Practical Skills Class with Mark lomax

Research of my subject Conservation and my use of wool

all information was found online via Google search/images

This subject is close to my heart as it is really important that we learn to look after the planet and everything on it.If we don’t then we just would not be here as we would as a species be unable to survive. When people talk about the ring of life its not just making sure our human race survives by having the next generation , it also means that we need to make sure our planet survives also everything from animals to the natural world.  I truly believe that if we all pull together as one collective we can and will save our planet. It does not take a lot just everyone doing little and often and we could help to stop the global warming etc. Take time out to think once you have read the following information and then hopefully you will c how you could also help and do your bit for the plant.

I myself up-cycle,recycle and reuse everything, to create art pieces, if i can give it another reason and use i will. From old curtains turned into cushions to scraps of wool turned into soft toys and mandalas. Every little you do will help to save and protect the planet. This should be the rule of thumb of future generations so they can live long and prosperous lives , along side nature and the wild life.

So as you can see this is my subject for this year in college and if i can even get one more person to help re-cycle,up-cycle and re-use then i think i will have succeeded in helping the planet and so will the person.

This is my objective in life to help to save the planet.

Enjoy !!!!

Conservation

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Conservation is the ethical use and protection of valuable resources, such as trees, minerals, wildlife, water and others. It focuses on maintaining the natural world in order to protect the sources of resources. Conservation may refer to:

Conservation (ethic) of biodiversity, environment, and natural resources, including protection and management

Conservation-restoration of cultural heritage, protection and restoration of cultural heritage, including works of art and architecture, as well as archaeological and historical artifacts

Conservation law, measurable property of isolated physical system that does not change as the system evolves, including conservation of energy, mass, momentum, electric charge, subatomic particles, and fundamental symmetries

 

Characteristics or traits subject to conservation

Conserved quantity, in mathematics, a function of dependent variables that remains constant

Conserved trait, in evolution, a phenotypic expression that is similar or identical through time as the result of natural selection

Conserved sequence, similar or identical sequences of nucleic acids, proteins, protein structures, or polymeric carbohydrates

Conservation (psychology), learning development of logical thinking, according to Jean Piaget

Conserved name (Latin nomen conservandum), a scientific name with specific nomenclatural protection

Economics and Law – Conservation Law – Conservation Property Rights[edit]

Conservation economics (Environmental economics), economics of conservation of the environment and natural resources

Conservation law (Environmental law), law concerning conservation of the environment and resources; see also conservation property rights

 

 

image: http://cdn2.business2community.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/05/upcycling-800×600.jpg

Image credit: love2upcyling.blogspot.com

Some consider upcycling just a passing fad, but we hope this trend is here to stay – and why wouldn’t it? It’s a practice of turning things people would throw away into something beautiful and useful. It’s an improved form of recycling that, instead of breaking down the materials, uses them in their original form, giving them a new purpose and a much better quality.

As it has become insanely popular, entrepreneurs throughout the world are setting up upcycling businesses. These business ideas are usually divided into 3 groups: creating upcycled products, reselling them and collecting materials that will be used for future upcycling. Both freelances and big shots in the business world are equally acknowledging the upcycling benefits.

Let’s see the main pros of the upcycling businesses that will inspire you to set up your own.

#1 It’s good for the environment

Upcycling is a great green practice for several reasons: there’s less trash in landfills, the air and water pollution are reduced and last, but not the least important – it sets an example for the others.  It raises the environmental awareness, teaches us about green living, inspiring us to venture into upcycling – with or without significant financial benefits. These green ideas spread quickly to the large companies as well.

“Zero waste” is one of the latest practices in manufacture, deriving from the idea of sending “zero” amount of waste to landfill. These are all great news for the environment as all branches of industry are making a special effort to lower the consumption of raw materials.

Recommended for You

Webcast, November 10th: Content Promotion Tactics I Used to Grow from 0-35,000 Unique Visitors in 6 Months

#2 You can make money from trash

Let’s be honest – financial benefit is probably the main motivation for most people who are into upcycling. When we say “financial benefit”, we don’t think of nickels and dimes, but serious money.

Companies are buying waste at low cost, using it to create products and sell them at extremely high prices, because of their aesthetic and environmental value. Even if they don’t upcycle, they can earn a lot just by selling their trash instead of paying someone to take it to a landfill.

Not only large companies enjoy these upcycling benefits. Artists and craftsmen can earn huge profits by “turning trash into treasure” while they pay next to nothing for their materials.

#3 It boosts one`s creativity

Creative work brings great joy – what’s better than immersing yourself in a fun hobby that can bring you some money as well? When it comes to creativity in upcycling, only the sky’s the limit. If you lack inspiration, you can always look at some upcycling ideas on the internet. After a while, your own, unique ideas will start popping into your head and don’t be afraid to turn them into a reality. They vary from quite simple ones such as repurposing CD holder into bagel storage to creating jewelry from zippers. This creative aspect and the fact that anything is possible is one of the greatest upcycling benefits.

#4 You get to keep the objects you love

If you’re a kind of person who feels nostalgic and don’t want to throw your old items to trash – you may turn into a real hoarder. Upcycling is a practice that solves this problem – you get to keep your precious items by increasing their practical value and creating something you actually need. This way, your favorite trinket will be actually used instead of gathering dust somewhere in the attic.

We realize that it may not be practical or easy to turn every single item into something entirely different. However, if nothing else – you can repair and refurbish them and make them functional again, instead of wasting money on buying another, completely identical item.

#5 You get to be your own boss

Many big businesses have picked up the idea of upcycling, but it doesn’t mean you can’t have your own, small green business.  That way, you can enjoy both the upcycling benefits and pros of a freelance, work-from-home job: freedom and flexibility. Although it can be quite challenging, being your own boss has innumerable benefits.

No more bosses – you do what you want, where you want and when you want. Most individuals who are into upcycling are creating products and selling them online via websites such as ArtFire.com and Etsy.com. Visit them and uncover a real treasury of wonderful products crafted from things you would otherwise consider a trash.

Let these handicrafts inspire you and try to create some of your own!

The Positive Impacts of Upcycling

August 14th, 2012 | By Ana Yglesias

The term upcycling is relatively new, as it was coined in 1994 by Reiner Pilz, stating that “what we need is upcycling where old products are given more value not less.” Upcycling is similar to recycling in that it helps create less garbage, thus minimizing environmental impact, yet it differs in that it involves giving something old a new use. For example, Terracycle asks people to recycle their old food wrappers (and pays them for it!), which they then upcycle into new, usable goods, such as a backpack or notebook. This type of production highlights the idea of “cradle to cradle,” or the eradication of the idea of waste. Upcycling helps lessen the amount of waste going into landfills.

Photo courtesy of Treasure Again on Etsy

The term upcycling is relatively new, as it was coined in 1994 by Reiner Pilz, stating that “what we need is upcycling where old products are given more value not less.” Upcycling is similar to recycling in that it helps create less garbage, thus minimizing environmental impact, yet it differs in that it involves giving something old a new use. For example, Terracycle asks people to recycle their old food wrappers (and pays them for it!), which they then upcycle into new, usable goods, such as a backpack or notebook. This type of production highlights the idea of “cradle to cradle,” or the eradication of the idea of waste. Upcycling helps lessen the amount of waste going into landfills.

Upcycling helps reduce CO2 emissions by using old materials instead of new ones. In fact, for every ton of discarded textiles used again, 20 tons of CO2 is prevented from entering the atmosphere. Upcycling also saves you money, as it allows you to find new uses for old clothes that no longer fit or the like. It also promotes sustainable innovation and creativity, and can provide fun crafting time. Finally, it helps preserve our precious resources.

Get bit by the upcycling bug and enter No Impact Project’s Back to School Upcycling Contest by posting on their Facebook walluntil August 19th. Get inspired by ideas there as well as on our Environmental Sustainability Pinterest Board, updated weekly with fun ways to lessen your impact on the planet.

 

 

Sustainability Starts with You

Pachamama Alliance’s 2-Hour online course, Awakening the Dreamer, is a transformative educational program that explores the challenges facing humanity at this critical moment in time and the opportunities we as a human family have to create a new future.

Section 1: Get to know the Four Questions that are the framework of the course.

Section 2: Examine the environmental, social, and spiritual crises that humanity now faces.

Section 3: Recognize the powerful, unconscious assumptions of the modern world.

 

 

Pros & Cons of Upcycling

Before getting into the intrinsic benefits and drawbacks of upcycling, it is important to firstly gain a clear understanding as to what exactly is the concept & idea of ‘upcycling’. A term first coined by Reiner Pilz (1994) where he argues that recycling is more like ‘downcycling’ that you degrade the value of something to lesser. Instead he promotes the idea of upcycling ‘where old products are given more value, not less’.

So in basic words it is making use of waste or non-useful products and making something purposeful or improving a current product’s energy efficiency, thereby lessening its environmental impact. So simple examples of this are when old non used items such as an old guitar case becomes a book shelf or file cabinets that are built from suitcases. Although upcycling is a specific form of recycling, it is different in the fact you don’t break the useless product down into its raw form, you simply give it a new improved use — with effective alterations & add-ons.

 

 

 

Artist Statement

I have largely researched and studied nature and the natural environment, as this is my inspiration for all my work.  The environment, in the area in which I live, is my main inspiration. From the trees to the hills to the rivers. Each area has its own special thought and feeling for me, how something so beautiful can be made by mother nature. And so, because of this I have considered it and researched it many times, to create my art. I work with textiles, mixed media and paint and enjoy everything I create I have also recently started to use wool and knitting and crochet in my work to create the image I have in my head. Over the past years, I have been given the opportunity to obtain new skills, which I did not have such as IT, which I have been able to use in my work, also via digital photography.

In the past I have created paintings and captured moments in time that I don’t want to forget, I have created videos with still images in them, to put my ideas across that looking after the landscape and the environment is a good thing and should be taken care of for the future generations to love and enjoy and cherish. I have worked on a personal project about unseen illnesses’, two of which I suffer from, and what it does to you as a human being. This project was to raise awareness of these unseen illnesses ‘as although u cannot see them and the person suffering from them, looks normal deep down they are the complete opposite, and how because of this it can prejudice employers and other people against the sufferer, and how protecting nature such as trees can help to protect us as they are the lungs of the earth, and are the producers of oxygen which we need as a species to live and thrive. This project was very close to my heart as it breaks my heart to see beautiful old trees cut down and not replaced. It also showed how as a sufferer I have had to fight all my life to stay well.

At the moment, I am currently working on textile pictures. These I am making with not only paint, but also textiles and wool using my knitting and crochet techniques I have been educating myself about over the last 10 years. One of the pictures has been inspired by my love of gardening and my front garden (which I finally managed to get started this year), that is my inspiration for it. Taking photos, of the garden as it was a work in progress showed me how beautiful it finally was when I was finished for this year. Using the plants, I have used has created not only colour but scent and has attracted the insects, bees and butterfly’s birds back to the garden and these are essential to life, as they are pollinators and are needed to pollinate not only the flowers but also the plants and trees of the surrounding area. I am also working on a painting with a difference, this painting will have not only a scene painted in the back ground but also a 3D image on the front of a tree. This will be to emphasize the importance of the tree no matter how mundane it may seem they are essential to life. I am also working now on a textile peace which shows the beauty of flower’s, and this is made totally from upcycled textiles, which I have obtained via charity shops, as I think it is good to reuse and not throw away. I will also be making one more which will consist of an acorn which is knitted and attached to a canvas to show the start of the life of a tree, this will also have a painted background. I have also created a picture made from material and which I have embroidered detail into to create a winter sunrise as they are one of mother nature’s more beautiful sights and I love them. Using upcycled textiles is in my part of helping to look after the planet, and giving to charity for those less fortunate than myself, as well as recycling as much as is possible which I do on a regular basis.  All the pieces I call my art has this message attached to them as the more we do the better the planet will be and conserving what we as a race have is the best way to go in my opinion.

There is one project this year I’m excited about and it is a collaboration with two other students one from Inverness and one from Perth college. As a collective, we will be taking each of our skills and adding them together to create a piece of art work. This will show how all the different techniques and skills as a collective come together to create one piece. It will give a small history of a piece of cloth. This book, we can then have a copy each of what we achieved as a group.

As for the future, I don’t know where it will take me but if I can keep pushing my messages about conservation and protection of the planet across, I will be happy. I would love to be able to open a community centre, in the area in which I live as there are so many new families and nothing here for them. If it were to happen I would be delighted as I would be giving back to the community in which I was brought up, by passing on my knowledge and techniques I have attained over many years. It would be a place where not only the children, but also all generations would be able to come to, and meet with each other and talk and play and maybe the older generation could help the younger generation to also appreciate what they have, and help to show them how to take care of it, and make sure it survives for future generations to come. I would also have classes to pass on what I know and this would hopefully enhance the future generations, to become more independent. By showing them and educating them to make do and mend and upcycle to give the planet a chance to thrive and recover, from what damage has already been done, this would happen via the way I work. I think having the chance to improve the area and have somewhere for people to go and enjoy would help to stitch the community together as a whole. It would help to stop the elderly becoming house bound and lonely and it would help young single mums to get together and make new friends, but most of all it would help to teach people how a community should be and that working together to create thing such as this, will be a better thing for everyone now and forever more.

Sheila Annal

3rd Year BAH Degree

Mark Lomax

Practical Skills

 

Crochet
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Detail of a crocheted doily, Sweden
Crochet (English pronunciation: /kroʊˈʃeɪ/;[1] French: [kʁɔʃɛ][2]) is a process of creating fabric by interlocking loops of yarn, thread, or strands of other materials using a crochet hook.[3] The name is derived from the French term “crochet”, meaning small hook. These are made of materials such as metal, wood, or plastic and are manufactured commercially and produced in artisan workshops. The salient difference between crochet and knitting, beyond the implements used for their production, is that each stitch in crochet is completed before proceeding with the next one, while knitting keeps a large number of stitches open at a time. (Variant forms such as Tunisian crochet and broomstick lace keep multiple crochet stitches open at a time.)
Etymology

The word crochet is derived from the Old French crochet, a diminutive of croche, in turn from the Germanic croc, both meaning “hook”.[3]It was used in 17th-century French lace making, crochetage designating a stitch used to join separate pieces of lace, and crochetsubsequently designating both a specific type of fabric and the hooked needle used to produce it. Although that fabric is not known to be crochet in the present sense, a genealogical relationship between the techniques sharing that name appears likely.[4]
Origins[edit]
Knitted textiles survive from early periods but the first substantive evidence of crocheted fabric relates to its appearance in Europe during the 19th century.[5] Earlier work identified as crochet was commonly made by nålebinding, a separate looped yarn technique.

A crocheted purse described in 1823 in Penélopé.
The first known published instructions for crochet appeared in the Dutch magazine, Penélopé, in 1823. This includes a color plate showing five different style purses of which three were intended to be crocheted with silk thread.[6] The first is “simple open crochet” (crochet simple ajour), a mesh of chain-stitch arches. The second (illustrated here) starts in a semi-open form (demi jour), where chain-stitch arches alternate with equally long segments of slip-stitch crochet, and closes with a star made with “double-crochet stitches” (dubbelde hekelsteek— double-crochet in British terminology; single-crochet in US).[7] The third purse is made entirely in double-crochet. The instructions prescribe the use of a tambour needle (as illustrated below) and introduce a number of decorative techniques.

The earliest dated English reference to garments made of cloth produced by looping yarn with a hook — shepherd’s knitting — is in, The Memoirs of a Highland Lady, by Elizabeth Grant (1797–1830). The journal entry, itself, is dated 1812 but was not recorded in its subsequently published form until some time between 1845 and 1867, and the actual date of publication was first in 1898.[8] Nonetheless, the 1833 volume of Penélopé describes and illustrates a shepherd’s hook, and recommends its use for crochet with coarser yarn.[9]

In 1842, one of the numerous books discussing crochet that began to appear in the 1840s states:
“Crochet needles, sometimes called Shepherds’ hooks, are made of steel, ivory, or box-wood. They have a hook at one end similar in shape to a fish-hook, by which the wool or silk is caught and drawn through the work. These instruments are to be procured of various sizes…”[10]

Two years later, the same author, writes:
“Crochet, — a species of knitting originally practised by the peasants in Scotland, with a small hooked needle called a shepherd’s hook, — has, within the last seven years, aided by taste and fashion, obtained the preference over all other ornamental works of a similar nature. It derives its present name from the French; the instrument with which it is worked being by them, from its crooked shape, termed ‘crochet.’ This art has attained its highest degree of perfection in England, whence it has been transplanted to France and Germany, and both countries, although unjustifiably, have claimed the invention.”[11]
An instruction book from 1846 describes Shepherd or Single Crochet as what in current British usage is either called single crochet or slip-stitch crochet, with U.S. American terminology always using the latter (reserving single crochet for use as noted above).[12] It similarly equates “Double” and “French crochet”.[13]

Tambour embroidery in the Diderot Encyclopedia
Notwithstanding the categorical assertion of a purely British origin, there is solid evidence of a connection between French tambour embroidery and crochet. The former method of production was illustrated in detail in 1763 in Diderot’s Encyclopedia. The tip of the needle shown there is indistinguishable from that of a present-day inline crochet hook and the chain stitch separated from a cloth support is a fundamental element of the latter technique. The 1824 Penélopé instructions unequivocally state that the tambour tool was used for crochet and the first of the 1840s instruction books uses the terms tambour and crochet as synonyms.[14] This equivalence is retained in the 4th edition of that work, 1847.[15]

Shepherd’s hook, 19th-century tapered hook, modern inline hook
The strong taper of the shepherd’s hook eases the production of slip-stitch crochet but is less amenable to stitches that require multiple loops on the hook at the same time. Early yarn hooks were also continuously tapered but gradually enough to accommodate multiple loops. The design with a cylindrical shaft that is commonplace today was largely reserved for tambour-style steel needles. Both types gradually merged into the modern form that appeared toward the end of the 19th century, including both tapered and cylindrical segments, and the continuously tapered bone hook remained in industrial production until World War II.
The early instruction books make frequent reference to the alternate use of ‘ivory, bone, or wooden hooks’ and ‘steel needles in a handle’, as appropriate to the stitch being made. Taken with the synonymous labeling of shepherd’s- and single crochet, and the similar equivalence of French- and double crochet, there is a strong suggestion that crochet is rooted both in tambour embroidery and shepherd’s knitting, leading to thread and yarn crochet respectively; a distinction that is still made. The locus of the fusion of all these elements — the “invention” noted above — has yet to be determined, as does the origin of shepherd’s knitting.
Shepherd’s hooks are still being made for local slip-stitch crochet traditions. The form in the accompanying photograph is typical for contemporary production. A longer continuously tapering design intermediate between it and the 19th-century tapered hook was also in earlier production, commonly being made from the handles of forks and spoons.

 

Irish crochet

Detail of a Portuguese crochet table-cloth, about 1970

Irish crochet lace, late 19th century. The design of this example is closely based on Flemish needle lace of the 17th century.
In the 19th century, as Ireland was facing the Great Irish Famine (1845-1849), crochet lace work was introduced as a form of famine relief[16] (the production of crocheted lace being an alternative way of making money for impoverished Irish workers).[17] Mademoiselle Riego de la Blanchardiere is generally credited with the invention of Irish Crochet, publishing the first book of patterns in 1846. Irish lace became popular in Europe and America, and was made in quantity until the first World War.[18]
Modern practice and culture[edit]
Fashions in crochet changed with the end of the Victorian era in the 1890s. Crocheted laces in the new Edwardian era, peaking between 1910 and 1920, became even more elaborate in texture and complicated stitching.

Filet crochet by an internee at ManzanarWar Relocation Center, 1943. Photograph by Ansel Adams
The strong Victorian colours disappeared, though, and new publications called for white or pale threads, except for fancy purses, which were often crocheted of brightly colored silk and elaborately beaded. After World War I, far fewer crochet patterns were published, and most of them were simplified versions of the early 20th-century patterns. After World War II, from the late 1940s until the early 1960s, there was a resurgence in interest in home crafts, particularly in the United States, with many new and imaginative crochet designs published for colorful doilies, potholders, and other home items, along with updates of earlier publications. These patterns called for thicker threads and yarns than in earlier patterns and included wonderful variegated colors. The craft remained primarily a homemaker’s art until the late 1960s and early 1970s, when the new generation picked up on crochet and popularized granny squares, a motif worked in the round and incorporating bright colors.
Although crochet underwent a subsequent decline in popularity, the early 21st century has seen a revival of interest in handcrafts and DIY, as well as great strides in improvement of the quality and varieties of yarn. There are many more new pattern books with modern patterns being printed, and most yarn stores now offer crochet lessons in addition to the traditional knitting lessons. There are many books you can purchase from local book stores to teach yourself how to crochet whether it be as a beginner or intermediate. There are also many books for children and teenagers who are hoping to take up the hobby. Filet crochet, Tunisian crochet, tapestry crochet, broomstick lace, hairpin lace, cro-hooking, and Irish crochet are all variants of the basic crochet method.

 

Crochet hook

Aluminium crochet hooks
Main article: Crochet hook
The crochet hook comes in many sizes and materials, such as bone, bamboo, aluminium, plastic, and steel. Because sizing is categorized by the diameter of the hook’s shaft, a crafter aims to create stitches of a certain size in order to reach a particular gauge specified in a given pattern. If gauge is not reached with one hook, another is used until the stitches made are the needed size. Crafters may have a preference for one type of hook material over another due to aesthetic appeal, yarn glide, or hand disorders such as arthritis, where bamboo or wood hooks are favored over metal for the perceived warmth and flexibility during use. Hook grips and ergonomic hook handles are also available to assist crafters.
Steel crochet hooks range in size from 0.4 to 3.5 millimeters, or from 00 to 16 in American sizing. These hooks are used for fine crochet work such as doilies and lace.
Aluminium, bamboo, and plastic crochet hooks are available from 2.5 to 19 millimeters in size, or from B to S in American sizing.
Artisan-made hooks are often made of hand-turned woods, sometimes decorated with semi-precious stones or beads.
Crochet hooks used for Tunisian crochet are elongated and have a stopper at the end of the handle, while double-ended crochet hooks have a hook on both ends of the handle. There is also a double hooked apparatus called a Cro-hook that has become popular.
A hairpin loom is often used to create lacy and long stitches, known as hairpin lace. While this is not in itself a hook, it is a device used in conjunction with a crochet hook to produce stitches.

Yarn

A hank of wool yarn (center) is uncoiled into its basic loop. A tie is visible at the left; after untying, the hank may be wound into a ball or balls suitable for crocheting. Crocheting from a normal hank directly is likely to tangle the yarn, producing snarls.
Yarn for crochet is usually sold as balls or skeins (hanks), although it may also be wound on spools or cones. Skeins and balls are generally sold with a yarn band, a label that describes the yarn’s weight, length, dye lot, fiber content, washing instructions, suggested needle size, likely gauge, etc. It is a common practice to save the yarn band for future reference, especially if additional skeins must be purchased. Crocheters generally ensure that the yarn for a project comes from a single dye lot. The dye lot specifies a group of skeins that were dyed together and thus have precisely the same color; skeins from different dye lots, even if very similar in color, are usually slightly different and may produce a visible stripe when added onto existing work. If insufficient yarn of a single dye lot is bought to complete a project, additional skeins of the same dye lot can sometimes be obtained from other yarn stores or online.
The thickness or weight of the yarn is a significant factor in determining the gauge, i.e., how many stitches and rows are required to cover a given area for a given stitch pattern. Thicker yarns generally require large-diameter crochet hooks, whereas thinner yarns may be crocheted with thick or thin hooks. Hence, thicker yarns generally require fewer stitches, and therefore less time, to work up a given project. Patterns and motifs are coarser with thicker yarns and produce bold visual effects, whereas thinner yarns are best for refined or delicate patternwork. Yarns are standardly grouped by thickness into six categories: superfine, fine, light, medium, bulky and superbulky. Quantitatively, thickness is measured by the number of wraps per inch (WPI). The related weight per unit length is usually measured in tex or denier.

Transformation of a hank of lavender silk yarn (top) into a ball in which the yarn emerges from the center (bottom). Using the latter is better for needlework, since the yarn is much less likely to tangle.
Before use, hanks are wound into balls in which the yarn emerges from the center, making crocheting easier by preventing the yarn from becoming easily tangled. The winding process may be performed by hand or done with a ballwinder and swift.
A yarn’s usefulness is judged by several factors, such as its loft (its ability to trap air), its resilience(elasticity under tension), its washability and colorfastness, its hand (its feel, particularly softness vs. scratchiness), its durability against abrasion, its resistance to pilling, its hairiness (fuzziness), its tendency to twist or untwist, its overall weight and drape, its blocking and felting qualities, its comfort (breathability, moisture absorption, wicking properties) and its appearance, which includes its color, sheen, smoothness and ornamental features. Other factors include allergenicity, speed of drying, resistance to chemicals, moths, and mildew, melting point and flammability, retention of static electricity, and the propensity to accept dyes. Desirable properties may vary for different projects, so there is no one “best” yarn.

The two possible twists of yarn
Although crochet may be done with ribbons, metal wire or more exotic filaments, most yarns are made by spinning fibers. In spinning, the fibers are twisted so that the yarn resists breaking under tension; the twisting may be done in either direction, resulting in a Z-twist or S-twist yarn. If the fibers are first aligned by combing them and the spinner uses a worsted type drafting method such as the short forward draw, the yarn is smoother and called a worsted; by contrast, if the fibers are carded but not combed and the spinner uses a woolen drafting method such as the long backward draw, the yarn is fuzzier and called woolen-spun. The fibers making up a yarn may be continuous filament fibers such as silk and many synthetics, or they may be staples (fibers of an average length, typically a few inches); naturally filament fibers are sometimes cut up into staples before spinning. The strength of the spun yarn against breaking is determined by the amount of twist, the length of the fibers and the thickness of the yarn. In general, yarns become stronger with more twist (also called worst), longer fibers and thicker yarns (more fibers); for example, thinner yarns require more twist than do thicker yarns to resist breaking under tension. The thickness of the yarn may vary along its length; a slub is a much thicker section in which a mass of fibers is incorporated into the yarn.
The spun fibers are generally divided into animal fibers, plant and synthetic fibers. These fiber types are chemically different, corresponding to proteins, carbohydrates and synthetic polymers, respectively. Animal fibers include silk, but generally are long hairs of animals such as sheep (wool), goat (angora, or cashmere goat), rabbit (angora), llama, alpaca, dog, cat, camel, yak, and muskox (qiviut). Plants used for fibers include cotton, flax (for linen), bamboo, ramie, hemp, jute, nettle, raffia, yucca, coconut husk, banana trees, soy and corn. Rayon and acetate fibers are also produced from cellulose mainly derived from trees. Common synthetic fibers include acrylics,[20]polyesters such as dacron and ingeo, nylon and other polyamides, and olefins such as polypropylene. Of these types, wool is generally favored for crochet, chiefly owing to its superior elasticity, warmth and (sometimes) felting; however, wool is generally less convenient to clean and some people are allergic to it. It is also common to blend different fibers in the yarn, e.g., 85% alpaca and 15% silk. Even within a type of fiber, there can be great variety in the length and thickness of the fibers; for example, Merino wool and Egyptian cotton are favored because they produce exceptionally long, thin (fine) fibers for their type.
A single spun yarn may be crochet as is, or braided or plied with another. In plying, two or more yarns are spun together, almost always in the opposite sense from which they were spun individually; for example, two Z-twist yarns are usually plied with an S-twist. The opposing twist relieves some of the yarns’ tendency to curl up and produces a thicker, balanced yarn. Plied yarns may themselves be plied together, producing cabled yarns or multi-stranded yarns. Sometimes, the yarns being plied are fed at different rates, so that one yarn loops around the other, as in bouclé. The single yarns may be dyed separately before plying, or afterwords to give the yarn a uniform look.
The dyeing of yarns is a complex art. Yarns need not be dyed; or they may be dyed one color, or a great variety of colors. Dyeing may be done industrially, by hand or even hand-painted onto the yarn. A great variety of synthetic dyes have been developed since the synthesis of indigo dye in the mid-19th century; however, natural dyes are also possible, although they are generally less brilliant. The color-scheme of a yarn is sometimes called its colorway. Variegated yarns can produce interesting visual effects, such as diagonal stripes.

 

Process

A close view of a crocheted scarf made with lace-weight mohair yarn.
Crocheted fabric is begun by placing a slip-knot loop on the hook (though other methods, such as a magic ring or simple folding over of the yarn may be used), pulling another loop through the first loop, and repeating this process to create a chain of a suitable length. The chain is either turned and worked in rows, or joined to the beginning of the row with a slip stitch and worked in rounds. Rounds can also be created by working many stitches into a single loop. Stitches are made by pulling one or more loops through each loop of the chain. At any one time at the end of a stitch, there is only one loop left on the hook. Tunisian crochet, however, draws all of the loops for an entire row onto a long hook before working them off one at a time. Like knitting, crochet can be worked either flat or in the round.
Types of stitches[edit]
There are five main types of basic stitches. 1. Chain Stitch – the most basic of all stitches and used to begin most projects. 2. Slip Stitch – used to join chain stitch to form a ring. 3. Single Crochet Stitch – easiest stitch to master Single Crochet Stitch Tutorial 4. Half Double Crochet Stitch – the ‘in-between’ stitch Half-Double Crochet Tutorial 5. Double Crochet Stitch – many uses for this unlimited use stitch Double Crochet Stitch Tutorial hile the horizontal distance covered by these basic stitches is the same, they differ in height and thickness.
The more advanced stitches are often combinations of these basic stitches, or are made by inserting the hook into the work in unusual locations. More advanced stitches include the Shell Stitch, V Stitch, Spike Stitch, Afghan Stitch, Butterfly Stitch, Popcorn Stitch, Cluster stitch, and Crocodile Stitch.[21]

 

International crochet terms and notations

Some crochet symbols, abbreviations, and US/UK terms
In the English-speaking crochet world, basic stitches have different names that vary by country. The differences are usually referred to as UK/US or British/American. To help counter confusion when reading patterns, a diagramming system using a standard international notation has come into use (illustration, left).
Another terminological difference is known as tension (UK) and gauge (US). Individual crocheters work yarn with a loose or a tight hold and, if unmeasured, these differences can lead to significant size changes in finished garments that have the same number of stitches. In order to control for this inconsistency, printed crochet instructions include a standard for the number of stitches across a standard swatch of fabric. An individual crocheter begins work by producing a test swatch and compensating for any discrepancy by changing to a smaller or larger hook. North Americans call this gauge, referring to the end result of these adjustments; British crocheters speak of tension, which refers to the crafter’s grip on the yarn while producing stitches.
Differences from and similarities to knitting[edit]
One of the more obvious differences is that crochet uses one hook while much knitting uses two needles. In most crochet, the artisan usually has only one live stitch on the hook (with the exception being Tunisian crochet), while a knitter keeps an entire row of stitches active simultaneously. Dropped stitches, which can unravel a fabric, rarely interfere with crochet work, due to a second structural difference between knitting and crochet. In knitting, each stitch is supported by the corresponding stitch in the row above and it supports the corresponding stitch in the row below, whereas crochet stitches are only supported by and support the stitches on either side of it. If a stitch in a finished crocheted item breaks, the stitches above and below remain intact, and because of the complex looping of each stitch, the stitches on either side are unlikely to come loose unless heavily stressed.
Round or cylindrical patterns are simple to produce with a regular crochet hook, but cylindrical knitting requires either a set of circular needles or three to five special double-ended needles. Many crocheted items are composed of individual motifs which are then joined together, either by sewing or crocheting, whereas knitting is usually composed of one fabric, such as entrelac.
Freeform crochet is a technique that can create interesting shapes in three dimensions because new stitches can be made independently of previous stitches almost anywhere in the crocheted piece. It is generally accomplished by building shapes or structural elements onto existing crocheted fabric at any place the crafter desires.
Knitting can be accomplished by machine, while many crochet stitches can only be crafted by hand. The height of knitted and crocheted stitches is also different: a single crochet stitch is twice the height of a knit stitch in the same yarn size and comparable diameter tools, and a double crochet stitch is about four times the height of a knit stitch.[22]
While most crochet is made with a hook, there is also a method of crocheting with a knitting loom. This is called loomchet.[23] Slip stitch crochet is very similar to knitting. Each stitch in slip stitch crochet is formed the same way as a knit or purl stitch which is then bound off. A person working in slip stitch crochet can follow a knitted pattern with knits, purls, and cables, and get a similar result.[24]
It is a common perception that crochet produces a thicker fabric than knitting, tends to have less “give” than knitted fabric, and uses approximately a third more yarn for a comparable project than knitted items. Though this is true when comparing a single crochet swatch with a stockinette swatch, both made with the same size yarn and needle/hook, it is not necessarily true for crochet in general. Most crochet uses far less than 1/3 more yarn than knitting for comparable pieces, and a crocheter can get similar feel and drape to knitting by using a larger hook or thinner yarn. Tunisian crochet and slip stitch crochet can in some cases use less yarn than knitting for comparable pieces. According to sources[25] claiming to have tested the 1/3 more yarn assertion, a single crochet stitch (sc) uses approximately the same amount of yarn as knit garter stitch, but more yarn than stockinette stitch. Any stitch using yarnovers uses less yarn than single crochet to produce the same amount of fabric. Cluster stitches, which are in fact multiple stitches worked together, will use the most length.
Standard crochet stitches like sc and dc also produce a thicker fabric, more like knit garter stitch. This is part of why they use more yarn. Slip stitch can produce a fabric much like stockinette that is thinner and therefore uses less yarn.
It is possible to use the same yarn or wool for both crochet and knitting, providing you have the correct size knitting needles or crochet hooks for the yarn you are using. There are some yarn that are only made for crochet, for example DMC make Cebelia No.10[26] which is a very thin yarn and works well with Amigurumi crochet.[27]

 

Differences between crochet and knitting

Most crochet uses one hook and works upon one stitch at a time. Crochet may be worked in circular rounds without any specialized tools, as shown here.


Knitting uses two or more straight needles that carry multiple stitches.


Unlike crochet, knitting requires specialized needles to create circular rounds.
Charity[edit]
It has been very common for people and groups to crochet clothing and other garments and then donate them to soldiers during war. People have also crocheted clothing and then donated it to hospitals, for sick patients and also for newborn babies. Sometimes groups will crochet for a specific charity purpose, such as crocheting for homeless shelters, nursing homes, etc. It is also becoming increasingly popular to crochet hats (commonly referred to as “chemo caps”) and donate them to cancer treatment centers, for those undergoing chemotherapy. During the month of October pink hats and scarves are made and proceeds are donated to breast cancer funds.
Mathematics and hyperbolic crochet[edit]

A collection of crocheted hyperbolic planes, in imitation of a coral reef.
Crochet has been used to illustrate shapes in hyperbolic space that are difficult to reproduce using other media or are difficult to understand when viewed two-dimensionally. A hyperbolic model of a coral reef has also been constructed for environmental purposes.[28]
A paper model based on the pseudosphere was created by William Thurston, however, it was quite delicate. Crochet has been used by the mathematician Daina Taimina in order to create a version of the hyperbolic plane. Daina Taimina used the art of crochet to create a strong, durable model (see related image), which received an exhibition by the Institute For Figuring.[28]
As hyperbolic and mathematics-based crochet has continued to become more popular, there have been several events highlighting work from various fiber artists. Two such shows include Sant Ocean Hall at the Smithsonian in Washington D.C. and Sticks, Hooks, and the Mobius: Knit and Crochet Go Cerebralat Lafayette College in Pennsylvania.
Architecture[edit]
In Style in the technical arts, Gottfried Semper looks at the textile with great promise and historical precedent. In Section 53, he writes of the “loop stitch, or Noeud Coulant: a knot that, if untied, causes the whole system to unravel.” In the same section, Semper confesses his ignorance of the subject of crochet but believes strongly that it is a technique of great value as a textile technique and possibly something more.
There are a small number of architects currently interested in the subject of crochet as it relates to architecture. The following publications, explorations and thesis projects can be used as a resource to see how crochet is being used within the capacity of architecture.
• Emergent Explorations: Analog and Digital Scripting – Alexander Worden
• Research and Design: The Architecture of variation – Lars Spuybroek
• YurtAlert – Kate Pokorny

 

Yarn bombing

In the past few years, a practice called yarn bombing, or the use of knitted or crocheted cloth to modify and beautify one’s (usually outdoor) surroundings, emerged in the US and spread worldwide.[29] Yarn bombers sometimes target existing pieces of graffiti for beautification. In 2010, an entity dubbed “the Midnight Knitter” hit West Cape May. Residents awoke to find knit cozies hugging tree branches and sign poles.[30] In September 2015, Grace Brett was named “The World’s Oldest Yarn Bomber”. She is part of a group of yarn graffiti-artists called the Souter Stormers, who beautify their local town in Scotland. When she is not yarn bombing, she is utilizing her craft by making items for her children and grandchildren.

Early origins of knitting

Knitting is a technique of producing fabric from a strand of yarn or wool. Unlike weaving, knitting does not require a loom or other large equipment, making it a valuable technique for nomadic and non-agrarian peoples.
The oldest knitted artifacts are socks from Egypt, dating from the 11th century CE.[2] They are a very fine gauge, done with complex colorwork and some have a short row heel, which necessitates the purl stitch. These complexities suggest that knitting is even older than the archeological record can prove.[3]
Earlier pieces having a knitted or crocheted appearance have been shown to be made with other techniques, such as Nålebinding, a technique of making fabric by creating multiple loops with a single needle and thread, much like sewing.[4] Some artifacts have a structure so similar to knitting, for example, 3rd-5th century CE Romano-Egyptian toe-socks, that it is thought the “Coptic stitch” of nalbinding is the forerunner to knitting.
Most histories of knitting place its origin somewhere in the Middle East, and from there it spread to Europe by Mediterranean trade routes and later to the Americas with European colonization.

 

Early European Knitting

The earliest known knitted items in Europe were made by Muslim knitters employed by Spanish Christian royal families. Their high level of knitting skill can be seen in several items found in the tombs in the Abbey of Santa María la Real de Las Huelgas, a royal monastery, near Burgos, Spain. Among them are the knitted cushion covers and gloves found in the tomb of Prince Fernando de la Cerda, who died in 1275. The silk cushion cover was knit at approximately 20 stitches per inch. It included knit patterns reflecting the family armory, as well as the word baraka (“blessings”) in Arabic in stylized Kufic script.[6][7] Numerous other knit garments and accessories, also dating from the mid-13th century, have been found in cathedral treasuries in Spain.
There also is a Votic knit fragment dated to late 13th century excavated in Estonia.[8] This fragment is knit in a stranded pattern in three colors and was likely part of a mitten cuff.

Madonna Knitting, by Bertram of Minden 1400-1410
Several paintings from Europe portray the Virgin Mary knitting and date from the 14th century, including Our Lady Knitting by Tommaso da Modena (circa 1325-1375) and Visit of the Angel, from the right wing of the Buxtehude Altar, 1400–10, by Master Bertram of Minden.[6] These paintings show no knitting pattern; the earliest known knitting pattern was published in 1524.[9]
Archaeological finds from medieval cities all over Europe, such as London,[10] Newcastle,[11] Oslo,[12]Amsterdam,[13] and Lübeck,[14] as well as tax lists, prove the spread of knitted goods for everyday use from the 14th century onward. Like many archaeological textiles, most of the finds are only fragments of knitted items so that in most cases their former appearance and use is unknown. One of the exceptions is a 14th or 15th century woollen child’s cap from Lübeck.[14]
Although the purl stitch was used in some of the earliest knitted items in Egypt, its knowledge may have been lost in Europe. The first European purl stitches appear in the mid-16th century, in the red silk stockings in which Eleanora de Toledo, wife of Cosimo de Medici, was buried, and which also include the first lacy patterns made by yarn-overs,[15][16] but the technique may have been developed slightly earlier. The English Queen Elizabeth Iherself favored silk stockings;[17] these were finer, softer, more decorative and much more expensive than those of wool. Stockings reputed to have belonged to her still exist, demonstrating the high quality of the items specifically knitted for her. During this era the manufacture of stockings was of vast importance to many Britons, who knitted with fine wool and exported their wares. Knitting schools were established as a way of providing an income to the poor. The fashion of the period, requiring men to wear short trunks, made fitted stockings a fashion necessity. Stockings made in England were sent to the Netherlands, Spain, and Germany.[citation needed]
Importance in Scottish history[edit]

1855 sketch of a shepherd knitting, while watching his flock.
Knitting was such an important occupation among those living on the Scottish Isles during the 17th and 18th centuries that whole families were involved in making sweaters, accessories, socks, stockings, etc.[18] Fair Isle techniques were used to create elaborate colorful patterns. Sweaters were essential garments for the fishermen of these islands because the natural oils within the wool provided some element of protection against the harsh weather encountered while out fishing.
Many elaborate designs were developed, such as the cable stitch used on Aran sweaters, which was developed in the early 20th century in Ireland.
Industrial Revolution[edit]
The stocking frame or mechanical knitting machine was invented in 1589 and subsequently improved. The Worshipful Company of Framework Knitters was incorporated in 1657 London. Framework knitting was predominantly performed at home, often with the entire family participating.[19]
The city of Nottingham, particularly the district known as Lace Market, was a major producer of machine-knitted lace. Leicestershire and neighboring counties had long had an association with the hosiery industry. This continued particularly growing with the invention of portable circular knitting machines.[citation needed] Machines could be hired and worked from home rather than relying on a large stocking frame or the much slower hand knitting. One manufacturer of these machines was Griswold, and such work was often called Griswold work.[citation needed]

Griswold knitting machines
Some framework knitters were among the Luddites, who resisted the transition to factories. By the middle of the nineteenth century, the knitting industry had still not made the transition to factories.[20]With the improvement of steam-powered knitting machines in the mid-nineteenth century, machine knitting increasingly shifted to factories to accommodate the larger machines.
By the mid-nineteenth century, hand knitting was declining as part of the knitting industry but was increasingly a hobby.[citation needed] Printed patterns and yarn were produced for leisure as well as for industrial use by authors such as Jane Gaugain.
1920s: the Russian Civil Wars and China[edit]
After the White Russians’ defeat in the Civil War, many units retreated into China’s Xinjiang and were interned there. As China was about to descend into a civil war of its own, the Russian internees were transported by camel caravans to Eastern China. According to Owen Lattimore, it was then that they passed on the art of knitting to the Chinese caravan men, who had ready supply of camel hair from their animals. In 1926, Lattimore was able to observe camel-pullers “knitting on the march; if they ran out of yarn, they would reach back to the first camel of the file they were leading, pluck a handful of hair from the neck, and roll it in their palms into the beginning of a length of yarn; a weight was attached to this, and given a twist to start it spinning, and the man went on feeding wool into the thread until he had spun enough yarn to continue his knitting.” This way the camel men not only provided themselves with warm camel-hair socks, but were able to make knitwear for sale as well.[21]
1920s: Fashions[edit]
The 1920s saw a vast increase in the popularity of knitwear in much of the western world. Knitwear, especially sweaters/pullovers became essential part of the new fashions of the age for men, women and children, rather than mostly practical garments of associated with particular occupations (e.g., fishermen). The late teens and early 1920s saw a fashion for knitted neckties. Knitwear was often associated with sport and leisure. Garments often became associated with particular sports; for example, white sweaters/pullers, often with colored stripes (club colors) in the collar, became common for tennis and cricket.
Fair Isle knitting enjoyed a golden age during the 1920s, reputedly started by the Prince of Wales (future Edward VIII) wearing a Fair Isle pullover sweater to play golf. Both Fair Isle and Argyle styles have since been associated with the sport.
High fashion also embraced knitwear, with Coco Chanel making prominent use of it and Vogue magazine featuring patterns.
Before the 1920s, the majority of commercial knitting in the Western world had centered around production of underwear, socks and hosiery. This vastly expanded as the public taste for knitted fashion did also. Both hand and machine knitting were commercially active on a large scale prior to the Great Depression.
The 1920s saw a continuation in the growth of interest in home/hobby knitting which grew during the First World War. Conditions of trench warfare lead to a shortage of socks in particular, and the Allied home front was encouraged to support the troops by knitting. Home knitting grew in popularity, especially as fashion fully embraced knitwear. Companies started, or expanded, to meet the demands of home knitters, producing patterns, yarn, and tools.

 

1930s: The Depression

The prominence of knitwear in fashion of the 1920s continued, but reflected the changes of fashion. The combining traditional methods in new ways became more common and new technologies such as zip fasteners began to be used in knitwear. New synthetic yarns started to become available.
The hardship experienced by many during the Great Depression meant some turned to knitting through necessity. It was much cheaper to knit your own garments than to buy hand (or even machine) knitted products. Skills were needed for repairs to existing garments, socks and underwear. Patterns, now often included in popular women’s magazines frequently reflected this need. Socks with replaceable toes and heels were common. Some hobby knitters took to part-time work, hand-knitting for extra income.
The 1930s also saw a rise in the popularity of commercial machine knitting. Much commercially sold knitwear during the 1920s was hand-knitted, however the costs of this and other pressures of the time saw a large shift in consumers towards cheaper machine knitted products.

 

1939–1945: Knitting for Victory

World War I poster encouraging people to knit socks for the troops
Make do and mend was the title of a booklet produced by the British wartime government department, the Ministry of Information. Wool was in very short supply, and the booklet encouraged women to unpick old unwearable woolen items in order to re-use the wool.
Knitting patterns were issued so that people could make items for the Army and Navy to wear in winter, such as balaclavas and gloves. This not only produced the much-needed items, but also gave those on the “home front” a positive sense of contributing to the war effort.

 

1950s and 60s: Haute Couture

After the war years, knitting had a huge boost as greater colors and styles of yarn were introduced. Many thousands of patterns fed a market hungry for fashionable designs in bright colors. The twinset was an extremely popular combination for the home knitter. It consisted of a short-sleeved top with a long-sleeved cardigan in the same color, to be worn together.
Girls were taught to knit in school, as it was thought to be a useful skill, not just a hobby. Magazines such as Pins and Needles in the UK carried patterns of varying difficulty including not just clothes, but also blankets, toys, bags, lace curtains and other items that could be sold for profit.

 

1980s decline

The popularity of knitting showed a sharp decline during this period in the Western world. Sales of patterns and yarns slumped, as the craft was increasingly seen as old-fashioned and children were rarely taught to knit in school.
The increased availability and low cost of machine-knitted items meant that consumers could have a sweater at the same cost of purchasing the wool and pattern themselves, or often for far less.
Alternatives to traditional woolen knitwear gained in popularity, such as tracksuits and sweatshirts, which began to be worn as everyday wear rather than only in a sporting context. Sewn from a micro-knit synthetic fabric and brushed on one side, these were more fashionable at the time, produced more cheaply and quickly and easier for consumers to care for. These fabrics could also easily be printed with fashionable designs. Although made from a kind of knit fabric they are not usually considered knitwear.
These new garments, along with trends away from formality in clothing meant traditional knitwear was no longer seen as sportswear as it had been in the 1920s. Knitwear became more associated with smart casual” wear.
Technological advances such as computerized knitting machines saw new designs and approaches to knitting. Some artists began to see knitting as a legitimate art form rather than a craft or cottage industry, and more attention was placed on the design possibilities of knitting from an artistic perspective rather than just fashionable or practical approaches.

1990s

By the late 1980s, many of the suppliers to the home knitting market had disappeared or been absorbed into other companies, while local wool shops suffered a marked reduction in numbers. However, home knitting still had a strong and loyal following.
The growth of craft fairs, release of well researched books on many aspects of knitting and the continued support among those who had learnt the skill in the heyday of the 60s and 70s kept a considerable amount of interest in knitting alive.
One of the most influential changes was the spread internet, which enabled knitters to share advice, patterns and experience, but also it meant that home knitters had direct access to supplies rather being reliant on local sources. These trends have continued.

 

Early 21st century revival

The 21st century has seen a resurgence of knitting. This resurgence can be noted in part to coincide with the growth of the internet and internet-based technologies, as well as the general “Handmade Revolution” and interest in DIY crafts.
Natural fibers from animals, such as alpaca, angora and merino and plant fibers, chiefly cotton, have become easier and less costly to collect and process and therefore more widely available. Exotic fibers, such as silk, bamboo, yak and qiviut are growing in popularity as well. The yarn industry has started to make novelty yarns, which produce stunning results without years of knitting experience.[citation needed] Designers have begun to create patterns which work up quickly on large needles, a phenomenon known as instant-gratification knitting.
Celebrities including Julia Roberts, Winona Ryder, Dakota Fanning, and Cameron Diaz have been seen knitting and have helped to popularize the revival of the craft. There has also been a return by men to the art of knitting.[citation needed]
As time and technology change, so does the art of knitting. The Internet allows knitters to connect, share interests and learn from each other, whether across the street or across the globe. Among the first Internet knitting phenomena was the popular KnitList, with thousands of members. In 1998, the first online knitting magazine, KnitNet, began publishing. (It suspended publication with its 54th edition in 2009.) Blogging later added fuel to the development of an international knitting community.
Patterns from both print and online sources have inspired groups (known as knit-a-long’s, or KAL’s) centered on knitting a specific pattern. Knitting podcasts have also emerged, with much cross-pollination of ideas from blogs, ‘zines, and knitting books. Traditional designs and techniques that had been preserved by a relatively small number of hand-knitters are now finding a wider audience as well.
In addition, a type of graffiti called yarn bombing, has spread worldwide. Like traditional graffiti, this consists of creating knit pieces in public spaces without permission.
On January 14, 2006, influential author and knit-blogger Stephanie Pearl-McPhee, otherwise known as Yarn Harlot, challenged the knitting world to participate in the 2006 Knitting Olympics.[22] To participate, a knitter committed to casting-on a challenging project during the opening ceremonies of the 2006 Winter Olympics in Torino, and to have that project finished by the time the Olympic flame was extinguished sixteen days later. By the first day of the Olympics, almost 4,000 knitters had risen to the challenge.
As another sign of the knitting’s popularity in the early 21st century, a large international online community and social networking site for knitters and crocheters, Ravelry, was founded by Casey and Jessica Forbes in May 2007.[23] At first available by invitation only, the site connects knitting and crochet enthusiasts around the world and, as of May 2016 had over 6.21 million registered users.[24]

History of quilting

Mrs. Bill Stagg of Pie Town, New Mexico with her patchwork and embroidery quilt that displays all the United States state flowers and birds, October 1940.
Quilting, the stitching together of layers of padding and fabric, may date back as far as ancient Egypt.[1]

Whole-cloth quilt, 18th century, Netherlands. Textile made in India.
In Europe quilting appears to have been introduced by Crusaders in the 12th century (Colby 1971), in particular in the form of the aketon or gambeson, a quilted garment worn under armour which later developed into the doublet.
One of the earliest existing decorative works is the Tristan quilt,[2] made around 1360. Made in Sicily, and as one of the earliest surviving quilts in the world, at least two sections survive at the V&A Museum (London) and in Bargello palace (Florence). Another of the Tristan and Isolde story is held in a private collection.

 

Russia

Russia holds the oldest example in existence. It is a quilted linen carpet found in a Mongolian cave, and now kept at the Saint Petersburg department of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Archaeology Section.[3]

 

United States

Quilt making was common in the late 18th century and early years of the 19th. Most women were busy spinning, weaving and sewing in order to clothe their family. Commercial blankets or woven coverlets were a more economical bedcovering for most people. Only the wealthy had the leisure time for quilt making so Colonial quilting was done by only a few.
Obviously quilts were not made of left over scraps or worn clothing as a humble bedcovering during this period. Instead they were decorative items that displayed the fine needlework of the maker such as the Baltimore album quilts.
Whole cloth quilts, broderie perse and medallion quilts were the styles of quilts made during the early 19th century.
According to the Wall Street Journal there are an estimated twenty-one million quilters in the United States.[4]

 

Wholecloth quilts

Early wholecloth bed quilts which may appear to be a solid piece of fabric are actually composed of strips of fabric, inasmuch as early looms could not produce expansion of cloth large enough to cover an entire bed surface. Early quilts that feature the same fabric for the entire quilt top, whether that top is made of dyed wool or pieces of (the same) printed cotton fabric, are referred to as wholecloth quilts. Early wholecloth quilts have three layers: a quilt top, a filling (in early quilts the filler was often wool), and a backing. The three layers are held together via quilting stitches worked by hand, in an age before sewing machines were marketed. In wholecloth quilts, the quilting stitches themselves serve as the only decoration. The earliest whole cloth quilts found in America were brought from Europe. Initially, quilts were owned by the wealthy in America who had the means to purchase imported quilts.
The Lovely Lane Museum, Baltimore, Maryland, holds a quilt in their collection believed to have been carried onshore by the Cogswell family who embarked from Bristol, England en route to Bristol, Maine in 1635. Once the passengers were safely on shore, the galleon “Angel Gabriel, moored in Pemaquid Bay, was completely destroyed when the Great Hurricane of 1635 rushed up the coast from Naragansett, Rhode Island, leaving the ship as just a mass of floating debris after it was hit with the strongest winds ever recorded. The story is recounted in an article written by Patricia L. Cummings titled “Quilts in Early America, Part I: The Oldest Known Wholecloth Quilt Brought to the New World,” published in The Quilter magazine (Stanhope, NJ: All-American Crafts, Inc., February/March 2014).
The Canton Historical Society, Canton, Massachusetts, believes that a wholecloth quilt in their collection may be the oldest wholecloth quilt made in America. An article published in The Quilter magazine, April/May 2014, titled “Early American Quilts in America, Part II: The Martha Crafts Howard Quilt” by Patricia L. Cummings offers details of the wool wholecloth quilt made in 1786 by Martha Crafts Howard, whose life stories are also shared in that article.
In 2005, quilt historian, Patricia L. Cummings, wrote a series of five articles that explore the art of wholecloth quilting published them on her website, Quilter’s Muse Publications. That particular series includes information about the wholecloth quiltmaking tradition of some European countries and features photos provided by contributors to the articles.
In March 2014, Cummings added two new articles to Quilter’s Muse Publications’ website: “Wholecloth Quilts: Yesterday and Today”; and “Andrea Stracke – Wholecloth Quilts,” which offers photo examples of quilts made by a wholecloth quilt artist who lives in Germany.
A more complete survey is needed to compare all of the wholecloth quilts held in the many museum locations who have collected such textiles. Many early quilts did not survive the test of time or were discarded, or else, they survived but the name of the quilter is lost to history. For a time, the trend in wholecloth quilting was a preference for all-cotton white quilts.
Many of the beautiful surviving wholecloth quilts feature feather designs, outlines of flowers, or are based on other designs taken from nature motifs. Some were made even more exquisite by the use of stuffed and corded quilting, a method sometimes called trapunto. Trapunto is an Italian word used to describe the technique of slipping extra stuffing into certain areas of a quilt to create areas of raised motifs that stand in relief. For example, stuffing placed inside the quilted outline of a feather or flower makes the design stands out. Women were sometimes proud of their finely wrought and evenly spaced quilting stitches in their wholecloth quilts. This type of quilting seems to be experiencing a revival today and some quilt stores sell pre-marked quilt tops ready to be layered and quilted, either by hand or by machine.

 

Broderie perse quilts

Broderie perse refers to the applique of cut out motifs from printed fabric onto a solid background. This form of quilt making has been done since the 18th century. The popular printed fabric during this period was chintz imported from India.
Printed fabric was expensive even for those who were well off. By cutting out birds, flowers and other motifs from printed fabric and sewing them onto a large homespun cloth a beautiful bedspread could be made. The technique was also used on some early medallion quilts as in the example.
Broderie Perse bedcoverings were usually used on the best bed or sometimes only when guests were staying in the home.

 

Medallion quilts

Elizabeth Welsh. Medallion Quilt, c. 1830. Cotton. Brooklyn Museum
Medallion quilts are made around a center. The center was sometimes a solid piece of large-scale fabric like a toile or a Tree of Life, an appliqued motif or a large pieced star or other pieced pattern. The central area was surrounded by two or more borders. Although some borders were solid, many were pieced or appliqued.

 

Mid-19th century

Changes came about as progress in technology deeply affected the number and styles of quilts made during the middle years of the 19th century.
The industrial revolution brought about the most dramatic change as textiles came to be manufactured on a broad scale. This meant women no longer had to spend time spinning and weaving to provide fabric for their family’s needs. By the 1840s the textile industry had grown to the point that commercial fabrics were affordable to almost every family. As a result, quilt making became widespread.
A great variety of cotton prints could be bought to make clothing and even specifically for making a quilt. Although scraps left over from dressmaking and other sewing projects were used in quilt making, it is a myth that quilts were always made from scraps and worn out clothing. Examining pictures of quilts found in museums we quickly see that many quilts were made with fabric bought specifically for that quilt.
Another major shift was in the style of quilts made. Although a few earlier quilts were made in the block style, quilts made up of blockswere uncommon until around the 1840s. With so many fabrics being manufactured quilters could create their blocks with a delightful variety of fabrics.
Some block style quilts were made of a set of identical pieced blocks while others contained a variety of blocks made with different patterns. The blocks were sewn together and a border may or may not have been added.
During this period the invention and availability of the sewing machine contributed to quilt making. In 1856 The Singer company started the installment plan so that more families could afford a sewing machine. By the 1870s a good many households owned a sewing machine.
This affected quilt making in two ways. First of all women could make clothing for their family in much less time leaving more time for quilt making and secondly they could use their sewing machines to make all or part of their quilts. More often the sewing machine was used to piece quilts but occasionally the quilting itself was done with the sewing machine.

Oak Leaf Variant applique quilt, c. 1860, cottons, made by Mrs. M.E. Poyner, Paducah, Kentucky, dimensions: 74″ x 86″. Included in “Kentucky Quilts, 1800-1900” and “Homefront & Battlefield: Quilts & Context in the Civil War” traveling exhibitions and catalogues. Collection of Bill Volckening, Portland, Oregon.

 

Civil War era

Leading up to the American Civil War, quilts were made to raise funds to support the abolitionist movement then during the war, quilts were made to raise funds for the war effort and to give warmth and comfort to soldiers. The patterns were much like those made mid-century but the purpose was different. Quilts connected to the abolitionist movement and the Civil War were made for a cause, many representing the relevant flag.

 

Abolition and the role of quilts

Even before 1830, abolitionists were working hard to end slavery. One way they did this was to hold grand fairs to raise both awareness and money for the abolitionist cause. Quilts were one of many craft pieces sold at these fairs. These quilts were usually fine quilts often with beautiful appliqué. Women sometimes put anti-slavery poems and sayings on the quilts they made for fairs as well as for friends and family. The goal was to show the terrible plight of the slaves.
Some abolitionists were active in the Underground Railroad helping runaway slaves get to safety. There are stories that certain quilts were used as signals to help the slaves in their flight to freedom. The idea that a log cabin quilt would be hung on the line of a safe house was one. More recent stories tell of certain quilts being used to tell the slaves what they needed to do to get to safety. This all sounds quite romantic but historians are divided on the theory and legend. But we do know that a valiant effort was made by both whites and free slaves to help these slaves to their destination.

 

For the troops

Civil War soldier’s quilt.
Women on both sides were very active in raising money for the war effort and making quilts and other bed coverings for soldiers.
In the North, quilts were still made for fairs but now these fairs earned money to support needs that came about because of the war. In the South lovely quilts called “gunboat” quilts were made to pay for much-needed gunboats.
It wasn’t long before it was obvious that soldiers on both sides would need blankets and quilts for warmth. In the North, women either made quilts or remade quilts from bed coverings. Since the cots were narrow two bedspreads could be made into three quilts for soldiers. The United States Sanitary Commission was in charge of collecting distributing them.
In the South, it was more difficult because cotton was grown in the south but manufactured into fabric in the north. Before long, fabric was almost impossible to obtain so women had to spin and weave before they could sew a bed covering together. Needless to say most of the quilts made for soldiers on either side were made with practical patterns and fabric and due to heavy use, very few have survived to this day.
Victorian era America[edit]
Quilt making continued to be a popular craft during the latter part of the 19th century. The English Victorian influence was slightly delayed in the United States because of the Civil War and its aftermath.

 

Amish quilting

Amish quilts are appreciated for their bold graphic designs, distinctive colour combinations, and exceptional stitching. Quilting became a favoured activity of the Anabaptist sect after emigrating to the United States and Canada from Germany and Switzerland over 250 years ago. The earliest known Amish quilts, dating from 1849, are whole-cloth works in solid colours. Pattern-pieced bed coverings didn’t appear until the 1870s. Particular patterns and fabrics are identified with specific Amish communities; for example, pre-1940s quilts from Lancaster County were almost always made of wool while those sewn in Ohio during the same period were commonly made of cotton.[5]
Often these quilts provide the only decoration in a simply furnished home and they also were commonly used for company or to show wealth. Amish religion discourages individual expression but quiltmaking has allowed Amish women to express their creative natures without giving offence. The Amish communities have always encouraged activities that promote community and family closeness so quilting became a fundamental part of social life for the women of the community. Quilts are created for everyday use or to celebrate special occasions such as birthdays, weddings, raising funds for the church or community cause. Since the “English” (the name for non-Amish people) discovered Amish work in the late 1960s, quilting has become a source of income for many. Their quilts have become collectors’ items all over the world.[6]

 

Crazy quilting fad

In terms of quilts the latter years of the 19th century is best remembered for the “Crazy quilting” craze. Crazy quilts were made of abstract shapes sewn randomly together. Usually the quilt maker then used embroidery to embellish the quilt. Fancy stitches were sewn along the seams and often, embroidered motifs were added, including flowers, birds and sometimes a spider and web for good luck. Magazines encouraged making “crazies”. Young women were particularly eager to make them. These simple, organic quilts were seldom used as bed-coverings, instead they were made smaller and without batting to be used as decorative throws.

 

Traditional quilt survival

Because crazy quilting was so popular at the time, they tend to eclipse the fact that many traditional quilts were also made for bedding and commemoration. Utilitarian quilts were pieced and tied or simply quilted for everyday bed coverings while beautiful pieced and/or appliquéd quilts were created for special events like a wedding or when a beloved minister was transferred to a new location. These were more often elaborately quilted.
Art quilts[edit]
Art quilts evolved from crazy quilt, where cloth and thread became the tools to create works of art.

 

Modern quilts

Concise on quilting

The art of quilting was once important and large part of women and young girl’s life. Over time it has turned into a popular hobby for women that have a passion for fabric and sewing. Rumors of how the quilt was used during the Civil War to aid the Underground Railroad has given a sense of mystery and adventure to the meaning of quilts, but these are just rumors with no actual evidence. The amount of time and effort that goes into the creation of a quilt makes these “fabric sandwiches” not only expensive to create and sometimes purchase, but produces a priceless family heirloom that should be passed down from generation to generation.

 

The Knit Knot Tree

Yarn bombing, yarnbombing, yarn storming, guerrilla knitting, kniffiti, urban knitting or graffiti knitting is a type of graffiti or street art that employs colourful displays of knitted or crocheted yarn or fibre rather than paint or chalk.

Method and motivation

While yarn installations – called yarn bombs or yarnstorms – may last for years, they are considered non-permanent, and, unlike other forms of graffiti, can be easily removed if necessary. Nonetheless, the practice is still technically illegal in some jurisdictions, though it is not often prosecuted vigorously.
While other forms of graffiti may be expressive, decorative, territorial, socio-political commentary, advertising or vandalism, yarn bombing was initially almost exclusively about reclaiming and personalizing sterile or cold public places.[2] It has since developed with groups graffiti knitting and crocheting worldwide, each with their own agendas and public graffiti knitting projects being run.

 

History

Statue of Johann Nestroynear Nestroyplatz, Vienna
The practice is believed to have originated in the U.S. with Texas knitters trying to find a creative way to use their leftover and unfinished knitting projects, but it has since spread worldwide.
The start of this movement has been attributed to Magda Sayeg, 37, from Houston, who says she first got the idea in 2005 when she covered the door handle of her boutique with a custom-made cozy.

Moose, Museum of comic art, Frankfurt

Houston artist Bill Davenport was creating and exhibiting crochet-covered objects in Houston in the 1990s, and the Houston Press stated that “Bill Davenport could be called the grand old man of Houston crocheted sculpture.”[6] Artist Shanon Schollian was knitting stump cozies in 2002 for clear cuts in Oregon.[7] The Knit Knot Tree by the Jafagirls[8] in Yellow Springs, Ohio gained international attention in 2008.
The movement moved on from simple ‘cozies’ with the innovation of the ‘stitched story’. The concept has been attributed to Lauren O’Farrell[9] (who creates her street art under the graffiti knitting name Deadly Knitshade), from London, UK, who founded the city’s first graffiti knitting collective Knit the City. The ‘stitched story concept’ uses handmade amigurumi creatures, characters and items to tell a narrative or show a theme. This was first recorded with the Knit the City collective’s “Web of Woe” installation[10] in August 2009.
The Knit the City collective were also the first to use O’Farrell’s term ‘yarnstorming’ to describe their graffiti knitting, as an alternative to the more popular term ‘yarnbombing’.
Yarn bombing’s popularity has spread throughout the world. In Oklahoma City the Collected Thread store yarn bombed the Plaza District of the city on 9 September 2011 to celebrate their three-year anniversary as a functioning shop.[13] and in Australia a group called the Twilight Taggers refer to themselves as ‘fibre artists’.[14] Joann Matvichuk of Lethbridge, Alberta founded International Yarnbombing Day, which was first observed on 11 June 2011.

Although yarnbomb installations are typically found in urban areas, Stephen Duneier, aka Yarnbomber, is the first to introduce it the wilderness with numerous permitted projects in Los Padres National Forest beginning in 2012.[16]
The Craft Club Yarnbombers (Emma Curley, Helen Thomas, Gabby Atkins, Claire Whitehead and Rebecca Burton) became Guinness World Record holders for the largest display of crochet sculptures, when they yarnbombed a children’s hospice with 13,388 crocheted items.[17] They have also brought yarnbombing to their community in Essex with their postbox yarnbombs.[18]

 
alexandra kehayoglou hand-tufts carpeted pastorial landscapes of sublime realitiesalexandra kehayoglou hand-tufts carpeted pastorial landscapes of sublime realitiesfeb 11, 2016alexandra kehayoglou + maxi ciovich craft winter passing chairalexandra kehayoglou + maxi ciovich craft winter passing chairjun 11, 2013popular now art’bark vader’ helmet by christophe guinet: arborous armor for a wooden star wars warrior’bark vader’ helmet by christophe guinet: arborous armor for a wooden star wars warriornov 25, 2016hauser & wirth presents a carnivalesque cast of characters by paul mccarthyhauser & wirth presents a carnivalesque cast of characters by paul mccarthynov 26, 2016sam dougados inscribes moroccan beaches with intricate arabic patternssam dougados inscribes moroccan beaches with intricate arabic patternsnov 27, 2016machine project’s underwater art show is submerged in a swimming pool in LAmachine project’s underwater art show is submerged in a swimming pool in LAnov 25, 2016christophe guinet turns vintage apple computers into pots for exotic plantschristophe guinet turns vintage apple computers into pots for exotic plantsnov 21, 2016maison et objet spring 2016 (21 articles)
alexandra kehayoglou hand-tufts carpeted pastorial landscapes of sublime realitiesalexandra kehayoglou hand-tufts carpeted pastorial landscapes of sublime realitiesfeb 11, 2016yabu pushelberg blends subtle masculinity in the james collection for stellar worksyabu pushelberg blends subtle masculinity in the james collection for stellar worksfeb 04, 2016alessandro zambelli designs standing portable lantern for bosaalessandro zambelli designs standing portable lantern for bosajan 31, 2016maarten baas + koichi futatsumata interpret distinctive cutlery for valerie_objectsmaarten baas + koichi futatsumata interpret distinctive cutlery for valerie_objectsjan 28, 2016petra krausova’s light installation for LASVIT reflects the night skypetra krausova’s light installation for LASVIT reflects the night skyjan 27, 2016
alexandra kehayoglou hand-tufts carpeted pastorial landscapes of sublime realitiesfeb 11, 2016
alexandra kehayoglou hand-tufts carpeted pastorial landscapes of sublime realities

alexandra kehayoglou hand-tufts carpeted pastorial landscapes of sublime realities
(above) ‘refugio para un recuerdo’

alexandra kehayoglou develops large format sculptures using textiles, primarily constructing carpet works which reflect sublime realities in the form of functional art. the argentinian creative is interested in employing production processes that link art to craft.
alexandra kehayoglou rug artist designboom
‘refugio para unos días felices’

each carpet kehayoglou creates is hand-tufted in her buenos aires studio, produced from materials retrieved from the factory el espartano — a textile and carpet manufacturer owned by her family. kehayoglou collects el espartano’s discarded materials and takes them as her prime medium, using a pistol to manipulate the threads into the point by point weft that breeds the final piece. the production process is long and complex and almost in a way performative, because of the corporeality of the work, and the technical precision required by her.
alexandra kehayoglou rug artist designboom
‘refugio para una tarde de lluvia’

the themes kehayoglou touches on are related to nature, in which she realizes immersive textile expanses of greenlands, paddocks and shelters that while functioning as carpets, invite the viewer to participate and contemplate through the use of each one. every work that kehayoglou develops is unique in texture and pattern, with an unrepeatable palette that is derived from her family’s textile traditions.

 

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Lisa Anne Auerbach, Never Forget (front and back), 2007, Merino wool. Size medium. Courtesy the artist and Gavlak, West Palm Beach, Florida.

 

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Extended Artist Statement

 

I have largely researched and studied nature and the natural environment, as this is my inspiration for all my work.  The environment, in the area in which I live, is my main inspiration. From the trees to the hills to the rivers. Each area has its own special thought and feeling for me, how something so beautiful can be made by mother nature. And so, because of this I have considered it and researched it many times, to create my art. I work with textiles, mixed media and paint and enjoy everything I create I have also recently started to use wool and knitting and crochet in my work to create the image I have in my head. Over the past years, I have been given the opportunity to obtain new skills, which I did not have such as IT, which I have been able to use in my work, also via digital photography.

In the past I have created paintings and captured moments in time that I don’t want to forget, I have created videos with still images in them, to put my ideas across that looking after the landscape and the environment is a good thing and should be taken care of for the future generations to love and enjoy and cherish. I have worked on a personal project about unseen illnesses’, two of which I suffer from, and what it does to you as a human being. This project was to raise awareness of these unseen illnesses ‘as although u cannot see them and the person suffering from them, looks normal deep down they are the complete opposite, and how because of this it can prejudice employers and other people against the sufferer, and how protecting nature such as trees can help to protect us as they are the lungs of the earth, and are the producers of oxygen which we need as a species to live and thrive. This project was very close to my heart as it breaks my heart to see beautiful old trees cut down and not replaced. It also showed how as a sufferer I have had to fight all my life to stay well.

At the moment, I am currently working on textile pictures. These I am making with not only paint, but also textiles and wool using my knitting and crochet techniques I have been educating myself about over the last 10 years. One of the pictures has been inspired by my love of gardening and my front garden (which I finally managed to get started this year), that is my inspiration for it. Taking photos, of the garden as it was a work in progress showed me how beautiful it finally was when I was finished for this year. Using the plants, I have used has created not only colour but scent and has attracted the insects, bees and butterfly’s birds back to the garden and these are essential to life, as they are pollinators and are needed to pollinate not only the flowers but also the plants and trees of the surrounding area. I am also working on a painting with a difference, this painting will have not only a scene painted in the back ground but also a 3D image on the front of a tree. This will be to emphasize the importance of the tree no matter how mundane it may seem they are essential to life. I am also working now on a textile peace which shows the beauty of flower’s, and this is made totally from upcycled textiles, which I have obtained via charity shops, as I think it is good to reuse and not throw away. I will also be making one more which will consist of an acorn which is knitted and attached to a canvas to show the start of the life of a tree, this will also have a painted background. I have also created a picture made from material and which I have embroidered detail into to create a winter sunrise as they are one of mother nature’s more beautiful sights and I love them. Using upcycled textiles is in my part of helping to look after the planet, and giving to charity for those less fortunate than myself, as well as recycling as much as is possible which I do on a regular basis.  All the pieces I call my art has this message attached to them as the more we do the better the planet will be and conserving what we as a race have is the best way to go in my opinion.

There is one project this year I’m excited about and it is a collaboration with two other students one from Inverness and one from Perth college. As a collective, we will be taking each of our skills and adding them together to create a piece of art work. This will show how all the different techniques and skills as a collective come together to create one piece. It will give a small history of a piece of cloth. This book, we can then have a copy each of what we achieved as a group.

As for the future, I don’t know where it will take me but if I can keep pushing my messages about conservation and protection of the planet across, I will be happy. I would love to be able to open a community centre, in the area in which I live as there are so many new families and nothing here for them. If it were to happen I would be delighted as I would be giving back to the community in which I was brought up, by passing on my knowledge and techniques I have attained over many years. It would be a place where not only the children, but also all generations would be able to come to, and meet with each other and talk and play and maybe the older generation could help the younger generation to also appreciate what they have, and help to show them how to take care of it, and make sure it survives for future generations to come. I would also have classes to pass on what I know and this would hopefully enhance the future generations, to become more independent. By showing them and educating them to make do and mend and upcycle to give the planet a chance to thrive and recover, from what damage has already been done, this would happen via the way I work. I think having the chance to improve the area and have somewhere for people to go and enjoy would help to stitch the community together as a whole. It would help to stop the elderly becoming house bound and lonely and it would help young single mums to get together and make new friends, but most of all it would help to teach people how a community should be and that working together to create thing such as this, will be a better thing for everyone now and forever more.

 

 

Sheila Annal

3rd Year BAH Degree

Mark Lomax

Practical Skills

 

 

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