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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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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

A post shared by Bex Willis (@granny_willis) on

 

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

A post shared by Bex Willis (@granny_willis) on

 

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.

Portfolio building…

Good afternoon dearest ones!

This afternoon I thought I’d share a little bit of what I’ve been doing since we last spoke…

Mostly, it’s been a balance of school work, actual work, and portfolio building!

For those of you who are unaware what portfolio building is (I was rather oblivious until suddenly I had to find out very quickly…) It’s the process of putting together a representation of your work in the space of about 25 pages…

Oh, and the reason I’ve got to do all this is because I’m beginning to prepare for university interviews!

Now firstly, I thought ‘oooh 25 pages is loads! I’ll be absolutely fiiiiine’ – and now, 3 weeks later, I’m regularly having ‘Oh for goodness sake, why can’t I have more than 25 pages?!?’ moments. Such fun!

I was under the impression that possibly, you might all like to have a little look at the A-level work I’ve done in the last year?

(If you don’t then…well just get out now? Save yourself!)

Because all I seem to share with you is commission and personal work. But in my defence, I wasn’t actually allowed to share it all with you until it had been marked and moderated, hence the wait.

Because these pieces are rather large, I’m still debating what/if any I take with me to interviews, but I’ll decide that later, my main priority was to photograph them so that I could have them printed on A4, and then there would be an accurate representation of them in portfolio, that would at least do them justice if I was unable to take them with me.

Oh, and it is here that I’d like to thank my stunning friend Toni, who very kindly modelled all of my work!

Firstly…

Oceanography

This piece was worked around the initial brief of ‘tactile’, which I then expanded upon to examine braille, which lead me to sea urchins, the list goes on…

It is made using a combination of free form crochet, both 2D, and around curtain rings…

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Secondly…

Lepidoptera

This piece is once again made up of free-form crochet, but combined with machine knitting with which I used the ‘cut and sew’ technique to back the piece.

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It was inspired by the butterfly family, but initially was worked around the exam title relating to illuminated manuscripts, because funnily enough, I went off on a tangent again!

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There we go, what do you think??

These 2 pieces made up my AS coursework & exams from last year, and overall I achieved a high A grade (you can’t get an A* at AS) So I was really chuffed!

Right, I’d better dash (I’m definitely not still sitting on the sofa in my dressing gown watching the Sunday Morning Politics…)

Keep Knitting!

Bex xxx