Project 8: Yarns


Analysing colour, texture and proportion.

For this section I found a variety of pictures and tried to match some of the colours found in them, before creating a representative yarn winding of the proprtions of the colours used.

Stage 2 Experimenting with structures.

Exercise 1.

I used various pieces of scrap paper and card to make small paper weaving’s. Some pieces of paper were soft and fragile like newspaper which ripped easily, other pieces were thick water-colour paper which was difficult to bend. I also tried using different shapes, my favorite has to be the blue background with white strips and orange circles on it. I also experimented using threads, yarns, and fabric strips.

Exercises 2 & 3.

Exercise 2 was quite fun, I enjoyed making different 3 or 4 strand braids with various threads and yarns, as well as stiffer leather cord and soft plastic bags and muslin strips. I also made some rope by twisting two strips of fabric together by hand – which was very time-consuming! I also used a contraption like an old hand powered whisk to twist various DK yarns together – that was much faster but needed a strong yarn or it just broke under the tension of the twisting. As I enjoyed this section so much I spent a day at a workshop with Julie Hedges trying out split-ply braiding, which produced some very beautiful samples that remind me of children’s friendship bracelets. When moving on to wrapping yarns around a frame I started with a piece of wire I bent in to a triangle, the idea was to try to make something inspired by a prism with the light shining through it, but the metal was too slippery and the yarns wouldn’t stay in place. For attempt two I started with 4 twigs which I bound together into a rectangle with recycled string. This was much sturdier, and the roughness of the bark kept the string in place enabling me to loop and weave string across it. I attempted to make denser and thinner areas, so light would pass through it more easily in some places compared to others, I think a lot more string might be necessary though for it to have any real effect.

Exercise 4.

This exercise was all about using a rigid grid as a base for weaving. I experimented with using thicker and thinner yarns as well as tissue paper woven through wire fencing. The thick materials filled up the spaces in the grid very quickly, producing a beautifully even and textured pattern. The thinner threads were much trickier to use, but i like the effect of weaving them through each other within the squares of the grid.

  • Did you enjoy inventing constructed surfaces? Were you surprised at the results? Can you see a connection between your choice of materials and the types of structures you made – regular, irregular, small or large-scale? Which samples worked the best – and why?
    I enjoyed the weaving with paper, it reminded me very much of things I used to make as a child, and the paper is easy to cut and handle as it doesn’t fray or pull out of shape. It also resulted in some surprisingly good geometric pictures. I also enjoyed trying split-ply braiding, which was quick and satisfying as well as also producing beautiful geometric patterns. I didn’t, however, enjoy weaving and wrapping yarns and materials. I found it very time-consuming and fiddly, and a lot of the time I thought the results looked messy and childish. I think the yarns and materials I used may have been too thin, and that I might have enjoyed it more using much thicker ones, which would’ve made the work faster and also more uniform in appearance. It was interesting to see the difference in appearance between very bulky materials and thinner ones used to weave through a grid. The samples I feel work best from this section are the split-ply braids, they are neat, interesting to feel and look at, and i also really like the colours I used to make them. It could also be though, that I made these at a workshop where hands-on help was available, so if I had any problems I could get advice and all the materials needed were readily available. If I had attended a workshop on weaving then those samples may have ended up better.
  • How accurate were you in matching all the colours in your postcard:
  • with paints? 
    With plenty of practice I feel my colour matching with paint has massively improved, I still find it tedious and boring, but the end results are a better match.
  • with yarns / other material?
    This I found harder to do as you can’t create the colour in the same way, you either have that colour of yarn or you don’t, so I ended up just using the closest match I could find.

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