Monday, 28 July 2014

Giant Crochet and a Giant Grandma

There's always something interesting happening in Liverpool, and more often as not it's something you can get involved in. Recently, in the company of the Happy Hookers, I was busy making a giant tree cosy for the Mark It, the Liverpool Street Art Festival.
I'm just going to take  moment to sing the praises of my new crochet hooks, KnitPro Waves, I did the whole thing with the 10mm and it was wonderful. I've got lots of the bigger sizes but need to stock up on the smaller ones now!

Back to business, whilst the rest of the Baltic Triangle was playing host to graffiti and paste-up artists, we took over an entire street and at 5am we covered all the trees in knit and crochet loveliness.

That was on June 27th, and they were still looking great when I passed them on Friday to go and see another great Liverpool event, the Giant Spectacular!

Isn't she fantastic? I particularly love her patterned dress and the detail of her hair, she has such a kindly face too. They were here all weekend, with a big finale on the Sunday as they sailed off onto the Mersey (I was stuck in work though, boo).

 All the crew were looking very dapper dressed in velvet frock coats and breeches but I definitely didn't envy them in this heat!

 I would like to have seen more of Xolo the dog but I ended up stuck behind a load of tall people on the Saturday and couldn't really see him, a shame as he's a real crowd pleaser!
Just look at that grin!

Saturday, 26 July 2014

Handmade Home: Crochet Face Cloths

Last weekend I was at St Georges Hall for the second annual Summer Arts Market, and the few weeks running up to it were hectic to say the least (although I still managed to squeeze in a trip to see Caitlin Moran in Birmingham!) Once it was all over on Sunday evening I had a little bit of self-indulgent crafting time and got out a couple of unfinished projects. My EPP project is still on the go, with just a few hexagons to attach before I decide what to do with it (I'll be asking for your help with that). The other project is a set of crochet wash cloths.

I used Twilleys Freedom Sincere, an organic cotton yarn, and a 4.5mm hook. The patterns I got from Ball Hank n' Skein blog.

 The blue and white cloths are the Grit Stitch pattern.
 The purple is the HDC Shell pattern.
 The yarn is really soft and squooshy but makes for a good textured cloth, and the colours are great too.
Each cloth took just under one ball of yarn, and with the left overs I made a little hexagon medallion face scrubbie!

Tuesday, 1 July 2014

Ossie Clark: British Fashion Genius?

I am just back from an afternoon in Manchester to see the latest exhibition at Platt Hall Gallery of Costume.
Ossie Clark, a British fashion genius, 1967 - 1977 is a small but perfectly formed retrospective of his iconic design career.

Born in Cheshire and trained in Manchester before moving to London to study at the RCA, Ossie and his wife Celia Birtwell were central figures of the "Swinging Sixties".
 I found there to be a lot of similarities between Clark's designs and those of Laura Ashley and Biba, who were both at their peak around the same time. Details like yoke shoulders, high waists, long, gathered sleeves and 1930's style bias cuts and panelling appear again and again.
 For me, what really sets Clark's work apart from the rest are the prints, designed by Celia Birtwell, 
The bold and colourful patterns are unmistakably her's and make the dresses something really special. Perhaps a retrospective of Celia next time is in order?

You can catch the exhibit until the 20th July.

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