Monday 6 April 2020

Textile Therapy: Craft ideas for the Covid-19 Lockdown

Now are in 'lockdown' and unable to do our usual activities, many people are appreciating the therapeutic value of crafting. Here are some suggestions:

Hillary Lette
Last autumn I went to Blists Hill and saw a blanket that gave me some inspiration as a change to the knitted square blankets I had been making for the dementia ward at the hospital. So, I started knitting diamonds as opposed to squares. They don't take very long, use up any left-over wool (even tiny bits long enough to do a couple of rows) and when stitched together look kind of quilted. 

I join them into bigger diamonds of 9, which makes sure that the colours can be very random, and also makes it easier to put them together. When it comes to the edge, as you can see in the bottom right hand corner, I am finishing it off with black triangles to make it a regular rectangle shape. Just in case it helps, I use Size 4 needles, knit in rib, increase up to a 25 stitches, then start decreasing.  I think it is the rib that makes it look as if it is quilted. Very much a work in progress, and will be for some time.  Most of the wool comes from charity shops, so it is a win win situation. My fingers are busy, and the charity shops benefit.

Wendy Riddick

I have been keeping myself happily occupied with working on the small pieces and research for my Attingham Park four panelled screen and my family piece called ‘DNA’. Unfortunately, the screen itself, which is in progress and already has some applied pieces on, is down at my studio. My last outing too Attingham was with the Friends of the  the Flaxmill in March just before everything shut down which has given me some more inspiration to work from.

The ‘DNA’ piece is based on my own family members that share my DNA. I have been drawing family members past and present in a sketchbook, transferring the images onto fabric which is then stitched with my hair. I have been saving my hair for this project for some time. This week I have been stitching the manipulated pieced silk bases which they will be applied to. I have a very large family with some interesting stories. My cousin has been doing research into our family tree and I have the family albums here fortunately to work from.

Rosamond Peet

I wonder how far I will get with my project. I have started to work on a tapestry cushion cover for my first grandson to mark his birth - ….4 years ago??!!  I have had some design help from my very talented sister (thank you Hester) and am doing William the Whale squirting his friend Huffin the Puffin, the intention being to use his initials W and P as a sort of rebus.  I think it was a device the Tudors liked.  Fortunately I went to Abakhan to buy more wool before they closed for the time being.  So far only William and Huffin are stitched.  I want to do Holly the Honeybee on a poppy for my grand daughter I wonder how old she will be when it is finished??

Ann Martin
Just showing what I'm up to craftwise. I'm spinning recycled jeans from India mixed with raw cotton and on another wheel I'm spinning merino mixed with silk. I'm also knitting socks and a jumper and needle felting.

Daphne Wiggett
I do knitting for the homeless; the neonatal unit, & for refugees. Anything is appreciated. 

Free patterns are available online also wool needles etc . Folk may not realise that patterns: wool:needles & knitting info. can be found on line. There is a site "knitting for charity " which could be useful. We could become a new circle. ..maybe called the Knitwits! !

Georgina Spry
It would be worth looking at the Facebook group creating in the teeth of corona created by one of the ladies in my north wales Feltmaking  group. It’s taken off massively ans has lots of posts every day:

Sharon Forsdyke
I managed to set up a WhatsApp sewing group... It went really well.  Here are some photos of e knitted puppets made by one member and a collage of my work:

Ann Gibson
I have been knitting a cushion cover and here is a detail:
And the pattern:
Allow 3 balls of 100g double knitting wool. Size 4 needles. To fit a 16 x 16” (40x40 cms) square cushion (will vary according to tension).

1         Cast on 200 stitches (sts)
2         Work 30 rows in moss stitch (knit one, purl one first row; purl one, knit one second row)
3         Next row: work 20 sts moss; 60 sts plain; 40 sts moss; 60 sts plain; 20 sts moss
4         Next row: work 20 sts moss; 60 sts purl; 40 sts moss; 60 sts purl; 20 sts moss
5         Repeat last two rows for 88 rows (making 90 rows in total)
6         Work another 30 rows in moss stitch
7         Next row: cast off 100 stitches; knit remaining 100 stitches in moss stitch
8         Work a further 30 rows in moss stitch (to form inside/outside flap of cushion) and cast off
9         Fold and stitch up sides to form cushion shape, leaving flap to fold inside/outside
1       Attach buttons and button loops                                                                               amg/24.3.2020


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