Sunday, 30 December 2012

WHAT I'VE BEEN KNITTING: SOOT SPRITES

As I had fallen head over heels with My Neighbour Totoro I finally decided to watch Spirited Away, which was exactly what I needed, an incredible breath of fresh air. Seeing all those little soot sprites and knowing how easily I could make one I quickly ran to my wool box, knowing I had some fluffy black yarn. I used my favourite knitting pattern for making balls, The Golden Snitch from the Knitted Toy Box blog. I then cut the two eyes out of felt, and used a chunky yarn for his arms and legs. I've already made another body, so soon I'll have my own work force!

For the boyfriend's birthday he's asked me for a knitted no-face, which I've started knitting today. I've seen a couple of patterns online, but nothing very special, so I will be putting mine online once perfected. He'll be more of a pillow than a toy, so I'm excited to get him finished. 



Sincerely,

Louise

xox

Friday, 28 December 2012

WHAT I'VE BEEN KNITTING: FOX STOLE

Todays knit follows on from yesterdays post on the children scarves I'd been making. As I was making for a younger client I wanted to redesign him a little, using felt for the eyes and nose and having a shorter tail and legs. I used beautiful Rowan Creative Focus Worsted yarn, made up of wool and alpaca so he had a lovely texture to him. I think tweaking the design gives me more options when making these foxes, however I'm still not ready to finalise a pattern for them!




Sincerely,

Louise

xox

Thursday, 27 December 2012

WHAT I'VE BEEN KNITTING: BADGER SCARF

Just as I was about to finish all my Christmas knits I accepted a last minute order to knit three children's scarves; a badger, a fox and a dog. I started them a week before Christmas and shipped them two days later. I worked non stop, having to travel to three different craft shops to source the yarn, as they had to be done in real wool, rather than acrylic. Here is the first of the scarves, a badger, as my client had seen some photos of my other knits, including the toy badger. I used my machine to knit the body, then transferred it to my needles to do the face by hand. I used felt on the eyes and nose as I knew it was a safer option for a child. I also used felt on the bottom of his little feet which I thought added a cute touch. The yarn is Rowan Cocoon; Mountain, a beautiful blend of merino and kid mohair.

Custom made badger scarves are now available on my etsy:





Sincerely,

Louise

xoxo

Wednesday, 26 December 2012

WHAT I'VE BEEN KNITTING: MY NEIGHBOUR TOTORO

Now Christmas is over I can finally post about the knits I made my family and friends. Today is Totoro, from Studio Ghibli's My Neighbour Totoro. 


My boyfriend asked me for a knitted Totoro for Christmas, and after a trip to hobbycraft (excuse my Frech) where he chose the yarn, I started knitting away. I'd never seen the fim before so whilst making I watched away. It was lovely, and I couldn't believe I hadn't been introduced to it before. Talking about it to a friend she then mentioned the conspiracy that went along with it, and it then became a film that changed my life twice. However you perceive the film, Totoro is still super cute and I'm glad I knitted him. I used felt on the face, like I had with my knitted Jake, so I could adjust the face to any of his wonderful expressions. Custom Totoros will be available on my etsy shop in the new year!

I hope everybody had a lovely Christmas and got all their knitting done in time!

Sincerely,

Louise

xox

Saturday, 22 December 2012

FEATURED: JUNIOR MAGAZINE JANUARY 2013


In November I had a call from a stylist inquiring about borrowing some of my knits for a shoot and I was fortunate enough to have a piece featured in the January 2013 issue of Junior Magazine. The editorial Dream Weaver was shot by Mark Shearwood and styled by Rachel Caulfield. It was really great to have one of my little foxes included, an does inspire me to make a mini collection. I'm looking forward to 2013, I'll be knitting like crazy!





Saturday, 15 December 2012

WHAT YOU'VE BEEN KNITTING: UP AND AWAY

After posting my photo of my small unpoppable balloon on instagram, followed by the pattern on here, my friend 'sleepytime21' said they wanted to knit one. To my delight I was tagged in a post on IG with this adorable photo taken!
 
Soyoko Wakatsuchi started knitting only a while ago, but already has a lovely blog full of cute knits, yarns and other charming photos. I love how knitting can be translated across any language and how patterns bring people together. I think their photo is adorable, and puts the balloon into context. It makes me want to take better photos of my knits (with my degree in photography and all).
 
You can view Soyoko's blog here:
 
 
 

Monday, 10 December 2012

KNITTING PATTERN: UNPOPPABLE BALLOONS

This is a super simple way to create cute little 2d balloons that will last forever! When casting on just leave a long tail for the balloons string and up and away we go.

Materials:
4mm Needles
A small amount of DK yarn per balloon.

CO - Cast On
K - Knit
P - Purl
KFB - Increase by knitting into the front and back of the stitch
K2TOG - Knit two stitches together to decrease
P2TOG - Purl two stitches together to decrease
BO - Bind Off
 
CO 3 st
1. P
2. K
3. P
4. KFB, K, KFB (5 st)
5. P
6. K1, KFB, K1, KFB, K1 (7 st)
7. P
8. K1, KFB, K3, KFB, K1 (9 st)
9. P
10. K1, KFB, K5, KFB, K1 (11 st)
11. P
12. K1, KFB, K7, KFB, K1 (13 st)
13. P
14. K1, KFB, K9, KFB, K1 (15 st)
15. P
16. K
17. P
18. K
19. P
20. K1, K2TOG, K9, K2TOG, K1 (13 st)
21. P1, P2TOG, P7, P2TOG, P1 (11 st)
22. K1, K2TOG, K5, K2TOG, K1 (9 st)
23. P1, P2TOG, P3, P2TOG, P1 (7 st)

BO the first stitch, keep the 2nd stitch on the right hand needle ready to BO, K3TOG the third stitch and then BO the 2nd. BO remaining the 3rd stitch and remaining 2.


 
 
Any questions please feel free to write to me!
 
xox


Friday, 7 December 2012

WHAT I'VE BEEN KNITTING: PAST KNITS MANNEQUINS, FLOWERS & BADGERS

As Christmas is approaching I have so many knits on the go, but am unable to post about them because that'll ruin the surprise, and the best kind of prize is a surprise. Hello boxing day blog post!

So today I thought I'd blog about some of my past knits that I haven't posted on here. The first is a mini dress makers mannequin I made for my boyfriend's mother after she treated me to some lovely pastel yarns. I brought some black wire for the legs and attached it all together. I think I'd like to make a bigger one with patterns on and play around with the shaping a little more.

The second is a flower I made for a dear friend as a parting present when she moved back to India. It took a week on the train after I made two sets of petals. The first where with an odd yarn, so I simplified them with a lighter acrylic dk.

The third is a badger I made a while ago when I had finished uni and wanted to surprise a friend with him. I had my scribbled down pattern to upload which I then lost. I'm thinking about putting many of my prototype knits on etsy to remake so I can finally get these patterns online!

I'm looking forward to my weekend as I'm almost finished my Jack Russells, I have one sitting on the sofa currently headless and can't wait to see him come to life.

xox





Monday, 3 December 2012

WHAT I'VE BEEN KNITTING: CEDRIC THE BULLDOG

For a while my friend had mentioned about making a knitted version of her bulldog Cedric. And after saying I was taking Christmas orders she quickly contacted me asking for him and a beard for her mother.
I began researching different knitted bulldogs seeing how they had been made as I wanted him to incorporate that much needed droopy texture. I found a horizontal pleat technique and worked that into my pattern on the face and his back.
From posting his photo on instagram I have been asked to knit other custom dogs. He will be on my etsy shop soon and once I have made a couple more I will be putting the pattern online.

xox

 



 
 




Wednesday, 24 October 2012

WHAT I'VE BEEN KNITTING: FOXES & BAUBLES

With Christmas approaching I wanted to knit some baubles to put on my etsy shop, it's still a little bare, and to keep me busy on my commute to London. I played around a little with stripes and simple patterns and more contemporary colours. My favourites to make were the luxury ones, using Sidar's beautiful softspun yarn. Overall they're easy and quite fun to make and will look super cute on any Christmas tree.
Also with all the cold weather I love wearing all my woollies, especially my fox scarf. In the Christmas spirit I've put a discount code on etsy so others can keep warm without any cruelty to animals!

The discount is FOXLOVE20 for 20% off


MY ETSY SHOP
 
 

Friday, 14 September 2012

Inspiration and DIY - London



I've been spending a fair amount of my spare time in London, with some of my favourite people living there I've done a little bit of window shopping and idea gathering. First is this beautiful scarf I saw in Topshop Westfield. I love how it looks like unicorn hair. Its super chunky with those lovely tassels.... something to think about making with some of my spare yarn around giant needles.


The second thing that really caught my eye was this shirt collar in Blitz London, walking down Brick Lane I was enticed in. I think Blitz has vintage appeal, but in that it looks like vintage, rather than is. I'd love to go back with a couple of hundred pounds and spend it all. 

I kept thinking of the shirt collar, digging out an old New Look shirt that I'd never worn that much. Seeing its shade of denim I took a trip out with my Nan to our favourite craft shop, buying a fat quater to sew onto my shirt. A little hand sewing and an added button and I now have a shirt I'm happy to wear doubled up with a darker denim.




Thursday, 30 August 2012

Baroque


What has recently caught my attention is the Baroque revival/influenced clothing for fall 2012. Seeing the return of luxury fabrics, embroidery and craftsmanship excites me as this is an opportunity to stand out in beautiful golds and blacks. 


Looking at Fashionising.com there were so many beautiful photos from the Aquilano Rimondi, Balmain, Dolce & Gabbana, Giles, Mary Katrantzou and Marchesa shows. I have pulled a few of my favourites from the site, which inspire me the most. The regal look of well placed gold pieces is something I am incredibly interested in, as well as the embroidered dresses and religious aspects of some of the pieces.



I started looking on etsy for some pieces similar to those I saw online and found these, however I doubt I could find something as extravagant as the runway in my budget! 




Continuing my search, I went looking to see if there was anything similar in knitting. There are so many different types of knitted collars, but nothing I could find in a baroque style. I feel I was attracted to the first one because of the colours used, but not the style it has been done in. The second is similar, but simpler. I have tried knitting a collar before but it was not much of a success, so I think I need some careful planning and looking into other patterns before starting my own.



A quick knitting search including baroque pointed me to this. I like the pattern, but like the two collars it doesn't have an elegant or luxury feel. Perhaps this is something I could look into reinventing, looking at the textile patterns of the dresses on the runway and creating my own knitting version of it. Watch this space for some developments of my baroque knitting project! 




Thursday, 16 August 2012

What I've Been Knitting - Adventure Time




Like most people my age I watch ever so much Adventure Time. I had a google/instagram look around for people who had knitted various characters and found there were a few out there, but not a whole handmade set, making it my mission to start knitting them all. I didn't just want to use wool, as I feel when trying to make cartoon like eyes out of yarn it often looks a little odd. I decided to get the fabric glue out and buy some felt to do some of the details of the characters with, as I had experimented a little with it, making a strange bat like creature whilst watching The Dark Knight Rises. 

Essentially they would not be children's toys, but more of a collectors set for one of my friends. I need to get the needles for these back out and finish them as I wanted to give the set away on facebook. Maybe that could make for a nice Christmas give away?






Monday, 2 July 2012

Wooly Hype


A few days ago I graduated. I received a 1st on my Commercial Photography degree. I've finally had my hair dyed grey, but I had to put some pinky/purple tones through it so it doesn't look yellow. Anyway I've been away from my blog for a while, I'd love to say its because I have been busy, but really I'm a little lazy and enjoying some time out.

For anyone following my blog you would have seen all the post on the making of my Wooly Head series. Those who haven't its my latest work that combines knitting and photography and I have been lucky enough to have had it featured on a few places online.

A few weeks ago I woke up to a huge surprise after being tweeted by @VinandOmi saying:



After clicking on the link I was wide awake, featured on Lost At E Minor was amazing, I guess that they found the work on my website. I had been featured as a designer, which makes me smile a little. The reception I have had from it was amazing, liked 375 times?!? Crazy. From that other blogs began to pick up on it. I wish I could thank everyone who featured me as it does make me feel very humble.




One of my current goals was to be featured on a website like Trend Hunter, the other to have a photo with loads of notes on tumblr! After a little while I had a google of myself, seeing where I had been featured, I tried Louise Walker photography, Louise Walker knitting and Louise Walker wooly head and found there my work was. It amazed me that from one blog it had been picked up by so many others and what had been written about it. My work had been pinned, tumblred and tweeted I was so happy.



Another website that I was very happy to be featured on was Bournemouth Vintage. Watch this space for wonderful things coming from their website. I'm really happy to be included with this project! 




Finally, I had a shout out from Frankie magazine, on their facebook and twitter page, which was so crazy. I had friends telling me it had happened and the response from it was all good! 



So, with all the good hype around my photos I was glad to have chosen them to be featured at my graduate show. If you are in London Wednesday or Thursday feel free to come and see them and some of the incredible work my class has created. 


F.ThirtyEight



10 am - 6 pm at the Candid Arts Trust Gallery


Friday, 27 April 2012

1930s Knitted Hair Portrait


Today I had my final shoot for my knitted hair portrait series. I asked Welly to model for me, a girl who I had met when helping out at an animal casting and she won it! I had always thought she was so interesting looking and very beautiful and was waiting for the right project to ask her to model.

For the hair piece I had looked at several images and actresses of the time. I liked the loose curls in the hair and didn't want to recreate the finger wave I had done for the 20s look. I went for a middle parting in coral red wool. I found that the piece was a little heavy on the right, so I knew I couldn't shoot it from straight on. I also felt Welly had a much better side profile so everything worked out. I felt shooting with the red gel was harder than the others, and the technician made red for me out of two colours.

It was probably the fastest shoot Louise and I had done, as we knew exactly what we were doing, the make up was quite simple and I knew how I wanted the lighting. I had some darker shadows in the hair to reference the images I had looked at in my research.

I think the hair piece could have been better. It needed more volume on the top, and if I had made longer pieces I could have doubled them up to make them visually stronger.

Monday, 23 April 2012

Context

For both my projects I need to consider the commercial context. I have written about this in my sketch book, but wanted to blog about it to reinforce what I am making. 


Project One


My first project is based on Eponine. I have chosen my images to go in Dazed and Confused.  


Dazed Digital writes:


Agenda-setting editorial, world-beating fashion, brilliant photography and illustration, unrivalled music and film coverage, headline-grabbing events, distribution in over 40 countries, and with admirers and imitators across the globe – Dazed & Confused has come a long way since its first steps in the early 90s. But above all, it's still proud to be independent.

With Dazed Digital now one year old, it is now bringing that same cutting-edge and ground-breaking ethos to the web. The world's first Ideas Sharing Network, Dazed Digital posts exclusive video interviews, live footage of tomorrow's music stars, behind-the-scenes fashion reportage, and exclusive features above and beyond what is in the magazine, all alongside daily blogs and submissions from its extended global network of writers, photographers, artists, and activists. Dazed has also taken its long-established tradition of nurturing and supporting new talent to the next level in the Rise section of Dazed Digital, where new talent in music, illustration, fashion and photography is profiled by Dazed's in-house creatives, with a special guest judge each month.

Innovative one-off projects already undertaken on Dazed Digital include a 24-hour non-stop live webcast of film and photography for World Aids Day on December 1, 2006, and Wanted, a digital 'outsider' exhibition that has to date received over 3,000 submissions from independent artists.

Founded by prodigious photographer Rankin and writer and cultural enthusiast Jefferson Hack, and taking its name (and freewheeling spirit) from the classic Led Zeppelin song, Dazed & Confused started life as a limited-run fold-out poster in 1992. Early cover stars profiled by Hack included Bjork, Harmony Korine and David Bowie, who all contributed to the magazine over the years. Also on the cover in the early days were PJ Harvey, Damien Hirst, Richard Ashcroft, ChloeSevigny, Pulp's Jarvis Cocker, Robert Carlyle, Kate Moss and Milla Jovovich. It was during this time that Dazed cemented its growing international reputation for daring to extend its editorial remit beyond fashion, music and film not just to include art and literature, but to tackle local and international social and political themes.

With its fashion, photography and art content long established as the best in the world, Dazed brought its music and film editorial up to similarly world-beating standards with a long list of UK and world firsts, including the likes of Eminem, the Libertines, Pharrell Williams, and Alicia Keys. Under its current editors Nicki Bidder and Rod Stanley, recent cover exclusives have included The White Stripes, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Bloc Party, Zooey DesChanel, Sofia Coppola, Justin Timberlake, the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Selma Blair, and Madonna.

Today, still 100 per cent independent in ownership and in spirit, Dazed & Confused is perhaps the most influential monthly magazine in the world. Far from resting on its reputation, Dazed Digital is now pushing its taste and influence into new areas, bringing the brand to life in more ways than ever, and engaging a new generation of switched-on, intelligent, aware and influential individuals.







With this in mind, I  need to be really considerate of the images I make. They need to be up to the Dazed standard. I think it is the next step up for me, as I produce very vintage static images. The editorials and photographers I have looked at in my sketch book are so cutting edge and different, how can I make my work like this? I think the answer is that I cant, I shouldn't want to recreate somebody else's work, but rather push my work further in my own style. To make it more suited to dazed I will not be heavily editing any of it. I may clean up a few strange bits on my photos but I will not do any real skin work. This way the photos stay real and are commercially viable in a world that is rejecting Photoshop in editorials. 


I also want to make my work darker, as I am using natural light in caves I do not this this will be a problem. But not only darker in the images themselves, but with the styling and the expressions my model portrays.


With daze's audience they do expect something different. I do still want to contain elegance in my work, but use my concept to push the way I make my images. It is quite a personal project so I think I will be able to communicate with the viewer well. 




















Project 2




My second project is the knitted hair portrait series. I decided Selvedge would be my context. They write about themselves:





Selvedge is an independent, 100-page full colour magazine published six times a year. The magazine is image led and has an uncompromising design.
Directed towards an international audience, Selvedge covers fine textiles in every context with illustrated features on fine art, fashion, interiors, ethnographic textiles, important collections, travel and shopping. The latest book reviews, exhibitions and comprehensive listings feature in every issue. The magazine provides a wide-ranging, unbiased and critical overview of the textile world.
The Selvedge readership is composed of all those who claim textiles as their first love, not simply makers and academics. They include professional artists, textile students, collectors, fashion and interior designers, museum curators and gallery owners. Selvedge is also aimed at an audience beyond those with an established interest in textiles. Discerning consumers are amongst our readers. Intelligent and curious they use Selvedge to learn about the history, techniques, artists and designers that made the items that furnish their lives.
We aim to provide a publication which reflects the creative lifestyle and tastes of this group without isolating or restricting readers. The magazine serves as a link to many other areas of interest, inspiration and knowledge. 



I think this is really helpful when working towards my context goal. The work I am creating could fit in the magazine because it fits into the fashion category. Because the magazine is aimed purely at a textile audience it also works, because knitting is such a widely known and accepted craft. Because the viewers have a creative lifestyle they will know more about knitting than the readers of a commercial fashion magazine, as well as having knowledge of fashion, lifestyle and other subjects.  

I do think I can have several alternatives for my context with this project. As knitting is becoming such a wide spread hobby across the world I do think I could get it published on various knitting blogs, such as Knitty, or magazines. Although the work is not wearable to easy to re-create it shows knitters a different side of the craft. 


Saturday, 21 April 2012

1940s Knitted Hair Portrait


For my 1940s portrait I decided to go for an up do with the hair. I liked all my visual research with the curls on top, as I felt it was completely different to the 20s and 30s designs that I liked. I had some problems with the piece, as time was not on my side.

I used my machine to make straight pieces, originally I had been cabling strips, however I could not produce them fast enough. I had also been making in a dusty pink colour and came to realise I did not want two pink shots in the series. I started knitted in a pastel purple and decided to change the rest later in photoshop. Because my piece was limited, my make up artist and I decided the best thing to do would be to comp it together, shooting with the pieces up and down. It would mean more work for me later, but it was for the good of the hair piece!

We had a lovely model come down from brighton. I chose her because of her interesting features and felt should would work well as an alternative 40s girl. She had a persian background which made her really interesting to work with, and gave her lovely big eyes.

I shot against a purple colour, but it was quite dark and I decided to change that later. I knew when I was shooting it that it was not going to be my best image from the series, but was happy with it none the less.

Monday, 16 April 2012

Bronson Caves







After my test shoot I wanted to find some more interesting inspiration images, I came across Brice Bischoff's Bronson Caves on Nonverbal Magazine. I thought they were a fresh and contemporary series that I could be inspired by. The images are surreal, using long exposures and beautiful colours. I think from seeing these it does make me think I can create photos in my own way. I do not want to copy these at all, I couldn't! But I am attracted to the silhouette idea and shooting things more creatively. I do think some of my work is stiff and I need more movement, and maybe this could be my starting point. I think with my final shoot I do want to play around more with my models body movement and use the material more to my advantage. I thought Jess was an amazing test model but she lacked the high fashion element that the girl I am casting should bring to the table. 

All I can hope for is that it all comes together on the day. And that I can produce some amazing photos. My confidence is slowly growing and my team is coming together well!