Thursday 12 December 2013

End of an Era - Craft Basics is Closing

The end of 2013 will mark the end of an era in York as Craft Basics in Gillygate, closes.  I'd just like to take this opportunity to thank Celia & Bella for all their help, advice, good humour, interesting stories and fabulous supplies.  The crafting community in York will miss you! 

So if you haven't yet popped along to say your goodbyes & thank yous, you've still got a bit of time.

There's 25% off at the moment so don't forget to stock up while you're there!

A Message from Celia & Bella at Craft Basics

Tuesday 26 November 2013

££££ Yarnbombing in York for Oxfam ££££

This is just a very short blogpost to say THANK YOU so much to everyone who got involved in our Yarnbombing in York event this summer in Rowntree Park.  The final figures are now in and we raised almost £1200 for Oxfam. Yay!!!

If you want to take a peek at a yarnbombed Rowntree Park and look at all the fab things everyone made at our event in July then click on the link below:

Saturday 23 November 2013

Wool Yorkshire at the Knitting & Stitching Show 2013 - Harrogate

Whilst at the Knitting & Stitching Show in Harrogate I came across the Wool Yorkshire exhibition.  Here's a taster ...

Jess Browning - Woollen Fabric

Jess loves the vast sprawling industrial landscapes of Yorkshire and has captured them in a bold & vibrant way in this fabric.  (There's also a fantastic purple piece too but you'll have to go in person to see that - or catch  a glimpse of it in the pic below)

Sue Carter - Wool Seats
Sue's wool seats are made from recycled wool and cardboard tubing. She says "I wanted people to take a moment to stop, feel and interact with the different types of wool fabric & yarns, and to recognize the versatility of the fibre".

Lydia Brockless - Woollen Sculpture
Lydia Brockless is a fine art student who makes sculptures in a range of media.  Here she is exploring the fabulous colours and textures of wool through a "playful range of organic shapes which huddle together".

This exhibition is downstairs on the Learning Curve level but through the double doors - you could easily miss it so do seek it out.

Friday 22 November 2013

Knitting & Stitching Show 2013 - Harrogate

So exciting ...the Knitting & Stitching Show 2013 is now on in Harrogate (until Sunday 24 November 2013 anyway!).  It's the highlight of my textile year!  And you always bump into friends there too which is just an added bonus. 

Strippy Quilted Skirt - Mandy Patullo

Here are my choices from the Textile Gallery ... first up is Thread & Thrift - Mandy Pattullo which was my personal favourite.   Mandy lives in the North East and her work is based on a love and respect for vintage textiles and the satisfaction of making a connection with needleworkers from the past.  She recycles and reuses very old & often disintegrating quilts into new patchwork pieces adding and embellishing as she goes.  Vintage buttons are also used.  Her work relates to the past culture of thrift and "make do and mend".  Her work has a certain "wonkiness" (Mandy's own words) which, for me, certainly brought it alive.

Quilted Dress (based on a Clothkits Pattern)
The Blues - Mandy Pattullo

Next up is Rhythms & Counter Rhythms by Jan Beaney & Jean Littlejohn who are international textile artists and members of the 62 Group.  Jan's work was based on sketches and observation of local fields throughout the seasons and at different times of day and under different conditions to highlight the unusual together with complexities of mood, colour, pattern & texture.  I particularly liked "Winter Hedgerow"

Winter Hedgerow - Jan Beaney

This Choker by Jean Littlejohn with the use of washers, screws and other do-it-yourself bits and pieces is also ingenious.

Choker - Jean Littlejohn

My third favourite was Susan Chapman and Terrie Hitchcock with their Evidence of Bodies exhibition.  This largely achromatic exhibition concerns itself with evidence of bodies through mark making including fingerprints and signatures ...

Making Your Mark - Susan Chapman
Little Ladies - Terrie Hitchcock
Susan Chapman

And finally there was Dorothy Caldwell's exhibition Marking the Everyday which was quite fabulous.  Drawing on her on-site research from the Australian Outback & the Arctic Dorothy uses the graphic quality of the "everyday" proceses of stitching, darning and mending to make her marks.  Her inspiration comes from both the large scale landscape features experienced during her research and the up close detail.
Dorothy Caldwell

Fjord - Dorothy Caldwell
Wandering Time - Dorothy Caldwell

There were many other wonderful artists exhibiting too. And if you've never been, the Knitting & Stitching Show is definitely a must see event for anyone interested in knitting, stitching, art or if you just need to stock up on your crafting supplies as the range is amazing.  Read more here ...

Monday 18 November 2013

New Hippystitch Stock

Well - not long till my pre-Christmas events.  So I thought you might like to see some of the new items I've been working on.  In time for Christmas (shhh ...who  said that!) there's some cute knitted wire robin brooches ...

Knitted wire robins are flying in!

I've also been working on some more North Yorkshire People & Places brooches & map pouches ...

North Yorkshire People & Places Brooches & Map Pouches

And I've been gettting out the buttons for some new rings ...

Resin Button Rings

and some new brooches ...

Resin Button Brooches
Some threepenny bits have been added to the coin brooch collection ...

So there are some new things to look at as well as the favourites.  Take a look in the gallery for more pics of what I make ...

then come along to one of my events & take a look for yourself.  Details are here: 

Thursday 7 November 2013

Mermaid & Miller - York

In the run up to Christmas, Mermaid & Miller in Swinegate, York will be stocking Hippystitch goodies.  Here are the ranges they have in stock...

Domino Brooches

Coin Brooches

Button Hairclips

Resin Button Brooches

Mermaid & Miller not only have lots of great handmade loveliness for sale - they also provide vocational training for people with learning difficulties or disabilities.  In fact much of the stock is made by disabled people.  And, it's also a venue where local artists exhibit their work.  So, if you're in York go find Mermaid & Miller and take a look for yourself.

You can find out more about Mermaid & Miller on Facebook here:

Monday 28 October 2013

Close Knit - The Art of the Gansey - Hull Maritime Museum

Recently my thoughts have turned to all things fishy and then a friend mentioned an exhibition at Hull Maritime Museum called Close Knit - The Art of the Gansey.  For those of you who are now completely at a loss - a gansey is a knitted woollen pullover traditionally worn by fishermen - so there's both the definition and the fishy connection!  In fact ganseys, guernseys and jerseys are more or less the same thing although they may vary in thickness and colour.  They are typically seamless, densely knitted and fabulously patterned.  And it can take 100 to 200 hours to knit depending on the complexity of the pattern - so no chance of knitting one over the weekend!

Yorkshire Ganseys
Scottish Ganseys
River Ganseys

The exhibition included displays of ganseys knitted by volunteers from Yorkshire & Scotland and details about the patterning and its symbolism, typical features e.g. underarm gussets, how they were knitted and by whom, and why they have fallen out of use.  There is also a section by Di Gilpin, a knitwear designer from Fife, showing some gansey inspired modern knits and a fabulous contemporary piece by Alison Casserly, completed for her final collection at Nottingham Trent University for her degree in Fashion Knitwear & Knitted Textiles.  Students of both Millinery and Fashion & Interpretation at Hull School of Art & Design produced textile hats and jackets inspired by ganseys and the best of these are also part of the exhibition.

Di Gilpin's Gansey Inspired Knits
Alison Casserly's Knit
Jackets by Students from Hull School of Art & Design
Hats by Students from Hull School of Art & Design

The exhibition has been put together in partnership with the Moray Firth Gansey Project which aims to record patterns, keep traditional skills alive, celebrate it's local fishing heritage and find a contemporary context to use and develop these skills & patterns to generate income for its local population. 

Interesting fact gleaned from the exhibition: a skilled Herring Girl could gut 67 herring per minute (and that's when she wasn't knitting ganseys!) - the lives of fisherfolk were also covered!

Exhibition ends Sunday 24 November 2013.  Read more here:

Di Gilpin:

Alison Casserly:

Hull School Of Art & Design

Sunday 20 October 2013

Wool Week Ends at Yorkshire Sculpture Park

Rowan's PicKnit Blanket

During Wool Week - 14th to 20th October 2013 - the Campaign for Wool has been staging various events and initiatives to promote wool's natural, sustainable and versatile characteristics. I popped over to the Yorkshire Sculpture Park today for the last day of Wool Week.  Rowan were staging a PicKnit where you could join in and knit a blanket square - but not just a garter stitch or stocking stitch square (although you could do those too!) but moss stitch, cable, honeycomb, zigzag & blanket stitch and then you could take the patterns home afterwards.  Lots of people were having fun trying that out.  You could also join in and make pompom sheep and add yours to the flock already living there!  But, if you'd rather cuddle a woolly creature than knit one (and Rowan also had a very cute pattern for an Eco Ewe) then there was Donna Wilson's pop-up photo booth which was alot of fun - even for grown-ups.
Flock of Pompom Sheep

Donna Wilson's Pop-up Photo Booth
Fun for grown-ups too!

And if that's not enough there's all the fantastic sculptures and exhibitions that the Yorkshire Sculpture Park is famous for.  (Not to mention the cake!)

Coffee & Cake
 Campaign for Wool
Donna Wilson

Thursday 17 October 2013

The Ropewalk - Barton upon Humber

If you've never ventured to Barton upon Humber in North Lincolnshire now is the time!  And if you live north of the Humber you can take in a trip over the magnificent Humber Bridge on the way (a must for civil engineering fans & not quite as expensive as it used to be either!).  Facts of the day - open since 1981, the Humber Bridge is the 5th largest single span suspension bridge in the world.  

The Ropewalk - View from the Sculpture Garden
Let's get back to the point though - Barton has this fabulous place called The Ropewalk.  Housed in a former rope factory, the Ropewalk is a centre for the arts.  It has galleries including a gallery shop, a sculpture garden, coffee shop (which is extremely fabulous and not to be missed), a museum detailing the history of ropemaking at the factory, meeting rooms, artists studios, picture framing & Ropery Hall which is a venue for film, theatre, comedy & music.  

Ropewalk Gallery Shop


Scrummy cakes at the cafe

Ropery Museum

If that isn't enough it has a varied workshop programme too.  You can find out more about the Ropewalk and what's going on here...

I visited recently, which is always a treat, and delivered some new Hippystitch stock.  Here's a little taster...

Fabric Necklaces
Flower Button Bracelets

Button Brooches
Flower Button Necklaces

If you like wildlife, Water's Edge Country Park & Visitor Centre is just next door.  Go on make a day of it!