Monday, 23 June 2008

Creative Textiles : as we near the end of year

Another small group this last but one session before the end of year is complete next week, some classes have finished but we've one last one to squeeze in.

Paperwork today to finish off the evaluation and student/tutor sheets to leave next week free for machining and finishing off our water solubles projects.

Today looked at the different sorts and methods of trapping fabrics and fibres between sheets of soluble stabilisers before machining and rinsing them to reveal (basically!) a clump of threads and fibres!! Its not my favourite technique although I did have some success with adding a layer of sheer organza for it all to cling to before cutting it out and making a small bag; but its fun to try things out and we had a chance to look at the centre's machines one of which was a Babylock and the auto-scissor function which is jolly handy!!

I wrote on my evaluation sheet some critical points about the time allowed per session of two hours not being long enough for some techniques - eg felting and the absolutely FREEZING winter conditions whereby the radiators don't appear to be timed to come ON until after we've started which, first thing on a Monday am, means its not possible to take your coat off for the first hour, at the least!! I couldn't help but make mention of the "mouse" (daren't suggest MICE incase tutor, Sarah, is reading, in which case she might have horrid dreams of new families of mice waiting for her return in Sept!) all of which means the centre falls short of expectation considering we pay full price for our courses but I shouldn't imagine anyone will do other than sniff at it (and chuck it in the bin/filing cabinet!).

The course has been tremendously good for me, this last year I've had a real insight to working with textiles creatively and enjoyed several techniques none of which I'd have even THOUGHT of attempting by myself!!

I enjoyed the most:

  • The knitting aspect, the history and tradition part especially! In particular the lace knitting and I am resolved to finishing Kiri and working further on lace in the future.
  • Wet and needle/dry felting, I was amazed at how "easy" it was and how much fun! (except for the heaving and rolling bit but after I attempted smaller project pieces this was much more manageable). I'd like to do more on this in the future.
  • Hand embroidery, Kantha in particular! and the crazy patch with embellishing too. This was a new area to me and I am keen to further this interest.
  • Colour! My main highlight was the colour theory and mini tasks we did with this aspect as I lack confidence in mixing and working with colour and this is a big handicap in sewing and knitting!!! Though we barely scratched the surface of this huge topic, it did start me looking at colour more logically and less panicky! I am resolved to working further on this.
  • Pattern design and creation. I'd have liked to have done more on this as this was my 2nd top choice after colour, to grasp some understanding of. If I were to return for a 2nd year, I'd be wanting to learn more on this definitely and will try to pick it up as best I can.
What I plan to DO with my new knowledge:

  • Knit something fairisle and cabley! working in some colour too!
  • Knit and felt a bag! and embellish it!
  • Plan and create a proper crazy patch project and embellish/embroider by hand!
  • Crochet SOMETHING! anything!!

New things:

  • I learned to read charts and follow pattern symbols and started to understand about shaping and decreasing with patterns like lace types
  • Crochet! yay! I finally learned to crochet!
  • Hand embroidery/Kantha stitching!

I'm bored now with samples, however, and want to work on proper projects!

Would I recommend the course? : YES! definitely, for a mix of interesting topics and techniques and an introduction to them is brilliant, the rest is for me to pick up and explore further independantly.
I've met some lovely like-minded ladies too and will miss their company and I will definitely miss the routine of our Monday mornings and I will definitely miss our lovely tutor, Sarah Hazell, too for her energy and enthusiasm.

No comments: