Tuesday, 15 July 2008

Crocheting with plastic yarn

Inga has put up a video about how to prepare plastic bags for knitting and crochet, as well as cutting up clothes.

I'm currently crocheting a plastic floral display for an exhibition on recycling and re-using.
I've found that the cheaper quality supermarket bags are much easier to work with, they are very much like paper, while the high street branch bags (the shiny ones) tend to stick really badly to the hook and knitting with those is a nightmare. But I've found a solution: sprayed WD40 onto a cloth and ran the plastic strip through it. Works like a miracle, the stitches fly off the needles. But it has disadvantages: it stinks and dries quite quickly, so I had to re-spray every time I left the knitting for a day or two. I still prefer to crochet with plastic bags, at least there's only 1 stitch on the hook at a time.

Uk crochet coral reef opening in London

What a wonderful exhibition! I'm proud to have taken part in a worldwide effort. This is a small reef containing some of my neon corals.

I don't often get to go down to london, so while I was there I had to pay a visit to King Cross station to find Platform 9 and 3/4 for my Harry potter-mad daughters. This is it, my backpack a proof that I've been there. I was hoping to see Mrs Weasley in her gorgeous crochet cardi...

I also spent about 5 hours in the V&A. I'm fascinated by this glass chandelier at the main entrance. somehow reminds me of our coral reef:

Thursday, 19 June 2008

Uk crochet coral reef

On June 11th the Hyperbolic Coral Reef exhibition opened in London. The work of contributors from around the world are exhibited in the Hayward, while the UK contributions can be seen in the Royal Festival Hall. It is the most amazing, most creative expression of fibre arts I've ever seen, every single piece is a work of art. What better way to find than fibre arts to express our concern about all the junk we dump in our oceans slowly destroying and killing off coral reefs?

I met up with Inga and Helle, two people whose work I admire a lot. We also discovered Anita Bruce, who makes the most interesting knitted evolutionary jellyfish specimens that you can see here.
You can see a whole lot of photos of both reefs on my Flickr page. If you recognise a piece you contributed, feel free to put a note over it.

Wednesday, 9 April 2008

Winning masks

I entered a competition organised by the Birkenhead Operatic Society at the Liverpool Academy of Art about "The Scarlet Pimpernel". I made these 3 masks, 2 fabric and 1 freeform crochet. And I won first prize, I'm so happy!

New knitting group

We started a new kntting group in Liverpool called "Purlesque". We meet every Sunday afternoon from 2 to 4 in the newly re-opened Bluecoat Centre cafe.
Anybody's welcome whether you knit or crochet or would like to learn.
At the moment we're knitting a Liver bird to contribute to the Great British Picknit project. Read more here.

Friday, 22 February 2008

Pécs - Capital of Culture 2010

My hometown, Pécs has won the title European Capital of Culture 2010. To me it is the most beautiful and exciting city in the world, that has a little bit of everything. I made this wallhanging as part of my course work on a textile decoration course to celebrate Pécs.

The windows open and close to show various features of the city.

Zsolnay-fountain with the mythical bull-head.
Silk painting

TV-tower situated on top of the Mecsek Hill
Fabric paints, bleach, stitching

Clock-tower of the Town Hall building
Fabric paint, padded quilting

Stencilling, padded quilting

Turkish mosque situated in the main square
Photocopy and transfer ink on screen-mesh fabric

The Cathedral
Puff paint, machine stitching

Fabric paints on hessian, freeform crochet

Thursday, 14 February 2008


I have just submitted a design for the Go Superlambananas project. It's a famous sculpture in Liverpool warning about the dangers of genetic "tampering". I hope to make something unusual and dress up my lambanana in a freeform garment. Results will be given in March.

Sunday, 3 February 2008

Plastic garden - gas station project

I'm working on my panel for the Gas Station Project by the Fiber Collaborative. I decided to use plastic bags to show how ugly they are. And it's waterproof - a definite advantage for this project.

I started with a chain trellis base crocheted out of supermarket plastic bags and when I was halfway through I realized that I had used a few biodegradable bags!!! So I had to start again, this time with nylon string. As it is rather stretchy, I stitched cotton tape around the edges to stabilize the sahpe and size.

Here's the work in progress, all plastic. The orange dominates at the moment, not only because it's my favourite colour but also because somebody who shops in Sainsbury's gave me her stash.

The panel is quite large and I realized I have to corhet an awful lot of flowers and leaves to cover the base and the plastic started to hurt my fingers, so I started fusing fabric and cutting leaves out. These are the bags fused together with a hot iron in between layers of baking paper:

I cut some leaves out of the fused bags, arranged and again fused them together. I also folded them in half and just pressed the iron down (over the paper of course!) to make a crease in the midlle so that they look 3D. I will stitch them to the base using the same nylon string.

Updated photo. More flowers and leaves added, I've started stitching them to the base.

Monday, 28 January 2008

Tudor Gable Hood

I'm in the process of making a gable hood for a Tudor guide at Speke Hall. It's a very interesting structure, but I have difficulty with finding any period-looking fabrics, so I'm doing a bit of DIY: the lappets are a piece of cream coloured dupion silk with a wide gold trellis ribbon stitched on. This is the back as seen in Holbein's drawing. This is an excellent website for research and construction: http://www.elizabethancostume.net/

The back of the base. I used plastic canvas to make the box as buckram is hard to get.

The front lappets are made out of a bit of pelmet interfacing with wire stitched around the edges.

Friday, 18 January 2008

Freeform capelet

This miserable English winter made me turn to bright colours. I ordered some beautiful wool from wollfactory in Germany. It's Zitron Loft Color in a gorgeous shade of orange changing to purple. Inspired by the IFF coral reef project I made this coral capelet.