Tuesday 1 October 2013

Hugs By Post

A photograph of a person wearing a shawl knitted using my new patternLast week I posted a new free pattern to my Ravelry store. It's been just over a year since I submitted the last one, but I've been bitten by the designing bug again.

I knitted the sample of the Hugs By Post shawl to send to E's mum in just less than five days. It's a quick little knit, especially given that I wasn't particularly focused on it. The yarn came from an LSG swap and G took the photos of the sample for me.

A photograph of a person with a shawl wrapped around their face

Tuesday 1 January 2013

Drachenwald Kingdom Artisan Competition

Every year Drachenwald holds a series of competitions throughout the year to choose the next Kingdom Artisan. There are a total of four competitions, each with an individual winner (plus two special categories for our younger members), where contestants can collect points towards the position of Kingdom Artisan. 

A photograph of the two Yule Ball prize tablet woven bands made in white and blueLast year (2012) at Flintheath's Yule Ball I gave away two prizes for the Arts and Sciences competition, one for the main winner and a smaller one for a promising beginner.
I used blue and white 18/2 wool yarns to match the event's theme colours and Linda Hendrickson's Textura Quadrata from her book "Please Weave a Message". I also used her flower motive, which I subsequently modified to resemble a snowflake. We had a lovely display of Arts and Sciences at Yule Ball and the main prize was won by Lady Jahanara Vivana, who happens to be the Minister for Arts and Sciences for Drachenwald. She asked if I'd make a similar prize for the first of the Kingdom Artisan competitions at Twelfth Night. Intrigued, inspired and excited, I agreed to make prizes for all four events, including mini ones for the special categories.
I made a 3m striped continuous warp on my Ashford Inkle loom in black, red and yellow (the Drachenwald colours) 18/2 wool and set to work.

For the first band I reused the modified snowflake motif I used for the Yule Ball prize, after a little further modification to centre it properly on the band.

A photograph of the Twelfth Night prize tablet woven bands

For the second band I slightly modified a bird motif from Nancy Spies' book "Here Be Wyverns" to represent all of our migratory birds that return in spring.

A photograph of the Spring Crown prize tablet woven bands

For the third band I went back to Linda Hendrickson's flower motif and modified it slightly to centre it. This one is my personal favourite, but if I never weave another "M" I won't be sad.

A photograph of the Midsummer prize tablet woven bands

For the final band I designed a sycamore leaf pattern to represent falling autumn leaves.

A photograph of the Autumn Crown prize tablet woven bands

I used a technique called tablet woven double-face for all of the above prizes, giving some of the tablets a double turn between bands to reverse the background colours. I finished the ends of the bands by sewing the weft tail back along the path of the weft. I wove the prizes over the course of 6 days, which shows that once you get the hang of it double-face can be done fairly quickly and efficiently (or that I'm a crazy woman and need to do more work on pacing myself with things).
I source most of the wool for my tabletweaving from the Handweavers' Studio in London.

A photograph of all the prize bands together