Textile tyro

There are some splendid blogs about textiles already out there, from which I’ve already derived inspiration. So does anyone need another one?

Well, this is as much for me as for anyone else, to track my trials and tribulations through the world of textiles. I’m a relative novice: although I learnt to knit when I was young, and did quite a lot of knitting in my teens and early 20s, I haven’t picked up a ball of wool and needles for around 15 years. I even did a course in spinning and dyeing about 25 years ago, and had cupboards stuffed with fleece, hand carders and drop spindles – again, this all got thrown out as I moved about in a rather peripatetic existence.

But last September I signed up for an evening course in creative and experimental textiles at Morley College, and became inspired again by colour and texture. And once more the house is starting to fill up with bags of bits and pieces ‘that might come in useful’, from paper and card for making sample albums to plastic bags for turning into plarn (plastic yarn to knit/crochet with).

Last term we experimented with making paste grain paper, which we turned into the covers of sample albums. The ‘pages’ inside mine are made of old envelopes, brown paper, fabric, and even knitted paper string. It was a good introduction to thinking about  unusual materials and texture in presenting your work.

Outside cover of sample album
Cover of my sample album - paste grain paper with appliqué paste grain roses
Sample album cover
Front cover of sample album
Inside pages of sample album
Used window envelopes give tantalising glimpses of other samples
Machine embroidery sample
Machine embroidery can be effective against a printed background
Inside pages of sample album
Album pages include paper from a Chinese character exercise book