C&G Hand Knit Textiles, knitting

C&G Hand Knit Textiles – Module 4

This module was more geared towards looking at design elements and colour theory rather than knitting.

Activity 1

The first part of the module was to collect a variety of images that explored colour. As well as using my own photo’s, magazine cuttings and postcards I also spent a good few hours searching through Pinterest to get some good images.

Colour Book 1 Colour Book 2

Activity 2 – Painting a Colour Wheel

I had to have a few goes at this to get a better contrast between the orange and red sections, although you still can’t really tell the difference in this picture!

Colour Wheel

Activities 3 and 4

Activity 3 looked at adding small amounts of black and white to a pure colour to get different tints and shades, and activity 4 was about working with 2 complimentary colours and creating a ‘colour cross’ by mixing them together little by little.

Activity 5 – Painting a range of Tertiary Colours

Tertiary Colours

Starting with 2 primary colours in each corner, a very small amount of the other colour was added to the mix and the next box was painted. The idea is that by the time you reached the middle you should have the perfect secondary colour! The exercise was also done using blue to yellow and red to blue.

Activity 6 – Torn Paper Collage

The remainder of the activities in this module were all based around a colourful picture. I chose this one:


(picture source http://diggers-colorful-world.tumblr.com/post/73865368635)

From this picture, a torn paper collage was produced. This activity involved accurate colour matching and looking at the size and shape of each area.

Torn paper collage

Activity 7 – Yarn Wrapping

The object was to match colours of yarn to the right hand side of the photograph and take into account the different proportions of colour. The 2nd wrapping is reversing the proportions of the colours.

Yarn Wrappings

Activity 8 – A Wrapped Frame

This was the same as activity 7 but the yarn wrappings were done for each edge of the picture.

Yarn wrapping frame

Activity 9 – A Wrapped Landscape

I made things quite tricky for myself with this one as I made some of the individual elements of the picture too small. As Fiona, my tutor, rightly pointed out it would have worked better to make some of the areas bigger and combined the colours in their respective proportions.

Yarn wrapped picture

Activity 10 – Mixing Colours in Paint to Match a Picture

Gouache was used to paint different stripe sequences based on the yarn wrappings.

Painted Stripes

These stripes were then scanned onto the computer and arranged in different pattern sequences.

Stripe sequences

Activity 11 – Colour Mixing in Knitting

Finally a chance to get the needles out and start knitting! For this part a color sampler was produced using a range of yarns in one area of the colour wheel. There was a pattern to follow for the colour sampler and different stitches and techniques were explored to show how colours can be blended and mixed together. I made my sampler in 2 separate sections to make it easier to mount.

Mixed colour knitting sample 1Mixed colour knitting sample 2

Activity 12 – Knitting Striped Patterns

Using the striped sequences from activity 10, I made a number of knitted samples using the colours from the yarn wrappings and some of the different techniques in the sampler, as well as some other techniques such as ripple stitch and dip stitch.

Knitted colour samples

From these samples, I chose 1 (the dip stitch pattern) to develop further into a resolved piece. The course states that ‘A resolved piece is a ‘high spot’ in your design experimentation. A decorative design that could be applied to a variety of craft items e.g. a print on a scarf, indentations around a ceramic pot, an embroidered or stitch pattern on a wall hanging or quilt etc.’

I experimented with the dip stitch pattern using watercolours, tissue paper and paints before making a paper collage which I then used as the basis for my final design.

Resolved piece paper collage

My resolved piece was a bright, fun design that could be used on a range of stationery items.

Resolved piece notebookResolved piece stationery items

However in hindsight I think that it would make a lovely vibrant rug!

So that was Module 4. I must admit I procrastinated with this module and it took me about a year to complete. My tutor Fiona told me last month that C&G are not allowing people to re-register on the courses now so I have until May 2017 to complete the whole course…it sounds like a long time but I have 7 and a half modules left to go – eek! The good news is I am already working on my resolved piece for module 5 🙂

Happy Knitting! x


Beads, trains and sea sparkle!

March and April are turning out to be crazy months where the social diary has exploded and we have something on every weekend now until the first weekend in May! Whilst that means we have lots of fun things to look forward to it does mean that I am going to need to squeeze in extra knitting time during the week to keep on track with my C&G course. I have made great progress on module 5 so far and next up is beading samples.


Last weekend was spent by the seaside visiting my friend, it was the first weekend this year when it really felt like Spring was on it’s way. Just look at that blue sky!


Worthing Pier

Work is also seeing me travel to London a bit more frequently so in order to stay on track I have started making samples on the commute.

Train Knitting

This coming weekend is one that I have been particularly looking forward to as I am getting together with my friend I met at knitting group to take my first steps in yarn dyeing! I have lots of lovely undyed yarn and a sample kit of dyes from Wingham Wool Work in the Mountain Colour range.

Undyed Yarn

I can’t wait to see what colours these skeins become. To get inspired I have been looking through my postcard box and Pinterest to see what combinations catch my eye. Here are a few of my favourites.

Watercolour Painting - Sunset Storm Seascape

This watercolor painting “Tormenta” is an original watercolour painting by professional Artist Brazen Edwards. Photo taken from Pinterest

Succulent Gradient

Photo from Pinterest

Beach sun

Sea sparkle! Photo from Pinterest

I had better stop there otherwise I will be here for hours!! I’ll let you know how it all goes next week…

C&G Hand Knit Textiles, knitting

C&G Knitting Weekend

This weekend was spent in the beautiful setting of the Ammerdown Centre in Somerset with Fiona Morris and 4 other students on the City & Guilds Hand Knit Textiles course. And what a brilliant weekend it was!

We started on Thursday evening and got to know each other over dinner before heading to our work room. Fiona then spent a couple of hours talking about how to put together design submissions for magazines and shared lots of examples of her designs and swatches. Inspiring stuff!

On Friday morning we gathered after breakfast and the exercise set for the morning was all about colour matching. This was perfect for me as my current module is all about colour and yarn wrapping. Fiona introduced us to a couple of websites Design Seeds and Colour Lovers, which offer inspiration and ideas for colour palettes. We were each asked to select an image and recreate the colour palette by mixing up gouache paints. Here are my finished stripes, I was quite pleased with the results although the dark brown / purple colour was the trickiest to achieve.

Colour matching

In the afternoon we all got on with our C&G coursework. For me this involved painting more stripes based on yarn wrappings. Module 4 is more design based than knitting so I was quite envious of those who were able to whip out their needles and work on samples. The good thing was though that one of the other ladies is a module ahead of me so I was able to look at what she had done and also see what was in store for module 5. It definitely gave me the kick I needed to crack on! All in all it was a productive day and it was nice to end it with a knit and a natter over a glass of wine in the evening.

On Saturday we looked at Fair Isle knitting and Fiona showed us lot’s of examples of fair isle swatches and explained how to choose contrasting colours that would work together. We also looked at examples of  Fair Isle ‘purl when you can’ which adds texture to the pattern. The technique is to purl instead of knit a stitch if the colour of the stitch about to be knit is the same as the one below.

Fair isle talk then turned to steeking. A couple of us had never steeked before and I have to admit the thought of taking a pair of scissors to my knitting filled me with horror! However, Fiona had the perfect little mug hug project for us to practice the technique. I neglected to pack my dpn’s but did have a long circular needle so was also able to learn the magic loop method of knitting in the round.

Magic loop

Below shows the crocheted edge that protects the stitches of the line to be cut. Then it was time to take a deep breath….

Crochet edge for steek

….snip, snip and voila – it’s flat!

Fair Isle tension

As someone who has always pulled the fair isle floats too tightly, the handy tip of pulling the stitches in between the floats down the needle before working the contrasting colour stitch worked wonders! It’s not perfect but I am happy 🙂

Sunday came around far too quickly, and whilst a couple of ladies carried on with their C&G work there were a few of us keen to learn the Mobius Strip cast on which used for making a figure of 8 scarf or cowl that knits out from the centre outwards. I really couldn’t get the hang of how to wrap the yarn at first, but finally got there!

Mobius cast on

Over the weekend I had worked a Ribbon lace swatch from one of Barbara Walkers books so before we went for lunch on Sunday we blocked it using a hand steamer. I so need to invest in one of those, it opened up the lace beautifully!

Lace blocking

Before hitting the road on Sunday Fiona was kind enough to help me with a pattern chart for a shawl that I have been stalling on for ages. I wasn’t sure how to split out the different sections to make it clear and she gave me some suggestions so I am hoping to get it finally written up this week.

All in all it was a really inspiring and motivating weekend at Ammerdown. Our group was lovely and it was so nice to spend some time with like minded people who are as mad about knitting as I am! I really do hope we can do it again next year.


Adventures in London Town

We had a brilliant time in London this weekend. I really wanted to catch the Matisse exhibition at the Tate Modern before it ends this week. BUT like a fool I didn’t even think about pre-booking tickets, I just thought we could breeze straight in, but no. We arrived at 3pm only to be told that the next available slot was 7pm!

Luckily our visit to London was 3 fold. We were also going to Covent Garden to surprise my Mum for her birthday and then stopping over with my husbands parents. So we booked the exhibition for 6pm on Sunday and took a leisurely stroll through Southbank over to Covent Garden.

On our journey we saw the Dazzle Ship.

The Dazzle Ship

Dazzle Ship

This is the HMS President (1918) which served during the First World War. The ‘dazzle’ camouflage on this ship was done by Tobias Rehberger and the original purpose of such a design was to confuse enemy U-boat captains.

In Covent Garden we successfully surprised my Mum who was there on a day out with her friend and enjoyed a cheeky glass of Pimms 🙂

On our way back we passed the London Film Museum where my husband stopped dead in his tracks. They are currently exhibiting a large collection of James Bond vehicles. Now marriage is about give and take right? He was willing to come to Matisse with me so surely it was only fair that I returned the cultural favour. And as it turns out it actually it was quite interesting!

Here are a few of the cars that caught my eye. Not because I could admit to recognising them from the film (I know, shame on me) but because they were lovely. Here are the Rolls Royce Phantom III and the Aston Martin DBS from Goldfinger.

Rolls Royce Phanton III Goldfinger

Aston Martin DBS Goldfinger

What I also found fascinating was seeing the storyboards that are created for films. I am not a film buff and I have never really thought about how much work goes into making a film before, but seeing each camerashot sketched out like this really opened my eyes. The scene below was from Skyfall.

Skyfall Storyboard

We eventually arrived at the in-laws late Saturday eveining. It was lovely to see them. After Sunday lunch Mr. A disappeared for a while only to come back downstairs with a couple of ‘finds’. Of the old vintage camera variety.

2014-08-31 15.03.01

2014-08-31 15.10.19

We searched online to see if we could find any film for them. Unfortunately, they stopped producing film for the polaroid ‘swinger’ in 1970!! However we have found a film for ‘The Button’ and duly ordered a couple. Stand by for some polaroid fun in a future post!

After saying our goodbyes we headed back into London Town for the much anticipated Matisse Exhibition. We parked our car in the Mansion House area, and as we exited the car park we came out at Baynard House and came across an interesting sculpture of Shakespeare’s 7 Ages of Man by Richard Kindersley. Constructed in a totem pole style it depicts the aging process from the youngest at the bottom to the oldest at the top. What doesn’t really come across in this photo is that the top head, the old man, actually looks quite skull-like from certain angles.

The 7 Ages of Man

From here we walked over the Millennium Bridge. You can’t beat London when the sun is shining.


We made it to the Tate Modern bang on 6pm and the exhibition didn’t disappoint.

Matisse Cut Outs

You couldn’t take photo’s in the exhibition but here are 3 of my favourites.

‘Icarus’ – I have always loved this image and I used to have a large print of this hanging in my old flat and what struck me when I saw it was that it was a lot smaller than I had expected. But the impact of seeing the original was still immense.

matisse icarus

Photo from http://www.tate.org.uk/about/press-office/press-releases/henri-matisse-cut-outs

I was fascinated by some of the ‘wall’ pieces. Matisse cut out these shapes and pinned them to the walls of his apartments in Paris and Venice. Called ‘Oceania, the Sky’ it began by Matisse cutting out a swallow shape from a piece of writing paper, and not wanting to tear it up or disregard it he pinned it to his wall to cover up a stain. Over the following weeks more shapes followed, including fish, coral, birds and leaves. According to the guidebook for the exhibition he was inspired by a visit to Tahiti 16 years earlier and quotes ‘There, swimming every day in the lagoon, I took such intense pleasure in contemplating the submarine world’

Oceania, the Sea 1946 matisse

Picture taken from http://www.theguardian.com/artanddesign/2014/apr/20/henri-matisse-the-cut-outs-tate-modern-review-laura-cumming

I don’t know if it is the colours or the shapes of this piece, but it also makes me think of Egyptian hieroglyphics.

Finally, The Creole Dancer. I just love this. The colours, the movement – it just makes me smile. And at the giftshop it was my fridge magnet of choice 🙂

Matisse Creole Dancer 1950

The pieces were complemented by film footage showing how Matisse worked on these cut outs in his later years, instructing his assistants on where to place the shapes. I am so glad we caught this exhibition before it closed.

On our way home we drove through Trafalgar Square. Here are the final few pictures of a great weekend.

The London Eye

The London Eye.

Nelsons Column

Nelsons Column.

I do love London!