Last week I visited this an exhibition in York called The Dark Self.
The artist, Susan Aldworth has created this collaborative piece of work which explores the experience of sleep.
It was most interesting to me as it involved ‘1001 embroidered pillowcases hung from the church ceiling, sewn by local people, community groups and schools’
There are also prints, sculptures and a film to see in this very peaceful and atmospheric installation.
It’s open Wed-Sun 11am-4pm until 3rd September 2017 at York St Mary’s YO1 9RN and admission is free.
The pillowcases are all old hotel ones (nice bit of up-cycling) and they have been sewn onto using a limited colour palette which is pleasing to look at and I think suits the theme rather beautifully. I took lots of photos which give a feel for the experience, but it wasn’t easy due to the way they are all hung, so if you’d like to get the true atmosphere it’s worth calling in if you’re close by.
My last blog was about the lovely Knitted Bible which came to our local church. I came away from my visit with a pattern for a knitted angel ,which people were being invited to make and donate to a collection at local churches. I thought I would contribute a few to the collection and enjoyed knitting up the simple pattern in some lovely soft Sublime Alpaca yarn.
I gave them to my Mum to take to the Methodist church and I am told that the angels were handed out to people who visited during the Christmas Tree Festival that was held in December. Hopefully people have enjoyed having these knitted angels in their homes.
I also spotted a bit of knitting on display in Wetherby which is always nice to see. I do like a knitted nativity!!
I like it because of the story it’s telling and the fact that you can create a tradition of taking the display out every year and I like the blissfulness of someone using their love of knitting to produce something which will bring pleasure to others.
In this case, it may have been a group effort and I like that too, how sociable to get together and do your knitting.
I shared this picture on twitter and a few days ago I got a tweet from Julie Wilcox who obviously likes a knitted nativity as much as I do. She was very lucky to find one in a charity shop. I wonder if someone donated it because it was unwanted? or maybe they knitted it specially for the shop to sell. It seems a bit sad to think it could have been unwanted, but I know that it is now being truly loved by someone who appreciates it. Whoever knitted it almost certainly enjoyed the process of creating it and now it’s bringing joy to someone else. Who says knitting is dull, boring and out of date?
This week I have been trying to get on with a job which I keep putting off but really is necessary. I very much need to sort out our loft so that we can finally get on with a much needed extension but the job can be a bit daunting. I’ve already cleared out alot of things that were no longer needed so the next job is trying to get what’s left a little better organised.
Basically I am left with a pile of Christmas decorations, a pile of ski equipment, a pile of knitting and sewing supplies and a pile containing various other items I cannot part with. I decided to go through all my stitchery goodies first. This has uncovered all kinds of forgotten treasures, the most interesting of which were…
This kit to make a necklace with all kinds of different beads.
Maybe one day I’ll sit down and make it but I don’t even remember buying it so it was a total surprise find!!
Then I came across my shoes from my long ago wedding day, along with the silk flowers from my bouquet and some fabric from my wedding dress.
With my new found love of machine embroidery, these were not only treasure but totally full of inspiration and potential projects for certain will be coming from this direction.
Two unfinished projects very much caught my attention.
So there we go I now have at least 4 more projects, some forgotten and others new, whizzing round in my head with all the others.
I have to say I had a great day out on Monday at Tricia Hutchinson’s Indigo workshop, a description of which you can read on her blog. The workshop was fantastic fun, the group of ladies were all really friendly, the setting was gorgeous and Tricia was extremely knowledgeable.
We’d had some information beforehand about how to prepare the fabrics if we wanted to do some of the traditional Shibori stitching techniques as these are a bit time consuming. We all brought along our own pieces of cloth to die and, after some explanation from Tricia were able to play about with folding the cloth, attaching pegs or wrapping with string or thread and tying in marbles, corks, screws, pebbles and anything else we could find!!!
Then it was time to be dipping the cloth into the big vat of indigo dye and leaving it draped along the fences of the farm we were at before dipping again if we wanted to make a darker colour. All the time Tricia was on hand to help and advise.
I think the effects produced are fantastic.
I had pre-stitched this piece using a technique called ‘Mokume’ in Japanese, which is supposed to give a woodgrain effect. I didn’t undo the stitching until the following day when it had had chance to dry a little – forgot to take a ‘before’ photograph but you get the idea!
The piece of cloth I used for this was from a once white, square table cloth in quite a heavy-weight cotton, which I think was given to me by my mother-in-law (and possibly given to her by hers!). The last time I used it was on a stand I had at a wool show and it got a bit grubby and passed it’s best. I washed it, cut it into 4 and now it looks like this…
I’ve always been a bit of an up-cycler so am thrilled that my table cloth now has the potential to be something new and useful. Think I’ll play about with a bit of embroidery on these pieces first though!!
I also have a few pieces of calico which I dyed so plenty to keep me busy for several months to come. Happy Days 🙂
My name is Judith and I love all types of needlecraft, particularly knitting! Now that our shop has closed, I am looking forward to lots of inspiring adventures and explorations, trying to find out what new and exciting things I can create and learn in the wonderful world of textiles.