Episode 22 of the podcast is now live.
As always, you can find me on Instagram.
As life has definitely not gone to plan these past two months and focused making has been in the doldrums, this podcast is a bit of a tangling mass of enquiry, tangents and rants rather than my normal fare. I hope you enjoy it nevertheless.
After discovering I love my all-over colour Tonnach cardigan (by Kate Davies), I’m considering knitting one of the colourwork garments from Susan Crawford’s latest book Evolution – 13 wearable hand knits inspired by the Vintage Shetland Project, in particular the Annemor cardigan or Maggy waistcoat. As this will be my first all-over stranded knit (and first steek!), the Maggy waistcoat strikes me as a good one to start with… but I’ve been dithering about colour. Not the technical or aesthetic issues of colour but rather how much colour my nervous system can cope with?
So I try to untangle my research into the relationship between colour, brain activity, depression and the nervous system. As I rearrange balls of Jamieson & Smith and Jamieson of Shetland and tone down my initial inspiration from a rich Sonya Delaunay palette to a muted Giorgio Morandi one, I mull over the colour palette that would have stimulated our ancestors’ senses for many millennia. And how in a few generations we’ve moved to a Technicolor world and what that might mean for the human nervous system? I also find some clues in physics and neurological studies about why I am drawn to the colours that make up my signature palette.
A canvas for disruption
I have been hacking one of my two long-sleeve woven top patterns, the Francine top by Merchant & Mills. Partly to make the neckline much easier to sew but mostly in preparation of developing a different interpretation by adding handwoven cloth.
I unpack the many reasons for wanting to incorporate slow cloth into my already slow sewing, from a desire to turn my clothes into wearable art, celebrate recovered fabric and disrupt “over making” and a cosy “business as usual” attitude, which in this year of Covid-19 upheaval has been shown to be increasingly untenable.
Insights from spinning
True to form I’m spinning some of the weft yarn for the woven cloth I have in mind for my Francine hack. As I turn a luxurious John Arbon blend of fibre into yarn, I consider how vastly fibre can differ, even fibre from the same breed; how our materials can dictate our technique; and learning to trust that lulls in practice are as important as regular practice.