I’ve been designing new patterns for my shop on Spoonflower and I’m trying a new approach to create patterns – it’s making rubber stamps. It’s a very analogue way to experiment (maybe most of design experiments are pretty analogue?) but works well for me. I just can’t stop experimenting until I realise I need to finish a design or two and make them print-ready. It’s fun and effective to simply repeat basic shapes, and depending on the combination of motifs and repeating type, possibilities are infinite. I like the look of it, it’s simple, nostalgic and rich in texture. So my journey of block printing design seems to continue :)
When you weave using many colour yarns, you might want to prepare as many shuttles as your yarns. But shuttles are not very cheap. Then I found an easy way to make spare ones with aluminum wire. The type of aluminum wire I used is 2mm diameter and it is very easy to change its shape. I only used a pair of pliers/nippers to cut the wire and I could bend it easily with hand.
When I weave or knit, the first thing I do is to make yarn wrappings. Because I love this process I usually forget about time and just keep making many of these.
Yarn wrapping is a piece of card with threads wound around. It helps play with different colours and proportions when you design multi-coloured warp or weft. It also works for creating multi-colour stripes on knit fabric. Making this card wind saves you your precious materials and time.
Basic method of making this yarn wrapping is obviously easy – you place a strip of double-sided tape along the back of a piece of card which is about 4cm (1.5″) wide.
But I found it tricky when I use an oiled yarn. Because of the grease on the thread, it doesn’t stick to the tape well. So instead, I’ve tried it in my own way and furthermore, you don’t need the double-sided tape (it might be too easy to explain… but I do anyway).
By the way, I wind every thread of yarns I have on a wooden chopstick. So that it’s easier to try as many as yarns on a small table rather than taking out large cones of yarn off the shelf each time I want to try a new yarns. And I like to place those sticks in order and spread them around like I do with coloured pencils.
Here’s my sample weaving project with rigid heddle loom. I tried to do things systematically and first thing I did was selecting yarns and made several yarn wrappings to find colourways I like. Then I warped the loom with one stripe design and started weaving with seven deferent weft stripe designs.
I almost always carry this little note pad with me and I write down ideas, thoughts, doodles, quotes, to-dos, shopping list, anything that come up to my mind. I even take it when I have a bath. And it’s so nice to finish one note pad and feel the tired-look then go out to get another new one.
This is a toy loom I got last year, original version of this loom is made in the UK and it was called “Masterweaver”. It has a very clever system and you can weave a lot of patterns on it easily as the roller in the middle works as shafts.
I found this book a couple of weeks ago and instantly fell in love with these exquisite Japanese thimbles! They are made of paper, floss and colourful silk yarn. If I make one, I doubt if I actually “use” it because it’s so beautiful.
This is my screen for “Mari” design and UV light box to process the screens.
I use this home made light table to expose emulsion-coated screens to UV light.
It can process up to 90×60 cm sized screen and if you purchase it from a manufacturer (in Japan) it costs me thousands of pounds for this size…! So my father saved me a lot of money :)