Tuesday, 23 May 2017

Hula Hoop Weaving & Brilliant Birds

Hula Hoop weaving

I've wanted to have a go at hula hoop weaving for some time but somehow just haven't got round to it.  As an incentive I decided it would be on offer at our #BrilliantBirds workshops.  And, in order to do so, I had to test it out.

First warp up your hula hoop

I cut up a yellow T shirt into 2.5cm (1 inch) strips and used these stretched across a hula hoop for the warp.  Then starting in the centre, I tied the first piece on and started weaving in and out. After a while I changed to blue and carried on until the hoop was nearly full but there was enough warp to tie off all the ends.  Then I cut all the warp loops and tied them - a little too tightly which made my blue tit curl a little.  You can find out more about hula hoop weaving from wonderfuldiy here.

Finished weaving cut off the hoop with the ends tied off

This was quite a small hula hoop - approx. 55cm (21.5 inches) diameter, but still took 4 or 5 T shirts to make my bird.  The blue tit has a 70cm (27.5 inches) wingspan and is about 43cm (17 inches) from the top of his head to where his legs begin.

For the features I made pompom eyes...
Pompom eyes

and recycled some finger knitting into a beak and legs...

Finger knitted legs and beak

Then using some of the cut up T shirts, I knitted some wings.  I used the same pattern for the wings as in the Blue Tit Knitting Pattern but with a few more stitches and bigger needles...
Knitted wings

Then I laid all the pieces out to see how it all looked...

All laid out

I sewed the wings on and then stabilised the body and wings by stitching it to some plastic fencing, added some more blue to cover up the yellow ties and then attached the other features...

Finished blue tit with his smaller knitted cousin

and off he flew to join his little cousin. 

Linda at Rowntree Park Cafe - photo by Peter Bayliss

Linda started another blue tit using selvedge edge ribbon from the Cone Exchange.  (The Cone Exchange is a community scrap store in Harrogate set up by Bettys & Taylors which recycles and reuses waste materials from their own and other local businesses.  It's an amazing place!)

Selvedge edge ribbon from the Cone Exchange

Lara also helped and in the end the size was constrained by the amount of blue ribbon left...

Not much blue left

Once finished it was cut and tied off the hula hoop...

Bird cut off the hoop

and it'll look something like this when finished...

Laid out ready for pieceing together

with a wingspan of about 80cm (31.5 inches) and a body diameter of 38cm (15 inches).

Watch out for the hula hoop birds flying in to join the Brilliant Birds Yarnstorm supporting St Leonard's Hospice in Rowntree Park, York this June.  You can find out all the details here.

Tuesday, 16 May 2017

Brilliant Birds Roost at The Winning Post

Anna, Jane, Sylvia, Diana, Cath, Deborah & Heather

We had our final #BrilliantBirds workshop of Craft & Design Month at The Winning Post pub on Bishopthorpe Road, York.  They made us very welcome and had reserved a super spot for us...

Gillian, Sarah & Pie

Jane popped in with a delivery of these fancy fledglings...

Jane's birds

and Diana brought a basket of owls...

Diana's owls

Lara was crocheting a very colourful bird...

Lara & Izzy

while Katie was knitting a blue tit...


Heather & Sarah were knitting colourful birds to Sue Stratford's blackbird pattern...

Cath, Deborah, Heather & Sarah

Cath finished her stitched bird...

Cath's bird

whilst Jane's is still a work in progress...

Jane's bird under construction

And here's what came to roost with us at the end of the night...

The Winning Post wonders

If you want to find out more about the Brilliant Birds Yarnstorm that will be on display in Rowntree Park, York later this year, the details are here.  If you'd like to make some #brilliantbirds for the installation, the patterns are here but you don't have to use these - any knitted, stitched, crocheted or felted bird would be lovely.  

Please deliver your finished birds to Rowntree Park Cafe by Saturday 10 June 2017

Saturday, 13 May 2017

Brilliant Birds Fly into The Golden Ball

Lyle with his pompom bird

We had a lovely session at The Golden Ball pub making birds for the Brilliant Birds Installation in Rowntree Park.  It was our second workshop in #CraftandDesignMonth and our final one during the Voluntary Arts Festival.  Just one more workshop left!  Thank you so much to The Golden Ball for having us.

Everyone was very busy...

Gina, Vicky and Heather making owls, robins and blackbirds

James, Lyle & Rosie hula hoop weaving, pompom making & finger knitting
Dev crochets a parrot

James took a shine to this bluebird and made a pompom bluebird too...

Remember Anna's cute blackbird from the workshop in Rowntree Park Cafe?  Well now he has a friend...
Little birds perching on cotton reels

Anna & Jane

Sarah's little girl was very well behaved and didn't disrupt her & Dulcie's stitching at all...
Dulcie & Sarah

Carol stitching away
Penny & Deborah hard at work

Lyndall knits an owl
Vicky's robin even has a nest

Kate popped in with a delivery to complete the workshop's fledgling flock...

Quite a flock!

Thank you to everyone who came - we couldn't do it without you!

Our final #BrilliantBirds workshop of Craft & Design Month is at The Winning Post on Monday 15 May from 7-9pm.  Can't make it? Don't worry, you can still make birds at home or with friends.  More details about the project here.  Find patterns here.  Completed birds need to be returned to Rowntree Park Cafe by Saturday 10 June 2017.  Happy making!

Tuesday, 9 May 2017

Fresh 2017 at Rural Arts in Thirsk

Kate Buckley - We need to talk...  (detail)

I have just been to see Fresh 2017 at Rural Arts at the Courthouse in Thirsk. Fresh is an exhibition of emerging artists from a variety of artistic disciplines and it's definitely worth a look.  My favourites were Kate Buckley's "We need to talk..." - a mixed media installation exploring a failure to communicate in domestic relationships...

Kate Buckley - We need to talk...  (detail)
Kate Buckley - We need to talk...  (detail)
Kate Buckley - We need to talk...  (detail)
Kate Buckley - We need to talk..

and Evagelia Hagikalfa's layered lightbox worlds in The Wisest Man installation...

Evagelia Hagikalfa - The Wisest Man (detail)
Evagelia Hagikalfa - The Wisest Man (detail)
Evagelia Hagikalfa - The Wisest Man (detail)
Evagelia Hagikalfa - The Wisest Man (detail)
Evagelia Hagikalfa - The Wisest Man (detail)

Hazel Dixon's rusted screenprints on steel depicting the steel industry closures in Redcar and Middlesbrough were very moving...

Hazel Dixon - Rust and Steel a Dead Industry (detail)
Hazel Dixon - Rust and Steel a Dead Industry (detail)

and I also really liked Chloe Lawrence's Roll 3 - lino print onto lining paper but didn't quite understand the explanation...

Chloe Lawrence - Roll 3 (and detail)

Diane Watson's kaleidoscope pictures made up from plastic beach debris were both appealing and alarming - alerting us to the need to improve our environment...

Diane Watson - Plastics

I liked the colours in Mari Fisher's glass vessels...

Mari Fisher - Glass Vessels

and the strangeness of Sheyda Porter's Idea Generating Machine No.9...

Sheyda Porter - Idea Generating Machine No.9 part 1

and the texture of Jordan Palmer's piece...

Jordan Palmer - Catch My Drift

Other artists are also exhibiting.  It's not on for much longer - so do go and see.  There is a very nice cafe and a lovely craft gallery.  Rural Arts also does a variety of workshops that might take your fancy.  Take a look here.