Friday 30 November 2012

put a sock in it

When knitting I know the basics and invent as I go along, I've also held on to the belief that I CAN'T READ PATTERNS (Yes, the voice in my head does shout). Recently I've challenged this belief and decided the time had come to knit a sock. It wasn't particularly easy, but with trial and error, YouTube videos posted by kindly souls and being prepared to unwind hours of work I got there. Now I can interpret the language of knit and understand st-st, k, p, m1, psso, k2tog, p2tog, p2togtbl, s1, s1p, ssk and make a Kitchener stitch (this particuar stitch requires 100% concentration).

My gravestone cosies are made in my old way, of invention and problem solving and with a pile of wool waiting to be made into a cosy for my Auntie Violet's grave in Clutton I do wonder if my growing knowledge will alter the way I knit. Watch this space.


Thursday 29 November 2012


Last weekend I ran felt making workshops with the amazingly energetic volunteer Hilary at The Hepworth Wakefield (Hilary is a legend). Here I let you into a secret - felt making doesn't interest me much (gasp). This is my own personal attitude that I keep under wraps and again during the weekend I was reminded that my personal feelings are not important one jot. I was carried along by the publics reaction to the process and alchemy of creating a felted fabric using fleece and energy, transforming light and fluffy into a hardwearing and fixed (almost) ‘object’. 

My belief is it’s not always important for the creative practitioner to favour the subject they share. In this case my ‘distance’ from felt making allowed me to cut corners, making this a child friendlily and relatively quick activity. What a creative practitioner does need is joy in process, of clearly staging the learning journey, of encouraging and supporting exploration and learning by the individual at their own pace in their own way. In my own way I give guidance, 'listen’ to body language, and at times I consciously hold back to create a space for the participant to discover by thinking and doing. 

This is the workshop I notice the most heartfelt thanks at the end... it fires up something in people, I’d call it wonder, they really value the gift of the experience.

This little girl was about 6 and was wearing a beaded rainbow headband, her mother told me she loved rainbows. Here her dextrous and careful hands are expertly laying down her design onto the rolling mat. I was struck by the care she took and delicacy of her hand eye coordination. 

We are felt making again on the 27th, 28th, 29th and 30th of December - so come along and work off the Christmas stupor!