Ex 4.2 Experimental yarns and concepts
Brief: Look at the work you developed in 3.1. Referring directly to that work you’ll now focus on colour experimentation through the making of a series of yarn designs.
1.Colour placement and composition I chose to work from the green patterned paper. I made some notes in my sketchbook about the colours and composition: Some shapes bigger than others but looking at the whole they seem quite equal in size due to the space they are in. Shapes and colours are grouped together. Quite an equal ratio of shape and colour. Bold, bright, childlike so look at kids craft materials- pipe cleaners, felt( reminds me of fuzzy felt from when I was a kid), foam shapes. A lot of colours- main is Bright lime green, then purple, magenta, cerise, cornflower blue, light blue, pale pink, white, dark green. Black outlines.
I started with cutting a strip of green felt and smaller strips of coloured felt to represent the coloured shapes.(photo 1 top left) I needle felted the smaller strips onto the base. This looked a bit basic and although I was happy with the proportion I didn’t feel it represent the ‘fun’ of the fabric. I put that sample to one side and started playing with the green pipe cleaners. I wrapped coloured embroidery threads tightly around the pipe cleaner at intervals. Small length of wrap and more blocks= smaller, denser shapes on fabric and longer length and less blocks = bigger shapes on fabric. This piece turned out well and was very tactile. The ratio I used worked well to represent the colours and composition of the fabric. (last photo on right).
I went back to the felt as I knew there was a lot more potential there. I decided to cut out the shapes from the fabric in felt and attach them to a strip of green felt.I used a variety of sizes to represent how much room that shape took up on the fabric and grouped them, some 2 or 3 shapes together, some singular to represent the composition. I needle felted the shapes on. The felt gives a much softer form than the pipe cleaner but it translates the childlike feel of the fabric very well. (bottom left photo).
I moved onto the kids craft foam sheets I had bought. I cut out the shapes in the foam and threaded them onto a green pipe cleaner. This time I placed the shapes in repeating patterns of groups of three to represent the fact that the overall fabric is very balanced in appearance even though some shapes are bigger than others and some shapes have more than others in their groupings. This sample was very bold and 3D and had a childlike simplicity to it.
Expansion ideas for these samples
Make shaped buttons out of polymer clay to represent the shapes- paint the clay to get accurate colours.
Wet felt a long piece of green wool for the base then needle felt 3D shapes and attach.
Stitch black thread around the shapes to represent the black outline of the shapes.
Describing the fabric: Stiff, course, net, squares, lines,slub lines, shiny, looks medical. Possible materials to use: Bandages, plaster cast, slings, dental floss (shiny), Interfacing (the glue dots are shiny on interfacing), cheesecloth.
I bought some plaster bandage to play with for this part. The material reminded of medical fabrics like slings and plaster and gauze so I went with it. The plaster bandage had a wonderful texture like 3D graph paper or old fashioned clocking in cards where segments are punched out. It was rough and course, like the fabric sample. I wanted to make definite lines through it like the slub lines on the fabric so I decided to use dental floss because of its shine. I threaded lengths of the dental floss through the square holes of the bandage then I wetted the whole thing and spread and smoothed the plaster about. This made the plaster bandage go very thin and the plaster covered up the dental floss- it really just made a bit of a mess. I started again and this time I only gave the bandage a spray of water and then left to dry. This worked much better as I didnt smooth the plaster around so it retained its shape on the bandage. You could still see the grid like pattern and the dental floss showed up nicely, replicating the slub lines really well. (top line last 2 photos)
I then threaded rough spun wool tops through the plaster bandage. This made the lines a little bulky so I wetted the bandage. This made the bandage twist up which gave a nice, course texture. (bottom left photo).
I cut a strip of the plaster bandage and wetted it then laid on strips of bondaweb, dental floss, vintage button thread and rough spun wool tops. I rubbed the wet plaster over these strips to try and embed them into the plaster but it didn’t really work. When the plaster dried the strips just came off (bottom row third from left photo). I tried a few other samples with the plaster bandage-wetting it and twisting with bondaweb (bottom row, second from left photo) and twisting it up on itself, but they were not successful and I didn’t feel they replicated the look or feel of the fabric sample. I am glad I had a play with this medium though as I had never used it before and it’s all about experimentation.
I tried dyeing some cheesecloth and paper string with tea to change the colour up a bit. It didn’t work as well as I had hoped and the colours were not right for this work but I have put them to one side to maybe use on another project.
I went back to the dental floss and decided to plait it with some wool tops and vintage button thread. The sample that this created looks like the slub lines in the fabric and I like the way the thicker areas of wool curl into S shapes when plaited. (2nd and 3rd photo). I then added strips of Bondaweb into the mix to represent the white of the fabric. The glue dots on the Bondaweb are shiny and create a grid like pattern like the fabric sample. The wool tops give it a bit of coarseness and the dental floss makes the shiny lines. I think this sample works well as a representation of the sample due to the colour, shine and coarseness. (last photo)
The last sample I did for this part used strips of cheesecloth knotted with dental floss with strips of Bondaweb tied on. Although simple in its creation, its effective because of the mix of textures together.
Experiment more with the plaster bandage and threading different textures through. Experiment with it wet and dry.
Spin strips of Bondaweb,cheesecloth, wool tops and dental floss together on the spinning wheel.
3.Texture and tonal qualities
Description of the fabric: Texture- soft, lines of stitches create a raised feel, closely woven, the stitches are raised and not as soft. The stitch has a sort of twist to it. Colour- neutral, with tones of slight orange, green, beige, cream. The stitch is lighter, whiter and shiny.
For this part I refered to my Pinterest board where I had been pinning different ways of making yarn. https://www.pinterest.co.uk/lunaiow/oca-making-yarn/
I decided to make a french knitting loom out of an empty toilet roll and 4 lolly pop sticks. I had never done french knitting before. I wanted to translate the stitch pattern on the fabric sample, not just the fabric. I rough spun some wool tops, making really tight coils in places to represent the stitch while the looser wool tops would represent the softness of the fabric. This turned out to be one of my favorite samples. Its soft but the tight coils are coarser and stand out well, the pattern of the french knitting creates a wavy type twist reminiscent of how I interpreted the stitch lines in my sketchbook. and although it is just one colour the coils make the colour denser therefore creating a slightly different tone. (far right photo)
I then tried a friendship braid using a circle cut out of cardboard and 7 different threads- 6 tones of embroidery threads and a length of dental floss to add the whiteness and shine of the stitches on the fabric sample. (Instructions on how to make the braid can be found on my Pinterest board above and I have written them up in my sketchbook). The tones blended well together and gave the full spectrum of colours evident in the fabric sample when viewed in different lights, especially the touch of green and orange. I matched the colours using the colour chips from the last assignment. The dental floss has not really shown up in the finished piece. The braid pattern is tight like the weave of the fabric and the stitch lines can be represented in the twist. This was very time consuming. My threads were just over 70cm long and it took about 1 1/2 hrs to create a cord which has turned out 25cm long. (photo bottom 3 on left, above).
I next made some yarns using plaiting. The first was using 2 colours of bias binding tape and a piece of satin ribbon. The colours may be slightly darker than the actual fabric. The plait works well. The binding strips are darker and stiffer and the satin ribbon gives the shiny look of the stitches. (2nd from left photo bottom row). I then tried to plait some craft rope with paper string and white glittery fun wool but the thinner threads got lost next to the rope so I decided to twist them together instead. I used the paper string that I had earlier dyed with tea as it was a good tonal match. I twisted the paper string around the rope at every third twist. I then wrapped the white fun wool around, once, then at the next twist I wrapped it three times, then once, then 3 again until I ran out of the wool (I only had a scrap of this). This was to translate the white stitches which occur in groups of three on the fabric sample. The fronds of the white fun wool stand out away from the rope, raised like the stitches on the sample. (bottom left photo).
I moved back to the french knitting to explore this method further. I made a sample with 5 different colours of tapestry wool together. This produced a thick but short yarn but the colours I used blended well together in this piece. (2nd from left photo top row). I then used the same colours as separate strands that were joined together with a magic knot. This made a longer yarn with a gradual tonal change rather than the tones being all mixed together. (1st left photo middle row). I then added more prongs to the french knitting tool so I had 12 prongs in all. I used a mix of soft tapestry wool, rough jute string and white paper string. This made a hollow tube of yarn. The wool gives a very defined ‘V’ shape stitch whereas the string gives a more rounded stitch. The white paper string stands out like the raised stitches on the sample. I like this sample as it has a real mix of textures, soft, coarse and stiff and the white paper string really stands out.
Plaits with more than 3 strands
French knitting with more prongs