Meanwhile… Glass

by Leigh Forbes Monday, 20th July 2015 Following on from last week’s article about Diomo Glass, it seems fitting to focus on glass as an art medium. Glass in its natural state is formed when a felsic lava (one that contains a lot of silica) cools too rapidly for crystals to grow – the result is …

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Meanwhile… Stone

by Leigh Forbes Monday, 6th July 2015 Last weekend, while camping at Gumber Farm, we were lucky enough to try our hands at stone carving, taking turns to hack bits out of the National Trust’s Rise of Northwood sculpture. This two-and-half-tonne lump of Portland limestone is moving between various locations on the Slindon estate in …

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Meanwhile… Mosaics

by Leigh Forbes Monday, 8th June 2015 Everyone thinks of the Romans when they think of mosaics. Of course, the Roman craftsmen produced the most elaborate and beautiful floors for villas all over Europe – some of which took years to build – but mosaic art began long before the then. The word “mosaic” is …

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Single crochet stitch

by Leigh Forbes Monday, 11th May 2015 The blankets had all been made using a double-crochet stitch, which was perfect for large pieces, and would work well for a proper shawl once I came to make one, but I didn’t feel it would be best for the hats and scarves that sat next on my …

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Meanwhile… Leather

by Leigh Forbes Monday, 27th April 2015 Working as a basket-maker also brought me into contact with leather, as people invariably wanted leather straps on bicycle baskets, picnic baskets, shoulder baskets… Fortunately, I knew a brilliant saddler, who was prepared to try any ideas I threw at him, and he always came up with wonderful …

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Mini rainbow blanket

by Leigh Forbes Monday, 13th April 2015 I’d caught the bug for multi-coloured crochet, and the next thing to appear was a mini rainbow-blanket, which spent the last months of winter on our sofa, being extremely handy for covering shoulders, laps, and feet whenever it was needed, which was often (we don’t have central heating). …

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Start of the Rainbow

Back in the world of finger-crochet, I still determined to get the tension right. I realised my problem lay in always allowing the yarn to tighten as I went along. I obviously had some kind of fear of it getting too loose (perhaps some deep memory of my previous “floppiness” issues). Bored with experimenting, I …

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Meanwhile… Metal

As well as eschewing home economics in favour of woodwork, I also managed to wangle metalwork instead of the also-compulsory-for-girls needlework class. Perhaps if I’d hung around long enough to discover embroidery, patchwork, or tapestry, I might have stuck it out; but to the 12yo-tomboy-me, needlework meant “mending”, and I rebelled on principle. Besides, Metalwork …

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Charcoal blanket

Having decided on a more colourful theme, I ordered a load of charcoal-coloured wool, which confused the kids completely! But my initial vision called for a charcoal-coloured blanket, threaded with rainbow-colour strands. I made good progress, improving my general technique as I went, and I felt I’d got the idea of coloured threads spot on. …

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“Shawl” sample

Having realised the potential of finger crochet, I began work on a shawl… only – as I still couldn’t get the tension right – it turned into more of a mini blanket (see picture). Despite the shrinkage, I felt I could be pleased with the technique I was using, and the general appearance. Again I …

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Meanwhile… Wood

As a 12-year-old tomboy, faced with the prospect of Home Economics classes, I rebelled. “I don’t want to do cooking,” I declared. “I want to do WOODWORK.” The school’s response was decisive: they said, “Don’t be stupid, you’re a GIRL,” and packed me off to flipping cookery lessons. I refused to take part, and my …

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Finger Crochet

So, not long after learning to crochet during a New-Year visit to my sister, and struggling to work my new crochet skills on my own yarn, I realised I was never going to get the tension right with a hook. And besides, the hook my sister had given me was a no.5, and my favoured …

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Learning to crochet

I’ve always loved crochet, and have long wanted to learn how to do it – so when my sister proudly showed off her novice (but accomplished) Christmas-decorations at New Year, I badgered her into showing me how to do it. So, while half-watching Esio Trot (I’ve always loved Dustin Hoffman too), I experimented with my …

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Meanwhile… Enamel

I’ve had a love affair with enamel since I was a child – maybe just because it’s shiny!! Even as an adult, I still opt for the enamel version of anything: it shouts “quality” and “longevity” and, most importantly to me, “BEAUTY”. When we talk about enamel in the art sense, we’re talking about vitreous …

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Six-colour snood

I was so pleased to get this commission, not least because allowed me to play around with wool of many colours – many favourite activity – and create something new and beautiful. Making a six-colour snood seemed straightforward in principle – the standard snood as two strands (even if it’s only one-colour), and I’d already made …

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Meanwhile… Baubles

Today, I’m featuring these baubles, which I think are so lovely I’m inspired to learn how to crochet! (Just as soon as I have time…) The pattern for these can be bought as a download for £2.60 from Planet Penny’s Etsy shop – along with many lovely lovely things, including the yarn used to make …

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HOW MANY colours?!

I work with about twenty shades of yarn (not including the new tweed-style, coming soon!), so in theory, there are 400 different combinations to be made from those. In theory. In practice, not all colours go with each other, so I’ve made up about fifty samples so far. Always open to new colour-mix ideas, though! …

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Hand weaving

Often folk want to know what kind of loom I used to make these snoods, and find it hard to believe I have only my hands to weave. Then they ask if I use knitting needles, or some kind of crochet tool. But no, I only use my hands… okay, my wrists too – which …

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Introduction

Hello! I’m Leigh, a coffee drinker, child-herder, and maker of snoods. (A snood is like a scarf, joined at the ends, to make a wrap-around neck warmer.) I am also a lover of art and craft in general, and as there is so much wonderful stuff out there… it felt like time to start a blog. So, …

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