Thursday, 5 January 2012

Personal assessment piece part 1

Having finished module 3, Sian wisely suggested that I step back and work on one of my 2 outstanding PAP's, so as I was still quite fired up about the hanging for this last module I decided to work on this first.

You can track my proposal here.

I started by experimenting with different yarns, needles and stitches. The first was a disastrous attempt at a drop stitch pattern using medium weight yarn and large needles. The instructions said that you could drop a stitch down to the cast on edge to create the ladder, but with this fine yarn and large needles it made quite a mess at the bottom.


Next up was an exploration of how to make holes which was a bit more successful. Also in this sample I've explored another way of inserting the digital embroidery motif. I did this by working a buttonhole stitch around the edge of the embroidery and then picked up stitches through the loops. The blue twists at the top of the sample were worked in stranded embroidery thread. I think this may be too heavy and thick when used up against the fine perl cotton 8.


I thought it might be easier to create the holes if I used a circular needle, but again the trial was no good as it was too difficult to control the stitches while they were being stitched separately. Unfortunately I was so annoyed at having wasted 2 hours that I pulled off all the no sample!


However having gone back to a size 2.75 needle and some thicker number 5 thread I found it much easier to work the slits.


I did briefly consider using this yarn and dying the whole thing when finished but decided to go back to the original no 8 cotton as I like the feel and colour as well as the more open feel of the end result.


This is the start of the PAP and as you can see I've developed a much better control of the 120 stitches, starting with a 2x rib for 6 rows and then knitting 6 stitches at a time for 10 rows. I'm using double pointed sock needles to make the turning much easier and a small peg to stop the stitches falling off the main needle as I work the rest.

Next I looked at what colours and yarns I might use. As I'm using my original source inspiration of the seaside I went back to the colour studies in module 1 to help me choose the colours.


I really like the feel and effect of knitting with very fine yarns/threads so for starters I have chosen a few of my favourite silk threads and a few embroidery threads.

Having worked out a possible colour scheme I then applied it to 2 copies of the original design.



I'm not sure which one I will use and maybe will only use them as a guide, the same as the original design may only be a safety device if I feel comfortable enough to go with the flow.


This sketch may illustrate what I mean, it started as a drawing exercise of the embroidery shapes I was making and then became a bit of a doodle as I explored colours and stitches.

I then moved on to try and improve the first attempt at digitising my stone pebble shapes. The first attempt was very bulky and I think it might have damaged the machine if I'd tried to do a lot of them.

As is typical the fill I've used is not very flexible and no matter what I tried I could't stop it from filling the whole shape, but with a lot off help from the Bernina forum I managed to make a hole in the centre by using a different fill, which is very exciting and I like a lot. The RHS sample was a mistake as I thought I was making a triple stitch outline, but what happened was that every row of stitching was a triple stitch, it's quite nice but again heavy on the machine.


The last 2 samples are of plain shapes work on metallic silk organza, which I think is a nice foil to the pervious sample that was worked on nylon sheer.



I have been deliberately using my samples that I worked on in module 3 to help develop this piece and also taking information from module 1, in a conscious effort to learn how to relate these exercise to a good working process, which is something I didn't do with the first PAP. It was something that Sian identified in her crit and I'm really pleased that she pointed this out as it's making a big difference to the momentum.

PS if anyone just follows this blog and din't see my call for help I'm reposting it here, does any one have a clue how this pattern was create, I did it on an industrial Dubied and can't remember the pattern.


  1. Love all your designs and samples, look forward to seeing the final piece :)

  2. i love your samples so far. i agree with you that knitting with fine yarns is great.

  3. 'Fraid I can't help you with your pattern plea but your design looks lovely - looking forward to seeing it finished.

  4. Don't know what a Dubied is but it looks like a tuck pattern with some needles out of work.Hope this is of some help.

  5. Wow what patience you must have. I love your sample pieces and your colour scheme is lovely. Happy creating.

  6. Look forward to your final piece. Just love seeing what you have been doing. haven't always left messages but read every post. xlynda

  7. Wow Sharon - I am in awe!! Truly!! The amount of work you are putting in is amazing - do you ever lose your mojo at all, just a little bit? Your post is full of enthusiasm - and all your samples look brilliant.

  8. Sharon, this whole post is amazing, so much inspiration and the most beautiful work...I am sighing is stunning.