It has been a while since my last post and I have been quite busy with my projects. This very long, harsh, cold and snowy winter has not inspired me to much outdoor activities I am afraid. Colourwise it is a grey time. Note that the photo above is a colour photo. Winter is not my favourite season but nestling indoors gives me plenty of time for crafts making. Which is a good thing!
One week now in March there was a blizzard that lasted several days on end. In the heavy snowfall I found this little creature on my balcony. The squirrel seemed to be searching for something to eat among my frozen plants, poor little fellow.
From my little silversmithing workshop: a filigree pendant with knitted thread chain. Handmade lock and finding.
The chain is made of fine silver thread 28 gauge (0,32 mm) and the other parts are sterling silver.
These are the simple tools you need to make a knitted chain:
I will later show more in detail how you make it. The pin with copper thread allows you to start the knitting. The draw plate with holes in various sizes is used to smooth the chain and make it straight and even when knitted. It is funny and not very difficult.
The lock and chain fitting was more complicated for me. First I fastened a ring one cm in to the chain. A tiny cylinder with a top on one side was soldered with a hole drilled in it. The ring was flattened and chain with ring pulled in to the cylinder, flattened ring through the hole. Last step was to widen the flattened ring to a loop. The clasp is a simple s-shape, but it works very well. Not simple to describe in words but a photo will do better I hope:
I have paid a new visit to the art museum Waldemarsudde which seems to be the current leading museum of modern textile in Stockholm. There I saw some wonderful tiny silk embroideries by Suzy Strindberg “Fine threads”. She gets her inspiration from nature and here is a motif from autumn. The size is about 10 x 15 cm.
I also have to say a few words about the exhibition “Sigrid Hjertén- A Masterly Colourist”. She had her breakthrough in the 1930:s but in my view her best paintings were made at the end of her life when she sadly suffered from mental illness. The colours are breathtaking and reminds me of van Gogh. It you have ever seen his paintings in real life you will never forget it. It amuses me to learn that Sigrid Hjertén started her career as a textile artist. I think that textile trains your sense of colours because textile colours have a special glow.
Next project has taken unbelievable many hours to complete. It is a cushion with a needlepoint embroidery combined with rya technique. This is something I have planned for a long time to do. I wanted to stitch a motif with flowers in bright light with a dark background. Around it I wanted a more fluffy texture in rya technique in colours from nature. Step one : I bought a nice bunch of tulips and took a photo of it in the evening with electrical light to obtain the natural dark backdrop. Then I processed it in an app that made it look like a painting. It reduced the amount of shades and stylized it. Step two: make a rough pencil sketch with contours on the canvas and select the colours of yarn that I wanted.
I prefer to stitch directly from the processed photo which I had on my tablet. It took many hours to complete but I was quite pleased with the result. Next step was the rya knotting. I bought a lovely grey yarn from Gotland and added colours from the embroidery. The rya knots were made on a fabric called aida tissue.
Another period of patient and industrious work and finally, it was done! The only remaining steps were to mount the embroidery on to the aida fabric with miniscule stitches, and cut the rya in a relief pattern. Then sow a backing of my favourite grey felt fabric called “vadmal”. Upholstering it with a down pillow and it ended up as a cushion that has its unique look, quite what I wanted.
The last photo is of my cushion in the promising bright late winter sunshine. After all, spring is around the corner. Hope you got some inspiration from this to your own projects!