This Wednesday was our train trip to London to visit the Frida Kahlo exhibition. We were booked in to the 2pm slot at the V&A so first we visited Covent Garden where I couldn’t resist going in Pollocks miniature theatre toy shop. It’s a delight! We decided to walk through Soho and Leicester Square to go to Liberty of London store as I’ve watched the Christmas specials on the telly box and the craftsmanship that goes into the products in the store is phenomenal, it’s supporting artisans throughout the U.K. (they have an open call for new products every year). I indulged in a beautiful throw and a meter of Liberty fabric (soon to be knitting bags).
Of course for me the piece de resistance was at the very top of the store, the rug shop. I have watched with gleeful eyes the bounty that the rug merchant hauls back from his travels abroad on tv but I got to see them (and him) in person! The beautiful patterns and hours of knotted yarns tied in intricate designs depicting storks, flowers and tigers. Such wonders.
The Frida Kahlo exhibition was such a treat. I was hoping to view a painting and I wasn’t disappointed. There were around 6 self portraits but my favourite was the love embrace of the Universe, Earth, myself, Diego and Senor Xolotl. Also amongst the personal possessions of Frida there was a wooden craft box containing sewing threads and also a ball of red yarn. Photos were not permitted but there is a book available (I bought) to accompany the exhibition.
A little look at a few of the titles I’ll be taking along with me to Yarndale includes this beautiful Round and Round the Crochet Hook by Emily Littlefair (there’s a blanket and a wall hanging in there I quite fancy).
Dont be fooled this isn’t a subscription but more of a tribute to the 80s classic song by Wham! I decided to combine pineapple and watermelon with a twist of lime for this new combo and it’s super cheerful and reflects our current sunny summer vibes. I’m knitting my own sock using this yarn as a sample as I will re-dye these self striping colourways if they are popular.
Im very excited as we are going to London at the beginning of July on the train to see the Frida Kahlo exhibition at the V&A museum. I’m going to be looking for some colour inspiration so watch this space. I’ll be taking some photos too.
For Yarndale 2018 I’m also working on hand dyed threads and felt packs for textile artists. I’ll be making a few of my own designs as brooches. Maybe see you there in September
Happy knitting, Liz :D
Im so excited to be able to tell you that I’ve been selected to show at Yarndale. This huge two day event is situated in North Yorkshire next to the Yorkshire dales. I already have a few pieces of display equipment and I keep adding to them bit by bit. I still have to order a banner I was contemplating a handmade one but I think I’ll go for a professionally printed banner & signage. I’m working hard to produce self striping yarns and sock sets as well as a few simple Fair Isle hat sets. I want to write a couple more patterns for those to giveaway with the yarns for free. Here’s a couple of the designs:
im looking at making a few project bags too hopefully, time allowing, so I better get back to work. Hope to see you in September!
This week as well as dyeing yarns I have put a few cotton tote bags through the dye pot too. I’m looking to combine these with embroidery floss to create an embroidery kit. That’s in the future and potentially not in the Yarn Badger Etsy shop, maybe just for fairs/shows.
im very happy with this weeks yarn update this colour way in particular is probably my favourite, though the BFL and silk yarn base is so luxurious to touch. As well as the yarns I’ve included a couple of notions. T pins and stitch marker (Bulb style) are now available as little add on items. I wanted some myself so I thought I’d go ahead and add those for others people too.
Recent vintage acquisitions include these beautifully boxed hooks & eyes and from France the Retors a Broder from Dollfus Mieg. I’m also excitedly expecting some fabulous scissors
I wanted to add a few photos I took whilst visiting the famous Pitt Rivers museum in Oxford. It’s a treasure chest of hand crafted antiquities from around the world, some from ancient cultures no longer with us.
I was particularly interested in the textiles, first I came across a large glass cabinet filled with strap style looms. The warps feature binding that suggests these yarns were being prepared for Ikat dyeing. (Something I would love to try but it is very time intensive).
There were a few embroidery pieces this peacock cloth caught my eye. The colours and the flowers are just divine.
Baskets and bags woven using grasses and leaves, it surprises me that a utility item would be given such ornate decoration unless for sale or identification. Though if they were to gather or store seed or herbs/spices they would have been housing some of the most precious (and most valuable) resources and therefore worthy of such decoration perhaps.
some colours may have faded over time due to exposure to sunlight (natural dyes) but this bead work seemed to be as bold as the day they were sewn. But glass is not as susceptible to fading as textiles. I would have been very proud to have worn such beautiful gloves, I wonder if they were a gift (some cultures give decorative mittens as wedding gifts to new family members). Those cuffs I could wear all year round.
I looked for a book in the shop that related specifically to the textile collection (to help answer some of my ponderings) but there wasn’t one.
so here’s a sneaky preview for my blog readers, this colourway is going to be in my latest update tomorrow. I wanted to create a line of deep & richly coloured yarns because they look sublime worn as a garment. These four Hanks are DK they were dyed individually which has created slight variations in this set but I’m going to change my method next time I do this so they will be more consistent in colour. This set however would be great used together to create a subtle gradient effect.
Talking of gradients here’s the new seven colour gradient fade I’ve been working on this week. It’s also going to be listed tomorrow:
ive had a couple of interested parties already and that’s always a relief when your hard work is met with approval.
Happy thought :)
Im always thinking of new projects and at the back of my mind is creating kits. I’ve always loved the look of hand dyed cottons so I pulled out my dyes and had a day of dyeing stranded embroidery threads and with the dyes that were left I dyed the cotton fabric I have previously hand printed with my Lino cuts. These won’t be items that will be going together as kits but it’s helping me see where I might go with cotton and thread dyeing in the future. These were Halloween specific designs I’m very much looking forward to creating some animal and floral designs when I can this year.
We’re currently experience something of a blizzard here in Yorkshire but we’re keeping warm indoors. I’ve been busy this past week measuring, dyeing and winding these new ten colour self striping balls. I’ll be adding a sample knit too soon if your unsure of the finished look I’ll be casting on in the next couple of days. I’m really happy with the colours they’re bold but not garish. I’d recommend 2.5mm needles for this sport merino yarn.
Heres a super secret preview (it’s not up on instagram yet) of a yarn I’m working on, Ombré! It’s perfect for a hat project, I’ll be working on adding new colours to the two I’ve dyed up already. What colour would you like to see as an ombré yarn?