Blood Doesn’t Grown on Trees’.

 

Blood doesn't grow on trees, you know… #yarnbombing http://www.blood.co.uk/trees

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MARCH

In March, I had the privilege of being shortlisted as part  of The National Fashion Textiles Competition, which resulted in one of my AS pieces, ‘Oceanography,’ going on display at the Spring Knitting and Stitching show which was held at Olympia.

 

Feeling famous with my work on display at Olympia! #knitting #knittingandstitching #crochet #oceanography #NFTC

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This was an amazing experience, and although my piece didn’t win anything, having it displayed where so many people could see it was really great.

 

APRIL

April was a busy month for me, because it was the lead-up to my coursework deadlines for my A level Textiles.

 

 

 

It seems like an age ago that I was tearing my hair out in my studio in the loft at 2am trying to get everything finished, but looking back at my work, it was all worth it. I was really pleased with how everything turned out 🙂

 

MAY

May saw the end of an era when I had my last day at my secondary school.

 

Scrub up alright don't we? #prom #promnight #fun #friendship #friends

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It was really strange, everything coming to an end, but at the same time it was really exciting, because all of us were jumping feet first in to the unknown, with everything hinging on what results day in August would bring.

 

JUNE

Granny Willis’ ego got a little bit of a boost in June, when I was mentioned in a ‘Simply Knitting’ Article, that was dedicated to the work that I’d down with the NHSBT.

 

 

Chuffed is an understatement.

 

JULY

July was the beginning of my summer jet-setting.

 

#heaven #holiday #malta #melliehabay #mellieha #sun #sea #beach #relax #tan

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I went to Malta for a week, which involved very little more than lying in the sun for 7 days in the Mellieha Bay.

 

Woke up at 5:52 this morning to watch the sun rise #mellieha #melliehabay #holiday #malta #sunshine #sun #sunrise

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AUGUST

But I soon came back to reality with a bump when August came around.

I’d managed to put results day out of my mind in July, but I’ve never been as happy as I was on the 14th, when I managed to log onto UCAS and check whether I’d got into University.

As many of you may know, I’m now studying Fashion and Textiles Design at Southampton University – Winchester School of Art.

 

#amsterdam #holiday#canal #bikes #pretty

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Straight after collecting our results, me and Tegan headed to Gatwick airport to fly to Amsterdam.

Where we spent a couple of days wandering around the gorgeous European city, which was a great way to celebrate us both getting into University.

 

It's so preeeetty #amsterdam #flowers #flowermarket #colour #holiday

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SEPTEMBER

The time quickly came around for me to actually move to Winchester in September.

 

Loving university #winchester #cathedral #wsa #winchesterschoolofart #art #artstudent

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This big thing called ‘University’ that I’d been so desperate to get into, suddenly became very real.

 

OCTOBER

However, in October my life was turned upside down and back to front well and truly, when I lost my Grandad.

 

#tbt

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I won’t dwell on it here, as I think I’ve explained enough in one of my previous posts, but he was an amazing man, who worked hard all of his life, and I have every intention of making him proud in 2015, and beyond.

 

#oldphotos #memories #ocean #beach

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NOVEMBER

November was the month when I was catapulted in to my last teenage year.

 

Amazing. #birthdayweekend #birthday #birthdaycard #friendship @nbnqnbnq

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What with everything that had happened, it all felt rather surreal, but thank you to my family and friends, both at home and at uni, who made sure that I had a birthday that I won’t be forgetting for awhile!

 

#bestie #bestfriend

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Now it’s sunk in, I’m definitely going to use 2015 to do everything I can still blame on ‘being a teenager’.

Life’s too short to be boring!

DECEMBER

On to this month…what’s happened so far?

 

Time to eat, drink and be merry! #christmas #festive #logfire #fire #decorations #pub #cosy

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I’ve spent quite a lot of time eating, drinking and being merry…

 

Decorating the world's smallest Christmas tree! #christmas #christmastree #decorations

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as well as attempting to be festive, although on a somewhat smaller scale than usual.

 

So there we go. That’s my year in a nutshell…I can’t believe that SO much has happened, it’s bonkers!

I’d like to take this opportunity to say thank you to everybody that has helped/aided/supported and just been there for me throughout 2014.

It’s been a wild year, and I hope that in 2015, it will only get better.

Happy New Year

Bex

x x x

Novelty Value

Goodness, it’s been a while hasn’t it?

I’m having such an amazing experience at university, the time has just flown by!

It feels like yesterday that I was travelling down here with my parents in a car that looked like it was about to explode from the amount I’d packed, but at the same time it feels like I’ve lived here forever.

Late night tea drinking #tea #mug #plant #ikea #student #artstudentproblems #artstudent #university

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Winchester is such a lovely area, and although to begin with it was really strange not having my car with me, I’m beginning to appreciate having everything on my doorstep.

My first semester consists of trying out the basics within the different pathways we can choose to specialise in after christmas. These include fashion, weave, knit and print.

At the moment I’m in the middle of 2 weeks of weave, which has definitely opened my eyes to a new way of looking a fibres, but have no fear, I’m pretty sure I still know where my heart lies! (For those of you who wonder what this could be, I shake my head in disappointment)

Studio day #university #work #student #sketchbooks #research

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I popped home last weekend, and spent Saturday having a wander around some of the current exhibitions in London – I thought I’d do a separate post on this though, because oh good gracious did the new exhibition at the Fashion and Textiles Museum make me happy?! Knitwear…so much knitwear!

Put the kettle on! #londonvictoria #london #station #home #nofilter

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I haven’t really got anything else to say at the moment, other than I’ve been at Uni all day today, I’m absolutely exhausted and think I’ll probably take a nap after posting this!

Oh aren’t I such a hardcore student?

Take care

Bex xxx

We’re all going on a…

Summer holiday!

Oi oi and Bonjour,

Any guesses to where I am at this current moment in time?

For those of you who guessed correctly, yes I am indeed sitting in a bar on a campsite in France!

I’m at a little place called Le Moulin Fort, in the heart of the Loire valley. So basically the last 6 days have consisted of sitting on a river bank doing very little and working my way through the pile of ‘must read’ books that has been growing since last year.

Sleepy baby #della #dog #cute #animal #yorkie #yorkshireterrier

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Euro Tunnel cancelled our train on the way out here, meaning that our journey took longer than we planned – some of us felt the strain more than others though it would appear. Poor little thing eh? You wouldn’t suspect she’s spent all day barking at the neighbours would you?

#hotairballoon #balloon #france #chenonceau #chenonceaux

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We’re surrounded by beautiful countryside, spitting distance from châteaux de chenonceau, which is a stunning example of French gothic and renaissance architecture, built in 1514-1522.

#chenonceaux #holiday #france #chateaux #stunning #loire #cher

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Who can complain at a view like that?

The weather is brightening up, having rained for the first few days that we were here – it’s safe to say that wasn’t much fun for any of us, being stuck in a tin can in the pouring rain, but it looks set to be rather sunny for the next week, so hallelujah!

Whilst I’ve been reading (I’ll get back to knitting soon…but even I have to rest sometimes!) Dad’s been fishing.

I love this photo – I can just imagine Sadie’s confusion at the fact Dad has been using her dog food as bait – she wasn’t very impressed…

Sorry it’s short and sweet today.

I visited the local zoo yesterday, but instead of bombarding you with photos, I thought I’d share that with you next time 🙂 Therefore,

Until next time

Bex

xxx

 

 

 

My name’s Rebecca and I’m…

a knitwear addict.

Yes. You did read that correctly. I just can’t help myself…whenever I see a vintage/unloved jumper sitting in a shop (or a flea market as it happens) it more often than not ends up coming home with me!

My two most recent purchases, as I mentioned in the blog before last, were picked up in Amsterdam.

Firstly, this machine knitted jumper may be considered by some *cough* Mum *cough* to be hideous, but I love it! I keep trying to explain that it’s probably because I actually have more knowledge of machine knitting than she does, and can therefore appreciate the skill etc that has gone into making it…but I still don’t think she’s convinced.

I bought it in an area called ‘Nine Streets’, which is basically heaven for anyone looking for unique clothing/furniture etc. We were wandering around on our first morning in Amsterdam, and came across (what to begin with) looked like a tiny little vintage shop.

Oh how wrong we were.

This shop turned out to be a 2-story treasure trove of all things vintage and retro, and we had great fun in trying stuff on and parading around in clothes that we’d actually be far too terrified to wear ‘in the real world’!

It turns out they’ve got a couple of shops in various locations, and I urge you to visit one if you’re passing – you’ll be pleasantly surprised!

http://www.episode-online.eu/

Secondly, this beauty was actually initially discovered by Tegan in a giant pile of random clothes at the Waterlooplein flea market. It cost me a grand total of €1, and although the label says it’s supposed to be for the ‘larger woman’ (I like to think that I don’t fall into this category!) somebody has actually already made the effort to alter it. Bonus!

And no, I don’t care that I look like I’ve just walked out of the 80s. I think it’s great 🙂

So there’s my dirty little secret. I’m a knitwear addict, and I’m not afraid to hide anymore!

Until next time

Bex

xxx

Alpaca Annie

Good evening everyone!

For those of you who are regular followers of my little blog, you’ll be aware that I normally try and post once a week, and most recently this has been on a Thursday.

So this week, I thought I’d shake things up a little bit, because I’ve had a relaxing day – doing very little, and spending some time concentrating on myself rather than the chaos that has been surrounding me recently (results day is looming!) – and sit and tell you about something rather exciting that I did the other day…

 

This is Haguelands farm.

A friend of mine brought it to my attention when they were over for dinner, and we were discussing (or it might have just been me ranting) about the fact that I really wanted to meet alpacas, because I find working with their wool, absolutely divine.

‘Alpaca Annie’ is based is New Romney, Kent, and are one of the few places in the country that are not only a working alpaca farm, but also offer the opportunity to meet and learn about alpacas.

http://www.alpacaannie.com/

After much deliberation, we decided to book ourselves onto an alpaca ‘trek’ at 10 am on a Friday morning.

So, armed with walking boots, and a sense of apprehension as to what we’d got ourselves into, we headed off to find ourselves some alpacas!

When we arrived at Haguelands, we were greeted by a lovely lady in the ‘Alpaca Annie’ shop, where we waited until the rest of the group (there were 8 of us in total) joined us. Once everyone had arrived, a lady called Lara came and met us, and after a quick introduction, took us to meet the alpacas that we’d be walking with that day.

I’ve only ever seen alpacas from a distance, normally in a field whilst driving, so to get up-close and personal with them was a really amazing experience.

As we walked through the fields, we were greeted by a mass of ‘pacas of all different shapes and sizes…

After a briefing and health & safety talk, we were allocated our alpacas. I was given the ‘gentle giant’, Fennell, and we were taught that as much as you want to just give them a cuddle, the best way to approach an alpaca, is with the back of your hand facing them, because that way they feel more at ease, and then to only touch their necks, because otherwise they may feel threatened.

I made a new friend today. #alpaca #alpacaannie #wool #yarn #knitting #crochet #friend #love #cute #animal

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Walking an alpaca was completely different to anything I’ve ever experienced…I spent plenty of time down at the local stables when I was younger, but an alpaca ain’t nothin’ like a horse – let me tell you!

I saw a lot of my own personality traits in Fennell…good looks, charm, strong willed, stubborn… 😉  meaning that a walk with an alpaca, is more of a gentle stroll, with plenty of grazing in between, and a carrot break half way through…what a life eh?

I love this photo – I was attempting to get Fennell to smile, but instead it just looks like we’re in the middle of a heated debate – I told him not to mention politics!!

Whilst we walked, Lara – the herdsperson – answered all of our questions about the alpacas, and it was a really educational and fun experience – and I even topped up my tan 🙂

When we got back to the farm, we were given a certificate to prove that “We’ve trekked at Haguelands Farm”, and after a few more questions, we went for lunch at the bistro which is situated on site. Lunch was delicious and reasonably priced (you receive a discount if you’ve been on an alpaca trek), which meant that it was a really lovely end to the experience.

I’d definitely recommend this to anyone who fancies doing something different and trying something new. The staff were so friendly and informative, and most importantly, the alpacas are just so cute!

On a separate note – I know I promised that I’d share what I’ve been making with that blue cotton with you in my next blog, but I think I’ve told you enough to keep you going until later in the week, when I PROMISE I’ll show you some knitting and/or crochet!

I hope you like my little alpaca report – I promise I’m not completely insane…well…no more than usual anyway 😉

Take care and see ya soon

Bex

xxx

OH! P.S – I’ve received some really positive feedback about Granny Willis recently in the form of emails/comments – please do feel free to get in touch at grannywillis@hotmail.co.uk  I don’t bite! I may be a teenager, but I can converse in a language other than grunts and unamused facial expressions…(although possibly not before 9 am)