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DIY Crochet Garments

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Hi everyone,

Those of you who follow me will know that I have a somewhat…different…taste when it comes to clothing. I don’t go out of my way to dress outrageously (which is not what I consider to be my style) but I do have a habit of not always following the crowd.

My wardrobe is absolutely stuffed with knitwear, and heaven help me when it gets to summer – I’m going to have to go on a serious shopping  spree!

I was in a lecture the other day with guest speaker Teresa Collenette who was wearing the most AMAZING granny square jumper. She was discussing how charities like Oxfam had turned the traditional ‘Granny Square’ into a money making machine, and utilised the idea of craft to pursue activism.

It’s what sparked the idea for my recent essay that examined the correlation between the popularity of knitwear in conjunction with the popularity of feminism.

It’s safe to say that this lecture really inspired me to say the least.

 

 

As a result of this, I couldn’t resist trying to make something similar myself.

Alongside the blue free-form crochet corset that I shared with you in the previous post, it’s been my other Work in Progress.

Being able to sit and mindlessly crochet granny squares whilst watching Poldark really helps me to relax. (Aidan Turner may also play a part in this…but obviously it’s mostly the crochet!)

 

 

Once I’d built up a fair stash of granny squares, I started pinning them on to my mannequin, and trying to figure out how I could turn them (successfully) into a garment.

Like the corset, this piece is still a WIP, but I’m really pleased with how it’s coming along.

 

 

Working with granny squares reminds me of working with pixels. Building up all of those different squares to be able to create a finished shape that moulds to the body and doesn’t make you just like you’re wearing a blanket that you’ve picked up from a charity shop! – Just a side note – there’s nothing wrong with charity shop blankets, but it wasn’t the look I was going for.

I love having the ability to make my own garments. There’s nothing quite as rewarding as when somebody asks you where you got something and you’re able to say “I made it myself actually.”

It gives me a real buzz, especially when I’ve created it free-hand without a pattern, it makes the garments I create one of a kind, which is something that really appeals to me. Except when I forget to write the pattern down thinking I’ll remember it, and then wake up the next day and have to try and decrypt the stitches I’ve used – learn from my mistakes!

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.

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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.

Exciting news…

Hi everyone!

This week I’ve got some really exciting news for you all, so if you’ll be so kind as to let me, I’ll quickly fill you in on what’s been happening to me…

OLYMPIA

Let’s start with the best news so far. At the end of last year, when I was running around tearing my hair out and trying to prepare my portfolio for university interviews, my textiles teacher suggested that our class individually enter a competition that she’d heard about at the Knitting & Stitching show at Ally Pally.

I’ll be honest and say that I really wasn’t that interested because I had so much happening at the time, but I just thought ‘Hey, what’ve you got to lose?’ – and it only involved sending photos of my work, which meant I could keep everything else for my portfolio 😀

Therefore, to cut a long story short, I am really proud to announce that one of my final pieces of AS textiles coursework has been shortlisted for the National Fashion Textiles Competition, and consequently will be displayed at the Spring Knitting and Stitching show at Olympia from the 13th-16th March!!!! so so so excited.

It’s getting judged on the 13th at 1pm – yes, I’m going to be there, and then I don’t really know what happens after that…but still…yaaaaaaay!!!

Oh yeah…this is the piece that’s going to be on display – modelled by my stunning friend Toni (thank you!!) – the piece is called ‘Oceanography’

DSC_0791

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TECHNOPHOBE

Secondly, whilst I was in the bath last night (not that you needed to know that…but now you do!) I decided to set up an Instagram account. Now. My friend Jess has been nagging me to do this for ages, and in all fairness, it’s actually really good fun…*queue slightly stalkerish behaviour beginning to become apparent.

So my username is granny_willis for those of you who want to check it out, and maybe even follow me (please?) I’ve also added the widget in my sidebar >>>>>>>>>>>>

So that those of you who don’t have/want/need/have never heard of Instagram can check out what I’m doing in between blogs as well.

I’m hoping it’s going to be good way with keeping you all up to date with just my life in general really, not necessarily knitting related, but of course there’s going to be knitting/crochet/art involved, but it won’t be solely dedicated to this. It’s going to be dedicated to my life as an individual, the life of an 18 year old art student and knitting blogger, because essentially, that is what I am 🙂

VALENTINES DAY

Going off on a little bit of a tangent, I seem to have been asked a great deal this weekend “so Bex, how many Valentines did you get this year?” – and quite frankly, I’m beginning to get rather suspicious…why do people want to know?!

The truthful answer is…does a card from my dad count? 😉

Me and one of my best friends went to the shop at lunchtime and bought a massive bar of Cadburys and a coffee which was as close to a romantic meal as we got, and then I spent my evening in my loft….working….on my own.

Yes, Granny Willis is young, single, happy and really just far too busy and self-centred at this moment in time to worry about guys 🙂

(Most of you probably didn’t want to know all of that, but I just wanted to clear a few things up – Thanks)

RED

Lastly, this is about as knitting related as valentines day, but it has been my inspiration for the last 3 weeks(approx).

I bought Taylor Swift’s album RED the other day in ASDA because I fancied a change of soundtrack in my car. and OH EM GEE. I love it.

I’ve never been a massive Taylor fan, but believe me, this album has everything you could possibly ever need to describe how you’re feeling…and yes, I may now know all of the words to most of the songs…

My current count on itunes tells me I’ve listened to it approximately…*cough* 15 *cough* times…and that doesn’t include the amount of plays it’s had in my little Renault clio…woops? But really, when you’re working towards a deadline at 3 in the morning, it’s fab 😀

So leaving you with that little nugget of information, I think I’ll call it an evening.

Speak soon guys, there’s going to be a lot happening in the next few weeks, so I’ll be sure to keep you up to date with everything – you’ll be hearing a lot more from me!

Keep knitting
Bex xx