Monday, November 21, 2005

Handbasketry

Long catchup post... due to trips to London (one to see Show of Hands who were as usual superb; and one to the Science Museum with the Fibrefusion group and to meet Jan), general autumnal lethargy, teaching myself Mountmellick to teach to classes, joining new team at work and shifting desks and seeing the odd friend or two around here, it's been a busy couple of weeks. Yesterday, I braved the Special Circle of Hell reserved for small shopping centres at the Grafton Centre, Cambridge; but also saw the Harry Potter film and went for a pizza. Today, I've done an Augean Stables job on the house between whitework and online Christmas shopping sessions, and have declared it's now officially Evening and a Weekend Well Spent. So, some pics.

First, some baskets, made on the course at Cambridge Botanic Gardens on November 2 and 3.

The plain one with the handle is made of yellow Flag Iris leaves, and the greener one with the sparkly bits is made of Iris siberica with a strand of Louisa Harding's Sari Silk plaited in. They're both made with a strand of 5-plait which is then wound round and stitched with jute, and a viciously sharp sailmaker's needle (knitting gauge included for scale).

It was really good fun and although I loved dealing with the leaves, I can see lots of uses for weird materials in this technique. I'm wondering about plastic carrier bags to start with (if I can bribe someone to cut them into strips for me. I really don't know enough biddable and desperate children)... The tutor on the course was Tricia Lilley (highly recommended), and the technique is a traditional East of England one for making useful baskets.

And a couple from the Science Museum trip. Shamingly, this is the first time I've been in there although I've been to both the V&A and the Natural History Museum many times. The thing which caught my (and the whole group's) attention was the 'Challenge of Materials' section, which pointed out how high-tech some of the materials we take for granted are; and how simple some of the things we think high-tech. Some of the recycled materials were also fascinating. A couple of little things though; this sent a bit of a shiver down my spine

[The caption says: The Negative of Glory. Metal shavings produced during the process of making medals. With thanks to the Royal Mint. Cornelia Parker: Artist in Residence]

And I loved the display of casein items, having fallen in love with the Swallow knitting needles this year. Haven't been to a UK museum where they're so laid-back about taking photos too; including with flash (yes, permission was asked...)

And some knitting. The MW jumper went back from being a Finished Object to this


yesterday evening. Took forever to unpick - hadn't realised my finishing technique was that... erm... permanent... think the likelihood of wearing this at Harrogate is somewhat remote; although it was quick to knit up last time.

Meanwhile I've finished the final pair of Christmas socks, and also knitted this, for my mother-in-law (Cloud scarf/wrap pattern; used twice the no. of stitches recommended for the scarf, in Cherry Tree Hill merino laceweight, colour Peacock, from Woolly Workshop; pattern from Get Knitted; still needs blocking);


and this; which I may well just keep (Socka Color sock yarn, shade 2419 bought from Web of Wool at Ally Pally). I need more of this yarn. And I've knitted up everything I bought from them at Ally Pally, so I reckon I can justify some, too! One ball makes a scarf about 130cm long on 4mm needles. This one also needs blocking.


Am already having 'are we nearly there yet?' feelings about Harrogate. Three days at work, a Fibrefusion session, a Mountmellick class and a 3.5 hour train journey to go...

2 comments:

Phillip Lloyd said...
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Woolly Wormhead said...

I love the basketry! It's something I've always wanted to do.. another yarny/weaving technique to add to the list ;)