Oct 12, 2011

the tight grip of schoolery

first off, shop news...well the itty bit of shop news.
before school came and kidnapped me from the blogging world, i spun off a fair amounts of hats and made a fair number of upcycled jersey bracelets which will very soontimes be posted online in the shop for your true hearts to gawk at. oh! and you have my full permission to purchase once they're posted :)
i've already had a few requests come in from some new friendly faces and some old friendly faces but i hope they (and you) know that all of them are welcomed. 

my summer had all sorts of goodness and more traveling than i expected which is completely ok by me, i hadn't been traveling much at all these last couple of years and the travel bug was beginning to itch.
i kept mighty busy with local little craft shows, doing a bit of dreadlock work for a bunch of pretty sweet strangers and giving myself certain little shop goals but i was way super excited to get back to school by the end of it.
i missed my crafty ladyfaces and being all "homework drunk" during some late nights in the studio, seeing other friendly faces in the craft wing and above all my brains just wanted more!
this year we've had a fair amount of switch arounds with teachers but i think all that dust settled perfectly in place for my final year in textiles.
the pretty awesome Hamilton based Roisin of Bespoke Uprising is teaching our materials explorations class and i completely blame her for sparking a new handspinning love.

from first and second year, i have a whole lotta left over fleece and without really much of an idea of what to do with it. i did thought  of making nuno felted bracelets for the shop after making some samples for a felting project last year but never got around to that leaving me wanting to spin all of it!
thankfully while in Portland with zee brother at the beginning of the summer, i scored a drop spindle knowing i would someday use it. i knew what it was when i saw it but i had not a clue of how to use it.
first week of school and we were already handed a to-do list of 20 samples with natural materials, most of these things i picked up on a walk home from school.

i remember laughing at how nutty i must have looked picking random plants along the road and riding the bus with literally a fistful of leaves, grasses and wildflowers. on a side note; if your a girl, holding a fistful of grasses and wildflowers on a windy day totally can make you feel pretty.
after handspinning, we did a bit of pot dying. before i wasn't every really into pot dying for some reason but with the plans that i have for some projects in second semester, i was happy to get a little refresher.

one night kaytor and i did all the math to dye up our fleece in three different dying techniques: solid, variegated and ombre.

the variegated didn't turn out exactly as we hoped but spun up kind of really beautifully. i guess when it comes to dying fleece for yarn, if it's ugly it'll spin pretty...note to self.
the water wasn't fully exhausted which i hoped for so i can throw in some pieces of muslin, crochet doilies, some cotton and wool yarn and a bit of lace. i mostly wanted to see just how these things worked with acid dyes and i was kind of surprised how dark the wool yarns came out considering the little dye that was left in the water.
just recently we've move onto knitting, yet another refresher for me.
I was taught how to knit when i was about 17 or so and hadn't done anything more than scarves. zee mother was always near by if i missed a stitch or had to cast off and now i feel i know just what i'm doing for any future scarves...though i think i'd still panic a little if i dropped a stitch.
we're now beginning to knit with different materials you wouldn't normally knit with like in my case, my brother's torn up jeans and raffia paper.
there is this amazingly thin copper wiring in the studio that i'm going to try my hand at too. along with this, we're practicing the how to's of knitting patterns....eep!
i have to admit i don't even know how to read crochet patterns so to learn knitting patterns let alone make one ourselves with letters was kind of i guess scary. i'll have to post about how mine turned out when it's done.

for our dye and print class i'm pretty ecstatic to have toronto based and lovely Kerry Croghan. last year she was a guest critique for our biggy final critique day and had the privilege of doing the way fun burn out workshop with her.
in this (sadly) final year of the textiles program we have pretty free reign on what we want to make and more or less call the shots on it all.

the first project is for the Hand & Lock competition. we were given three stories that were jam packed with different kind of imagery, colors and textures but i could not resist the one that was right up my alley: the astronaut hermit.
each story had kind of a wide range of directions you could take your pieces to but i decided to lock into the colors and the astronaut...and of course that gave me moons.
we have to create 6-8 wearable pieces that are inspired by one of the three themes given to us and that have some kind of hand embellishment like embroidery or beading.
as soon as i heard "embroidery" i immediately thought of the embroidery project i went insane with last year which i'll have to reshoot pictures of but i didn't want to run away with the needle with these pieces like i did with that project. it gave me nothing but a sweet piece of art, a callused finger and a mega kink in my neck...ok maybe that isn't so bad :)
i'm always up for learning new things to craft hard with so i decided to try my hand at beading for this Hand & Lock project. i've been tweeting a lot about it and so far i'm happy with how it's coming along.
i've handfelted the most of the base ground of the pieces to work on, so far have used machine embroidery (which my little ed gein machine seem to enjoy, fun!), lots of reverse applique with lace (my new boyfriend) and only now have begun beading.
i hadn't ever beaded anything before so using some scrap felted bits i couldn't bring myself to throw away, i made a bracelet to practice on which may or may not be for sale on my shop...eventually, i'm trying to not let it grow on me.

i have a few more grounds to finish up before putting the beading on there but seeing the little moon brooches i've done so far, i'm excited to see the collection be all done and ready to pop some hearts!

so with all these moons, i leave you with a lovely weirdo from my retirement home of Iceland, Bjork and her version of the moon.

internally yours,
sister valentine

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