I spent the weekend in Saltaire at textile artist Hannah Lamb’s studio. The workshop title intrigued me, “Patchwork and Place” seemed to fit so well with my own current work in progress, which aims to record places and events through stitch and textiles. My Garden Remembered (working title) project to record our own garden now continues into year two and the techniques and ideas sparked by my weekend with Hannah have moved my plans in a different direction.
On day one, Hannah introduced us to the technique of cyanotype printing and immediately it was obvious to me that this could be the ideal way to record the flora and fauna of the garden in a way that complements last year’s experiments with solar dyes. I came home and searched through my old “teacher box” until I found some sun print paper. Using the leaves I pressed last summer along with bird feathers collected from the garden I managed some very pretty first efforts. I am now planning a whole series of pieces – once again harnessing the power of the sun seems to be the theme of this years “garden captures”. Hannah is running an introduction to cyanotype course at her studio in May, if this is a technique that intrigues you I would definitely recommend Hannah – she is generous with her knowledge – and encouragement.The second day was spent constructing patchwork and stitched pieces using the fabrics we had prepared on Saturday. This was tricky for me as I have never done any patchwork. I watched, asked questions and after some perseverance I did manage to finish my sample at home on Monday. I’m not sure that formal / traditional patchwork comes naturally to me. It requires patience, straight lines and a degree of accuracy that doesn’t come easily. Like all hand stitching, the slow, meditative process of joining one piece to another was a joy. I shall definitely be working on my English paper piecing skills this year.
Mr T kindly paid for my workshop as part of my Christmas present. Secretly I think he was glad of a weekend to himself, to watch the rugby uninterrupted and not be nagged to do weekend chores. For me, it was a lovely chance to observe another artist at work, to learn new skills and spend time with a lovely group of sewing enthusiasts. A weekend away might seem like an indulgence, but I think that time away has “recharged my batteries”, given me permission to be creative without the pressure of making a commercial design or a product to sell. Today I’ve been hard at work researching a new textile project that won’t involve crochet or knitting, it’s early days and so I have nothing to share yet (just scribbled notes in my sketch book , a rapidly filling Pinterest board and a shopping list that reads like a chemistry lesson). I’ve also been researching the mills of Cockermouth and discovering what a huge part linen cloth and thread played in the development of the town. There are exciting times ahead, and they definitely involve stitching…
Posted by Tracey on March 1, 2017
7th March 2015 Gallery Artemis, Cockermouth Cumbria – Learn to Crochet for Complete Beginners
I’m pleased to announce my first confirmed date for 2015 will be in my adopted home town of Cockermouth, Cumbria.
Gallery Artemis is a contemporary gallery and art space which supports local artists and makers and sells a range of jewellery, decorative pieces and paintings by local artists.
The class costs £45, which includes all the tools and materials you’ll need on the day. In addition to the basic skills and stitches, you’ll take away a kit to make a pair of wrist warmers.
The course runs from 10am until 4pm, with a break for lunch. All refreshments are provided, but please bring a packed lunch (or buy from one of the many delicious eateries on or near Main St).
You can book directly with Gallery Artemis by phone, or if you’re nearby why not pop in and take a peek at current exhibits, which include some gorgeous fused glass piece by my friend Helen, and my own boiled wool purses. A full listing and course description is available here.
Cockermouth is well served by public transport and has plenty of local parking. It is familiar to many yarn lovers as the home of Woolfest. I’ll be in Cockermouth all weekend, so if you’re tempted by the chance to learn to crochet, but will be travelling some distance, why not make a weekend of it? I’ll be happy to point you in the direction of some great local sites for yarn lovers, such as The Wool Clip in nearby Caldbeck.
For more details, you can email me (todhunter63[at]gmail.com or contact Yvette at the Gallery on 01900 267090
Hope to see you there.
Posted by Tracey on January 13, 2015
I have just finalised the details of a special crochet workshop on 23rd November. Thimbletown, based at Blakemere Craft Centre in Cheshire are now stocking MyBoshi yarns and patterns and this is your chance to come along and crochet a beanie for yourself or for a gift. MyBoshi Beanies have designs suit all ages and fashion styles and are great fun. The yarn is a blend of wool and acrylic, a practical choice for outdoors. If you have teenage snowboarders in the family, I think this would be the perfect gift. I can even imagine my Mother in Law pulling on one of these to walk the fells.
Boshi is apparently Japanese for hat – and the two German ski instructors who came up with the concept are clearly on to something. MyBoshi yarns come in a fabulous range of colours and there are patterns to suit all skill levels. In fact, even if you’ve never picked up a crochet hook before you’re welcome to come along and try making one.
For all course details and to book, you can contact Pauline at Thimbletown on 01606 883232. This is a full day course, you can either bring your own lunch or buy something delicicious from one of the cafes on site. Thimbletown also stocks a great range of yarns (including Rowan, Debbie Bliss, Louisia Hardng and Bergere de France). I’m really looking forward to this special day on my workshop calendar and hope to see some of you there!
Posted by Tracey on November 13, 2013
I have just finished developing a brand new knitting course aimed exclusively at parents and parents to be (and of course grandparents). It’s a one day class to learn basic knitting skills, with simple patterns for newborns that even a beginner could manage (the hat is simply garter stitch with a few k2tog for shaping).
Recently some rather lovely friends announced they are about to be parents for the first time and an even lovelier friend is about to become a Grandmother. None of them knit or crochet, but they all want to make something special for the new baby. I devised this course just for them and remembering how many excited Grandmothers used to visit Fibre and Clay in search of simple knitting projects for newborns I’m sure there’s a demand.
I’ll be running the first of these classes on 14th September at Make with Mabel in Knutsford and you can download the From Here to Materknitty flier for more information and booking details here. I’ve designed three patterns which will only be available to course participants (although as I love knitting baby clothes so much I may release them later as a collection).
If you do have any “expectant” friends, do let them know. Meanwhile, if you’re an “expectant knitter, do check out “What to Knit When You’re Expecting”, a fabulous book full of lovely projects.
ps the dainty blue socks hanging on the washing line do not feature in this workshop, but I will be releasing the pattern shortly.
Posted by Tracey on July 29, 2013