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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.

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

A post shared by Bex Willis (@granny_willis) on

 

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

A post shared by Bex Willis (@granny_willis) on

 

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.