All the gear no idea…

So on a trip to Hebden Bridge at the weekend I visited a little knitting shop that is really lovely as I thought I should buy a ‘decent’ cool looking crochet hook and some nice yarn.  I have the Edward’s Animals book which I have been learning to do circles with so I thought some nice stuff might make me do more.  As such I haven’t really had time to have a proper go, but to be honest I could have just carried on using the yarn and hook i’d got really…. I’m just a sucker for craft equipment!

I have actually been crocheting on and off for a week and a bit and it’s nice to say that it clicked on saturday afternoon as to how to do certain things like start off a circle!  I have been filming my progress of this as I go so hopefully that will all pull together to make  short film.

Had a good tutorial yesterday about where to go from here…  I have decided to get in touch with all the people whose objects I’m looking at using.  I think this may be good for the project in terms of building relationships with them a bit further and them having input in the making.  I will keep you posted.

Just also found a mega conference all about love but I need to apply before the end of the week!!!!!

Might see if I can get 300 words written for that tomorrow!


Sinking in…

Today has been a hard day. Lots to do at university in my teaching role, but had a few questions for Hilary regarding how to crochet in a circle. I’ve been practicing (a little bit) but not really had much time to do I thought after my progression on Tuesday I’d treat myself to a crochet boomcalled edwards animals by Toft, which curtosy of Amazon prime came yesterday, however I couldn’t fathom the crocheting in a circle…. so Hilary showed me again a few basics of how to hold my hand and tension the thread 

I just could not however get how to stitch into a blooming circle and so when I got home I watched a YouTube video about the magic circle however it was American and they name things differently and I still just didn’t get it. Then I tried stitching into one stitch which weirdly I suddenly was doing it!!!! It was really weird. I think something just clicked when I began to relax with it but I’m not counting my chickens yet. Annoyingly as I want to video all stages I couldn’t hire a camera today but I am going to buy one, so I can make sure I can capture it whenever I’m doing it, but here’s a picture. I was trying it for about an hour in the end…..! Sent Hilary the picture to prove it! 

Ideas around making

Since the panel yesterday I’ve not had much time to think about how to progress with my research yet, but as a starting point the discussion around my methods of making was really interesting. In terms of using the story to focus and create the vision for the making including allowing it to determine the materials I am using.

So at the moment I’m going to work with the crochet a bit longer and keep filming my progress. 

I’m going to buy a video camera too as I think this will be an essential bit of kit! 

The crocheting is driving me mad to be honest! I’m still trying to ‘knit’ rather than treating it any differently. I’ve bought a ‘modern’ book and mum has given me an ‘old’ book of techniques but I still think the way I need to learn is from people so I will speak to Hilary tomorrow and try and master it a bit more….!

Progression panel!

iSo yesterday was the day of my panel. I tried not to be nervous but ended up making myself totally scared shitless by thinking I wouldn’t know the answers to any of the questions about my work which is ridiculous.

I took along a lot of my practical work and sketch books/portfolio to show what I’d been up to which went down really well. They said I’d produced a fair amount so that was encouraging. 

I got some excellent feedback and a lot of avenues to explore including ideas about kntting for loved ones, reading mourning and melancholia by Freud, thinking about my question and how my work relates to it. It was a lot to take in but very beneficial to hear others opions.  

What I need to do as well is make sure I explain things properly. I didn’t explain enough about the love cafes, like how many I did or who took part etc. I need to make sure I tell people all this stuff. I’m thinking about creating an element of my website with all this on so it’s all there to pull back from on different pages. 

Also I need to be more ‘involved’ and take ownership of my work and say yes and no when questioned. This is what I’m going to work on….to know my direction and not be as passive. 

It was really interesting to have the different feedback from my examiners who were a social scientist with a fashion specialism and a reader in cultural theory and art history so it really made me think about my direction. 

It also became apparent that examiners are always going to say totally different things related to their own specialism so this is why I have to make sure I ‘own’ my idea and ‘know’ my stuff. 

I enjoyed it and was relieved to pass to the next stage. Also that they were really interested in my making techniques so I can get on with making for a bit!!!!!

So onwards and upwards with the crocheting!  

1,2, pull it through…

Today was my first crochet lesson! 

As part of one of the love stories I received I had a revelation last week (see revelation post) as one of the stories mentioned that they wished their Nana had taught them how to crochet and that they didn’t used to like the crocheted dresses she used to make them but  wished they still had them now. As I read this story I felt the overwhelming urge to learn how to crochet, but not just learn from a book but to be taught by someone else….a person like a grandparent who I had a real respect for. Hilary Hollingworth who I am lucky enough to work with is a stitcher by trade. She created beautiful pieces of embroidered, Beaded, darned, stitched, knitted and crocheted works of art (I’ve probably missed out many of her other skills here). She very kindly offered to show me the ropes and so today, armed with two hooks and two balls of cotton she taught me the basic stitches and use of the hook! It was actually a lot harder than I expected. My goal is to crochet a garment like the story suggested that would have been created. I think this may be a piece that takes a while to learn the ins and outs of, but I like the fact that I am transmitting the craft and element of the lost love story in this way. At the moment my dish cloth is only a few chains long, but as we chatted it seemed to get easier and I got used to anchoring and tensioning the cotton at the same time. I wanted to do more this evening, but as part of this process  so far I have become quite tense and so have been to a meditation class this week and also Pilates to try and relieve myself of some of the built up emotion. 

Research day tomorrow and so I am aiming to nail my presentation and then do a bit more prep for Tuesday. Fingers crossed I can do a bit of stitching too! 

Progress Report Submitted!

It’s happened!  It’s in!  I did it!

I just was re-reading posts I’d written when I got my first re-writes and how crushing it felt to have to change things I thought I’d got right, but after several changes and absolutely brilliant support from my supervisors (thanks Steve and Anna) I got there in the end.  I did have a couple of bad migraines which meant I couldn’t do as much as I had wanted to , but I worked right up to the deadline and I’m glad I did!  It allowed me to uncover more than I thought I would.  I experimented with different writing styles and using the ‘artists voice’ which helped me be myself and allowed me to start processing how things fit together.  Creating this diagram helped with that.time-line-with-pictures

It allowed me to visually see how all my work and theory stuff fits together.

Anyway all in all when I got into it I enjoyed the process although, it has been awful and stressful in other ways, but it feels like the boss to the next level on a computer game that i’ve just completed…so fingers crossed I pass the presentation!!!!

Typing up stories and its revelations

Having a funny research day today.  Started planning my presentation for my PhD progression point, but I find it hard to spend a whole lot of time on the same thing, so I’ve more or less done the slides, which for today I think is an achievement.  I will carry on with this tomorrow and then start practicing it out loud to the dog (he loves a presentation practice).

The main reason of suddenly wanting to write this though was because I realised I hadn’t typed up a few of my lost love stories that I had collected most recently.

I have had the others typed up for me as I felt this was just a ‘job’ that needed to be done, but actually I think it is a big part of the making process and getting into the stories and the minds of the people who’s lost love they are talking about.

I began reading and typing at the same time and the overwhelming urge to analyse using my ‘artists voice’ came into my head.  When the writer talked about that she wished her Nana had taught her how to crochet it felt like a jigsaw piece that would be used in the making of the artefact.


I have been struggling over the last few weeks with the concept of using the same materials (leather and silicone) as I always have used, but this has just allowed me to break free of that and think that I can work in other ways!

So my idea is to re-type up the stories using my artists voice to try and do some initial designing using words and then pictures to see what happens!