Monday, 19 March 2012

What's your inspiration?

I would LOVE to be the type of person who wanders around the countryside being inspired by everything, I'm so in awe of people who are able to do this, one of them being Helen Cowans, a textile artist from Northumberland, her embroidery and artwork are beautiful, original and inspiring and her photographs document her inspiration.

Impressions of Northumberland

Purple Landscape

Some people use sketchbooks to collect together ideas for design, Jan Beaney and Jean Littlejohn are great advocates of this approach and their work is regularly on display at the Knitting & Stitching Shows.

I recently came across something that I found competely inspiring, especially as a spinner and dyer, Merchant and Mills.  Carolyn Denham is the creative force behind Merchant & Mills, a company she set up to try to make dressmaking cool.  Her patterns are timeless and ageless and she has a range of fabrics which will last a lifetime.  I've chosen a few to show here that I want to dye for, literally!

The Trapeze

The Dress Shirt

The Shift
I don't know if it's the plain-ness of the fabric that creates a blank canvas but it makes me just want to get out there and spin the finest singles for a lustrous 4ply scarf or shawl, and it just goes to show that your inspiration can some from anywhere, it doesn't have to be nature, although if it is, you lucky thing.

Here's a link to Merchant & Mills site so you can see for yourself and maybe be inspired too.

While I'm whittering on about clothes, the Toast catalogue dropped out of a magazine I was reading the other day, I love Toast, can hardly ever afford to buy anything.  Even so, I think I may fork out for these beauties!

 I don't think I would ever take them off!  Just me and my canvas Derby's, in the bath (with them over the side obviously), with my jamas on, at the doctors having.... you get the idea.

So, here is a little single that I've spun up with my inspriational Merchant & Mills Shift Dress and Toast's Canvas Derbys

When I first saw the fibres (do I say this every time, I feel like I do) I wasn't sure about it, but while I've been spinning, the feedback has been really positive and I feel really pleased about it. As usual, the fibres morph into something fantastic and that's what I love about spinning.  I'll keep you updated as to the finished article.