Lyon, to me, is one of the gems of France. It is deservedly famous for the local cuisine, the beauty of the preserved old city, now a UNESCO world heritage site and, even better, for being the historical and modern home of some of the most beautiful silk weaving ever to grace this earth.
Over time, I have grown increasingly fond of my Bernina. I wasn’t quite sure what all the fuss about them was about when I first bought it and I did have a few false starts with blunted needles causing endless aggravation but apart from that it has been smooth sailing and beautiful stitching. As well as being a great machine, one of the fun things about it is the ridiculous number of specialist feet you can get for it as well.
It’s been a while since I’ve had the chance to do even a full day craft course, let alone a multi-day one which is always a great treat. As you can probably guess from the number of RSN Day Classes and other pieces I’ve done I find taught classes and workshops really a lot of fun. Thankfully for even what used to be obscure crafts, the international sharing brought around by the internet has made people aware of some of the beautiful work and techniques out there, and I suspect encouraged the publication of ever more specialist texts.
Sometimes simplicity is best. After my last batch of dyeing, I’ve been trying to work through various colours to create a ‘palette’ to be able to spin from. The nice thing about dyeing top for spinning rather than dyeing a skein of wool directly is that this still leaves a huge number of possibilities for colour blending and mixing at different stages of the process.
What’s this? Some gold threads sighted somewhere near a goldwork project? Wow! Today marks update number three on the monstrous goldwork monogram project. I promised to try and keep you all updated semi-regularly on this one and as part of that I’ve been trying to fit in around one lesson a month to keep things rolling. It’s slow, but I have a few little pieces and lessons to share with you!
I consider myself very lucky in life to have plenty of people that I would consider knit/quilt/sew/general-gift-worthy. As well as being generally excellent people, I know they will understand when I give them something with wonky seams, a couple of holes and maybe a forgotten pin, that it is the thought and the kind intentions behind a gift that counts, not necessarily the skill in the execution. However, that doesn’t make the creation of gift items any less intimidating…
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It was always going to be a challenge to dislike to a book that starts with the sentence ‘I am assuming here, Dear Reader, that you are not naked’. It was also always going to be a challenge to dislike any book that promised an adventure through our textile past, present and future.
Given the historical importance of textiles to the town and its interest in trying to preserve as much of its history as possible, it probably comes as no surprise that St Gallen has a wonderful museum dedicated to textiles with regularly changing exhibitions if you’re lucky enough to have the opportunity to attend regularly.
Some actual stitching begins on the monstrous goldwork monogram project! I love working on slate frames but by the time you’ve finished setting them up, getting the design pricked and pounced on, then I guess you have plenty of time to reflect on whether attempting a project of this magnitude was really a good idea with all the free time I don’t have recently… Answers below the cut!
Oh how I’ve missed splashing around with colours and silks. It has been far too long since I’ve had fun playing with dyes, partly out of fear of destroying my deposit for my overly white apartment. The colour scheme for most of the paint isn’t even magnolia, beige or cream, it’s brilliant white and therefore completely unforgiving on all things dirt or dye related… If anyone would like to preempt my future problems and has any advice on removing dyes from surface where it is not supposed to be, please offer away!