Tuesday, 22 December 2009
Phew!!! That was fun! I've been having a jolly 6 week roller-coaster ride with orders from notonthehighstreet and just couldn't tear myself away to write about, let alone do, any crochet. Now the Christmas rush has fled to the Sales, I'm able to return to much more creative pastures. Mind you, I haven't ignored stitchy stuff and I thought, as we approach a fairly calm time for us creative types, you might enjoy a few suggestions of how to fill your time! Ha!!
With this in mind, I've come across a very nice website, Crafty Crafty. Having a variety of columnists means that it is very rich in source material and their posts are about everything from knitting and crochet to beauty products.
In my trawling through the crochet pages (well, what would you expect) I came across this post about the Woodland Cuckoo Clock. I adore this as it has the look of something out of Grimm's Fairy Tales and northern forests. Very seasonal!
I'm finding it hard to research this as the site where the pictures are taken from is in Japanese. Not my strongest language. So I appeal for help from any of my readers with a greater knowledge than me.
For a taster of what we're missing in our lack of knowledge take a look at the hyperbolic craziness of the clock and it's maker. It's as if Arthur Rackham had taken up a crochet hook instead of a pencil.
Saturday, 28 November 2009
Just a quick post to urge you to pop over nextdoor to makedomend and their latest adventures, We're at last off the starting blocks and we're launched on the world, bringing creative workshops to a clamouring crowd of creativists. We've got beginners' knitting classes, corsage classes and crochetforward which is a step up for the chain gang. So off you go!
Friday, 20 November 2009
I know I've been rather absent from blogging but I'm a bit inundated in orders for Christmas so...until we're past that important date, I'm going to send you off to my other home of makedomend. We're very excited about our plans at the moment as we're launching on Thursday at the gorgeous venue of 40 Winks in Stepney. I visited this wonderful hotel and was completely transported to another fantastical world. I hope that we could organise some workshops to take place in this unique location.
Anyway, please visit makedomend and maybe think of booking a workshop. There's heaps to choose from beginning with crochet, knitting and sewing to beading, customising and, I like this one, bunting making. Go on, treat yourself for 2010.
Thursday, 12 November 2009
I loved this story when I read it last week in the Guardian. Carmen Colle is a supplier of fabric and crochet to, among others, Chanel and is taking the company to the courts to sue for 2.5 million euro damages for copyright infringement on a crochet pattern. Chanel is counter-sueing and the case is in appeal at the moment.
Carmen Colle is not a woman to be messed with. The fashion houses depend on such people to produce the garments and materials that will best express the designer's vision. The 'petits mains' are the mainstay of any company and are overlooked and undervalued in many cases. Many of these people have years of experience and skill which cannot be easily replaced and to know that such talent goes into couture clothes makes them the valuable artifacts they are.
Colle is unique in that she began the business after a career as a social worker in order to employ deprived and immigrant workers and offer them opportunities not often found. The company, World Tricot Designs employing women from poor neighbourhoods, is on the brink of closure if the counter-claim from Chanel is upheld. Listen to the interesting and at time's depressingly familiar story of David and Goliath at World Vision . I wish Carmen all the luck with her fight for her company and her reputation.
Thursday, 5 November 2009
Today's little gem is courtesy of lovely Claire at Monty (you need to go there to see her new A/W designs anyway) and her tweet about Amelia's Magazine. As an online resource it's wonderful for paths less visited. As their editor says, ' Amelia’s Magazine online is now the place to come for exclusive articles on the best underground creative projects in the worlds of art, fashion, music, illustration, photography, craft and design.' The issue I was particularly struck by was the fashion designs of knitwear designer, Marie-Louise Vogt. I cannot perfect further on the article at Amelia's so a visit there is essential. Suffice to say, I'll give you some picture tasters to set you on your way. As you probably know by now, here at chaincreative we love crochet and fashion and to see Marie-Louise use it so effectively gives us a reason to smile. Next time you hear someone say they don't know where to go next with their crochet, tell them to visit Amelia's and Marie-Louise Vogt.
Tuesday, 27 October 2009
Chaincreative's interest is in the artist, Shauna Richardson, based in the East Midlands and her plans for three 30 ft crochet lions to be encased in glass and installed in a as-yet-undisclosed location in the heart of England.
Peter Knott, director of arts and development with Arts Council England, East Midlands, said: "We considered Lionheart to be the best proposal as it is unique and on a grand scale. This monumental work will be striking and engaging. Its sheer audacity as an object of art will make it stand out and create considerable interest.
"It will celebrate the region's cultural, industrial and historical heritage."Shauna, who studied art at De Montfort University in Leicester, said: "I was absolutely delighted to be selected, but I was a bit astounded really because of the calibre of the submissions alongside mine.
"This is the biggest project of my life and it is going to consume my daily life for the next two and a half years.
"I have estimated approximately two years to do the crocheting though I have built in some contingency time.
"This is something I have never done before. I am much more familiar working on a small scale. This is clearly going to be the largest piece I have ever made." (quoted with thanks to thisisnottingham.co.uk)
As soon as I heard that there was a crocheter, in fact Shauna terms herself a crochetdermist, in the short-lists, I contacted her for an interview on the blog and she kindly accepted despite being a pretty busy person at the moment. The fact that she's won is the cherry on the cake as far as chaincreative is concerned. It's a real honour. So here is the interview which I hope will give some insight into how crochet can be used as an art form. Let's have more of that, please!!Has crochet always been a part of your artistic expression? If so, when and how did you to get to the point where you wanted to create using that medium?
I was taught to crochet at an early age, in fact I can't remember a time when I wasn't free-styling with wool and hook. It was a long time before I utilized crochet in my artwork however - I took the long route via a very enjoyable conceptual art practice
What was the first project that you first used crochet and how challenging was that? Can you just quickly describe the processes that you go through on your crochet work.
(The lions' bodies will be created by a professional polystyrene sculptor. Each will be positioned in a different pose – one on its rear legs, in a leaping position. As sections are produced they will receive crochet skins which will be created by Ms Richardson using wool and hook.)Many of the animals aren't small!!! How long does a project, on average, take? How much yarn do you use and where do you source your materials? You're in 'knit' land up there in the Midlands so you must be quite a celebrity!
Tell us about the paths you took to apply for the award - your decisions and inspirations etc. Can you give another brief description of the lions and how they'll look in situ in 2012?
Each Artists Taking the Lead commission relates to it's location. Both the wool and the three lions symbol are inspired by the East Midlands. Richard the Lionheart has strong connections with Nottingham not only in the Legend of Robin Hood but also in history. Richard's crest was the three lions, a widely used strong symbol to this day
I wish to extend my thanks to Shauna for taking time out of an already busy schedule to answer the questions. Her website is fantastic as follow up and for more images so leap like a lion over there and check out her other crochet creativity.
Tuesday, 20 October 2009
Surrounded by mountains and, of course, joshua trees and watched over by red tail hawk, coyotes and mountain lion, this is the place to be to get away from it all.
Over a bottle of wine on our arrival, Carrie asked what I get up to and I had to confess to the crochet. Well, you've got to go to the World Famous Crochet Museum, she said. That stopped me in my tracks. But not for long.
Next day, it was down to Joshua Tree town and the extraordinary creation of Shari Elf. Despite being closed I was able to snoop about and take some pictures but couldn't delve into it's dusty depths!
I'll have to tip a nod of thanks to Cathy of California (another adorable blog) for the interior shot with poodles. The 'building' itself is a former photomat booth neatly recycled into this petite homage to all things crochet.
Shari Elf (above with her museum) is interesting in her own right and her website, Good and Sturdy Art reveals a creator of art through found things, a singer and traveller. Take time to listen to her songs which some how sum up my time in that wonderful and surprising part of the world.
Monday, 12 October 2009
Saturday, 19 September 2009
There's been some tedious words written about Cate Blanchett's red carpet moment this week. I can't be bothered to repeat where such nonsense has been published or said. Suffice to say, anything the gal wore would look fabulous and this is such an interesting choice. It certainly puts crochet at centre stage and brought it out from under the blanket. For too long it's languished as the choice for people using up scraps and dismissed as knitting's sad sister.
Now it's got a pair of killer heels and an attitude. Hurrah.
The designers, Romance Was Born, are an Australian duo and they're wonderfully boosted by the criticism of the dress being too reminiscent of something made by a senior, "That's exactly what it is," said Luke Sales, one half of Sydney design duo, Romance Was Born.
"We cut it up and it was hand-crocheted by my mother, so how could we be offended?" he laughed.'
'Sales said Blanchett specifically requested the dress herself and took the star's new moniker, "Cate Blanket", as a compliment. "There is no one else I would rather see wear it than Cate, I just knew it would be amazing on her," he said.
"There's a sense of humour to everything we do, so no one can really offend us.
"At the end of the day Cate Blanchett is wearing our dress and she is who she is."
Tuesday, 15 September 2009
Now for the finale. Fffff-fashion. The wondrous Sarah Backlund.
Monday, 7 September 2009
Tuesday, 1 September 2009
As you may already know, I've now embarked on another page of the story with the set-up of MakeDoMend with Claire Montgomerie. We're looking forward to organising either tailored tutorial events in creative crafts or being more ambitious and helping in the organisation of hen parties to baby showers. We know that it's going to be quite a mission to let everyone know that we're ready and waiting for lovely ideas so we're booked to 'appear' at MakeLondon's Autumn Fair in Stoke Newington on 5 and 6 September. We'll be offering beginners' workshops in knitting and crochet and some wonderful cake decorating workshops too. If you go to the Make London website you'll get an idea of when the workshops are starting.Many of those able to visit can already knit, crochet and all manner of things but maybe you have a friend who's been badgering you to learn. If so, then bring them along and enjoy their happy face!!!!!
Tuesday, 25 August 2009
She said: "I was researching symbolism that would represent the area, the nation and the Olympics.
"The medium itself will reflect the textile industry of Leicestershire.
"This is a unique opportunity to create something extraordinary here in the East Midlands and if selected, I aim to leave a lasting legacy."' (Leicester Mercury)
Monday, 17 August 2009
Thursday, 13 August 2009
Tuesday, 11 August 2009
Tuesday, 4 August 2009
It all kicked off by Tower Bridge on Sunday with Claire Montgomerie at Kioskiosk. It wasn't the best weather that Doctor London could have ordered but we tied down the table and stopped a few crochet hooks from blowing away on the breeze!! It began to warm up pretty soon with some lovely familiar faces from our classes who started to crochet up a storm that quickly brought out the sunshine.
This began to tempt a few of the curious to try their turn with hook and yarn and by early afternoon we'd managed to inspire quite a number novices and others who had fun showing us how to knit Romania style.
I tried to bring in some crochet by using the ever reliable felting yarn of Cascade 220. There are so many fab shades but we were going to use a neat little pattern from knotsewcute for a pear doorstop. After that, things got a bit messy in a fun kind of way. Out came the yarn rovings and a bottle of warm water and dish wash liquid! Wet felting is such a magical thing. One minute you have some very sheepy looking wool and then next minute it's fabric!
We certainly had a very amusing time with it, despite some slight mishaps as you can see above, and everyone was able to tuck some nicely felted fabric away to take home.
The big success of the day was the needle-felting as we were able to satisfy our inner child by making some cute little critters.
I'd supplied some lovely goodie bags of needles and holders from Blooming Felt and foam pads so the team was able to create to their heart's content.
Workshops are continuing with a beaded crochet course in London and more sewing tuition. It's such a pleasure to settle into a day of really productive teaching and helping people get to grips with their creativity. If you're keen to brush up your skills then do contact me through the blog.