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We submitted all our work so far for assessment on Monday, so we were set some activities for Wednesday. This included going to Edinburgh College of Art’s 3rd year work-in-progress design exhibition, part of the School’s open week.

There was an impressive selection of coats designed by the fashion students. These were all made from felt cloth in primary colours creating the feeling of a complete collection. The overall inspiration included looking at the design of the Bauhaus.

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Each coat was also tagged with the personal inspiration of each student, for example one person looking at 1960s and more recent robot toys and the joins between the limbs.

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There was also a sponsored project for the textile class involving creating a screen printed design which was then interpreted in knit and knitted up as a commercial blanket. The influences again varied from traditional Scottish images of stags to paper folded origami dolls. Many of these were very beautiful.

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  • We were also asked to go to Harvey Nichols to look at the new collections, especially looking at any pieces (accessory or clothing) that we were attracted to. This included noting finishing details such as collars, necklines, cuffs, detailing, ruffles etc.
  • Finally we are to source 2 shirts for manipulating next week. Ideally these should be different from each other – synthetic v. natural, men’s v. woman’s, plain v. fancy etc.
  • Thursday then saw the start of our Digital Imaging and Life Drawing classes.

Next week we have to hand in all our sketchbooks, drawings and final pieces for a mid-year assessment. The focus of my week has been on procuring from the college some ‘tensa barriers’ similar to those used to encourage orderly queuing in banks, supermarkets and the post-office. My original idea was that the pockets would be hung from the barrier in a straight line at pocket level and allow people to walk around them.

However while I was waiting for the barriers I explored some other possibilities of displaying and arranging my 21 pockets. First of all displaying them in the traditional way that a pair of pockets would have been worn under a lady’s skirt.

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As a skirt or a dress

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As cargo pants

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My current plan is to go for a mannequin with the two pockets with the tensa barriers around it, keeping the theme of consumerism going. However am also attracted to the 21 pocket skirt, reflecting perhaps that where 2 pockets were sufficient in the past, the modern woman needs a lot more to accommodate all her stuff!

As the deadline for our exhibition piece is rapidly nearing I have been focusing on making and embroidering my 21 pockets – making reference to the research suggesting that the average 30 year old woman in the UK owns 21 bags.

One of my most successful pocket designs was inspired by a historic pocket design on the V&A website using a combination of green threads which sing against the background of the orange of the Sainsbury’s plastic bag:

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I have embroidered a number of other pockets using applique based on my original drawing of knitted plastic bags, and machine embroidery using a combination of colours on my top and bottom threads to create a richer affect (not really coming through in the photos unfortunately). I also loosened the bobbin tension to create whip stitch and ensure that the bottom colour came through the top.

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As a jumble of pockets:

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In more order:

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Just finished knitting a chevron scarf using the pattern from one of my favourite knitting books – Last Minute Knitted Gifts.

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I decided to use the recommended Koigu Premium Painter’s Palette Merino (KPPPM), bought from UK online retailer Get Knitted. The yarn was dispatched very quickly and looked beautiful all twisted up in skeins.

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However the experience really did highlight the potential perils of ordering yarn online and not getting to play with the colours next to each other. While the result provides an interesting contrast – the green and orange in the two yarns tend to jar a little. That said I am not too disappointed with the results:

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 Full scarf:

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If I was to knit this project again I would definitely choose a different level of contrast – either something more subtle or with lots more contrast. Lots and lots of examples can be found on flicker here.

 As the yarn was getting a wee bit pricey at £8.50 a pop I decided to use just one skein of each of the two colours there were to be stripped (the rest will be used for socks). This resulted in a scarf about 55 inches long, opposed to the 77 1/2 inches recommended in the pattern. This feels plenty long enough for both a traditional scarf or a head scarf – but not both at the same time as shown in the book photo.

I blocked the scarf using a excellent steam iron and ensuring that the iron did not touch the wool itself., stopping the yarn getting too flattened and lifeless, a mistake I have made with some of my machine knitted pieces in the past…

With some very generous Christmas money I have treated myself to a small splurge at online retailer purlsoho.com based in the US. It arrived today – under a week after placing my order and it took all my will power not to open it while at work…

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This included:

  1. Amy Butler tunic/dress pattern – v. funky with cap sleeves
  2. three fabrics – tape measure print, apple pie recipe, and dots and tape measure
  3. The sweetest Make Make kit to make a small house purse

Thinking of starting with the Make Make kit first, but am exercising self discipline and working on HND project first as the deadline is looming large. It can be a treat for when I have finished!

As if I didn’t have enough temptation already for distraction I also bought a wonderful selection of bargain yarns from my local knitting shop here in Edinburgh – HK Handknits.

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Unfortunately (for me) Jeanette as decided to move onto pastures new, and so is having a closing down sale including all of their fab hand dyed yarns. Thanks Jeanette for all your advice, help and good chat over the last two years, and every success with the future.