I’ve been intrigued by the idea of making my own rug and using leftover yarns (of which I have plenty) to create something with pattern and colour. I watched many videos on punch needling, ordered some supplies and got to work.
For the backing fabric, I used woven polyester material gifted to me. It was from a swatch book of interior upholstery fabric and though it wasn’t as open a weave as Monk’s cloth or linen, I was able to use a No 14 Mini Oxford Punch Needle to punch through it.
The yarn was a combination of hand spun wool (two flowers and seeds), commercial wool/cotton (one flower), hand dyed commercial wool (leaves) and commercial wool (background).
I made up the design, aiming to keep it as simple shapes that could use the yarn I had and would fill up the space without too much of any one element. I did encounter problems with keeping the material pulled tight, as I didn’t use a rug hooking frame, but rather a combination of embroidery hoop frame and old wooden photo frame (with staples). As you can see from the photos below, I didn’t allow enough of a border around the design for the piece to fit nicely into the frame, and so I even sewed it into the frame for the final punching.
This is all part of the learning curve with the project. Other lessons include whip stitching the border with only a single strand of wool (definitely should have doubled it to make the process faster) and steaming/ironing the piece on completion (which made it look flat and so ended up handwashing it and it has come up well).
I’m really happy with the end result, but now I’m not sure where to put it or whether I can bear to wipe my feet on it. Maybe once I have made another rug, this one can actually be used as intended.
Punch needle project in wooden photo frame
Punch needle project in embroidery hoop
Completed punch needle mat at bottom of the stairs
Detail of punch needle mat
I’ve been looking at woven wall hangings on Pinterest for far too long! I thought that if I purchased a weaving frame (via Loom & Spindle) then I could have a go at it myself.
I studied weave for 12 weeks or so in the first year of my textile degree, so one would think that it should come back to me quite quickly.
Warping the frame was very easy and with the help of various YouTube videos, I was on my way. Tabby weave and rya knots followed by some tapestry triangles. I’m not sure how to finish the piece yet, but I am loving mixing the colours and the simplicity of cotton stitches. Creating geometric shapes is so enjoyable and relaxing.
After learning to use a Passap knitting machine at university, then buying one and playing around with it, I still felt I had much to learn. I had made beanies, a pair of socks and a pair of bootees. All small items which whilst still challenging, didn’t take much of a commitment from me. So whilst I had some time on my hands, this was the perfect opportunity to make my first machine knit jumper.
Using just one strand of wool (dark navy superfine from Bendigo Woollen Mills), I made some swatches to work out if my tension was on track. I then followed the instructions for Sweater from the Passap Duomatic 80 Manual (p.75).
This project was about learning how to follow a Passap pattern (with it’s unusual terminology, such as +7×1•20R) and learning how to do the shaping (both on the machine and for the garment to work).
Knitting the pieces took patience, knitting one piece per day and knitting the front multiple times over. But sewing the seams was the real killer! I did it all by hand and whilst I started my mattress stitch with stitch to stitch accuracy, by the time the sleeves were on, I couldn’t continue with such precision.
This piece is far from perfect. There were dropped stitches on the front left which when I picked them up, pulled at the fabric. The seams are stable, but I will need to work out a faster way of doing this task. The finished garment fits, but it is a little shorter and tighter than I would like.
All in all, this has been an interesting process which I hope to improve over time (and become faster at). I would love to make more garments and really take these simple pattern shapes and build upon them in interesting and unique ways.
I’ve been lusting after the colourful woven wall hangings that have been turning up on social media. The problem is that many are simple weaves with the focus on the fringing, the yarn and colour. As much as I love these, I always feel like I should try to do a version, but with knitting or crochet?
After mucking around with free form crochet, I was able to create some interesting texture by using a smaller crochet hook and thinking of each crochet row as a string of pixels. Once I added the little piece to some tree twigs and added the fringe, it is complete. I’m happy with the results and would like to make some more in other yarns and colours. These could make great little presents…
As I had such good feedback via Instagram and Facebook to my brown and blue cowl, I wanted to make another version of it, but simplifying the number of yarns used.
For this version of the Crochet Cowl, I used Rustic 8 ply (100% wool, shade 985 Sienna) from Bendigo Woollen Mills and Silky Merino DK 8 ply (90% wool/10% silk, shade 0111 Brick) from Adorn Yarns (available at The Wool Baa). I really like the combination of tweed being matt with small flecks and the wool/silk blend being shiny. These colours sit really well together.
I still have a few cms to go before it is finished, but it’s a great project to travel with and it stays interesting as every few rows the stitch changes. Probably a good second project for someone who has just started to crochet. There is enough stitches to practice and perfect as you go across each row with enough variation to not get bored.
I’ve recently taken to YouTube to look up tutorials in all manner of artistic pursuits and that led me to looking at what videos exist that talk about design, namely textile and knitwear design.
YouTube being what it is, you start with a few keywords and then fall into a rabbit hole of related content and it was through this that I found the following video.
It shows the studio and work of Liz Clark who is a knitwear designer and printmaker. It’s inspiring as she has a beautiful studio filled with light, but it shows her knitting by hand, machine knitting and printmaking. I love that she can move effortlessly between these different mediums (and that she acknowledges just how different the knit machine is to hand knitting).
I will keep an eye out for more examples of her work. Whilst I couldn’t find her website, I did find a link to where she exhibits and sells her work – Verandah
As I was rushing through the city, last week, I looked up and noticed this building on Collins Street (Melbourne, Australia). The contrast of the old building (Olderfleet Building) and the modern building behind, as well as the way the afternoon light was hitting the building, was truly magical. Reminds me of the architecture of “Its A Small World” at Disneyland.
I have just finished up at a job, so was looking for a small project that would get my design juices flowing and also be relaxing and therapeutic. I went through my yarn stash (three plastic tubs worth) and found I had leftovers from my previous university projects that were small amounts – not enough to make anything with but together they could make a small accessory. So this cowl was the perfect way to use up these leftovers.
Going row by row (I worked flat and then seamed), I used a combination of hand dyed and purchased yarns – Shepherd Colour 4 Me 8ply (rust and indigo), Patons Dreamtime 8ply (indigo), Adorn Silky Merino DK (140 Denim) and Grignasco Tango (204 Chocolate). I kept the stitches simple to let the yarn do the talking.
This piece is all about the texture and letting the blue break up the brown without either colour dominating. I now need to give it a hand wash and block to allow the stitches to settle. Then I can start to wear it!