Capturing nature

20160723_171515For most of last year I had a personal project to try and capture the colour and textures of my garden. It was a lovely change from the challenges of commercial design work and it made the contrast between my personal designs and my commission work even more obvious.

It’s been a difficult struggle, to reconcile my beliefs in sustainable textiles and natural processes with the commercial demand for “budget” makes that many of my clients have been asking for. Acrylic yarns in particular are not “environmentally friendly”, they aren’t biodegradeable, the process of making is energy intensive and the brightly coloured dyes are often harmful, chemical based products. So,  I’ve tried to separate my commercial design work from my personal projects.

20160721_121534

Dyeing yarn using plant materials (not extracts or commercial dye stuff) has been a challenge and a steep learning curve. But I am loving the results and the colours I’ve achieved. Inevitably this has led on to exploring other natural processes and rediscovering some of the techniques I used in my teaching days.

three plants fern box and tree

This year I’m exploring ways to capture different landscapes and locations that have a personal connection for me. It’s been good for me to learn new techniques and to spend time with other artists and practitioners who are willing to share their knowledge and enthusiasm for natural processes.

herdwick bag

Of course I’ll still be publishing knitting and crochet designs (which you can find over at Granny Cool) and in future issues of Inside crochet magazine I have some fantastic designs which make the best of British Wool including (finally!) the  pattern for this gorgeous crochet bag pictured here in my favourite Herdwick wool.

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  • I’m Tracey Todhunter. I’m a freelance writer. specialising in green / ethical living – with a “sideline” in craft!

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  • Needle felting beards on these fellas - life as crochet designer is never dull!!! Pattern is one of my early ones,  loosely based on Alan Dart's knitted gnomes - which I think was in Simply Knitting about 10 years ago!!!
#crochet #crochetgirlgang #crochetconcupiscence #amigurumi #lovecrochet  #makingchristmas #haken  #uncinetto #haaktechniekenbijbel Autumnal garland making. These will hang outside until Christmas eve - if I'm honest, I prefer to see them in the garden - they brighten gloomy days & make me smile on my way to the woodshed or to fill the bird feeders. I pinched some hydrangea flowers from my mother in law's garden, so I'm going to weave those in with some dried berries. I've also prserved some leaves in glycerin in the hope they'll last through winter this year. 
#girlgardener #mygardeninautumn #slowliving #bakingandmaking #homesteading #makingwinter The sky is full of starlings today. Hungry blackbirds this morning!
#badbirdwatcher #girlgardener #gardenbirds #gardenorganic #twitcher #blackbird #nothingisordinary #naturelovers Classroom window view. I spent today at the Boat Museum, Ellesmere Port.  learning to use my digital camera - thanks Eve & Carol from @going_digital for getting me off auto!
#goingdigital #allthegearnoidea #ihavethisthingwithwindows #ellesmereport #slowliving Remembering our family outing to Beeston Castle last week and how it only seems like yesterday that  my heart would beat faster when my little girl (now in her 20's) would run full pelt over that bridge & down into the woods!
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