Project KnitBod Part 1 – foam skeleton

We have already made the organ patterns the size you need for your body, so there is no scaling to do. You just need a body. Here’s how we made ours.

Materials:

  • Foam – I used 2 pieces about 1 metre long, 50cm wide and 2.5cm deep.
  • Roll of paper (1 metre of wallpaper or wrapping paper is ideal)
  • Pen or pencil
  • Sharp scissors
  • Chalk
  • 1.5m Skin-toned stretch fabric (like t-shirt fabric)
  • Hot glue gun and sticks
  • Matching thread, needle
  • Zip

Directions:PicsArt_06-28-10.45.30[1]

  1. Draw a child on a roll of paper – I cheated and drew around my daughter, who was a smallish 8 year old at the time.
  2. Stick the 2 pieces of foam together to make a piece about 5cm thick. Copydex spread thinly works, or a hot glue gun. I’m sure there are lots of other suitable glues.
  3. Transfer the drawing to the foam using the chalk. Make sure the neck is wide enough to support the head and check it looks in proportion.
  4. Stand back and check it looks in proportion again, making any necessary changes.
  5. Make sure the glue is dry and, using sharp scissors, cut out the body. You can round the edges by holding the scissors at an angle.
  6. Hollow out the chest cavity through one layer of foam.
  7. Once you are happy with the body, use the hot glue gun to stick fabric to the back then front of the skeleton. You may want to stitch it for a better finish, in places like the arms and legs.
  8. Cut an extra piece of fabric to cover the top of the chest. Cut it in half and sew in a zip.
  9. Glue or sew the chest onto the skeleton.

PicsArt_06-28-10.47.45[1]

 

Almost finished our knitted body

wp-1466539962986.jpgThe sessions with our volunteers have officially finished now, and we are completing the last sections of intestines and ‘brain braid’.

Looking back, the sessions have gone very well, with new people picking up needles (or hook) for the first time, other people using their knowledge to suggest improvements to my patterns, and helping to make sure everyone is managing.

Considering we met for, at best 4 hours a week, the amount of knitting completed if great, and we actually have enough ‘spare parts’ to make a total of 3 bodies – that’s 2 extra! We have used a variety of yarns, for example, one of the livers is black to demonstrate damage.

We can now unzip the first of the bodies and play with the pieces, which is great fun.

In addition to the ‘work’, we’ve been sharing patterns and ideas for charity knitting, supporting premature and neonatal baby units being close to our hearts. We agreed it’s a great way to start the week, and it’s our intention to continue meeting and working on our own projects.

If you would like to join us, you can find us at In The City, St George’s Shopping Centre, Lune Street, on Mondays, at the slightly earlier time of 1pm – 3pm. (If you plan on making a journey especially, please contact me first, just in case this changes).

Happy day playing with fleece

A friend at a knitting group once warned me that learning to spin wool is a slippery slope, ending in several live sheep.

Last week I slid a bit further down that slope.

I bought my first full* fleece.

Being very excited, I pulled it out of the bag and spread it out to inspect it, only to realise that I had let the air in and there was no way on Earth this thing was going back into the bag it had come out of. I grabbed a couple of black bin liners and stored it in the back yard until I could get to it.

Luckily, the next day was sunny so I gathered my supplies: a big bucket, lots of Fairy liquid, gloves, and an old curtain. (You should always have an old curtain, it’s useful stuff).

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Bit by bit, I sorted the fleece into sections to soak, was and dry. It took me most of the day, but eventually I had the fleece sorted out with little felting.

I’ve earmarked some for a friend, but I hope to do a workshop with the Brownies at some point, so I might try to spin some up before then.

What a happy, woolly day!

 

*Almost full, the really nasty bits full of poo had been taken off.

 

Brownies visit Oxheys for weaving

Last week a group ( of Brownies from Preston visited my space at Oxheys Mills Studios.

After a look around the current exhibition from the BIPP (British Institute of Prefesseional Photographers), and a short introduction to the Studios, the girls and leaders had a tour of the building to see what our resident artists get up to during their working day.

We settled into my studio at two large tables loaded with a host of different textures and colours of yarn, and after a short demonstration everyone began to weave.

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Even the leaders got stuck in to the activity!

As some of the pieces made in chunkier yarn were finished, there was a short demonstration about how to finish the weaving and remove it from the card, then it was time to pack up and take the work home to finish.

It was a pleasure to have such interested, well-behaved girls at the studio making fantastic textile art – well done everyone!

I seem to have bought lots of wool

When the postman knocked this morning he handed me a respectable-sized parcel. Nothing mind-blowing, just a white bag taped up with an address sticker on.

It was my order from Wingham Wool Works, in Yorkshire – just a few different types of wool and some lightweight hand carders to try out with my new wheel. Remember I ordered this on Sunday night, about 10pm, and it’s only Tuesday morning. It beat my Amazon order.

As soon as I opened it, the beautiful smell of wool hit me.

I opened bag after bag – each with their own scent.

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Black Welsh – probably the most ‘sheepy’ smelling one, slightly musky, feeling slightly coarser than the others. A beautiful 80% dark chocolate colour.

Texel – Long staple length, so it should be an easy spin. Quite sheepy and a great vanilla colour.

Cotswolds – Feels hairier but softer than the texel, probably due to having less crimp. The least sheepy smelling one, apart from the flax.

Dyed Merino – I bought the 250g Brights mixed pack, to top up the merino I bought when I started spinning on the drop spindle. This is 21 micron and very, very soft and silky. Much softer than my last batch, which was probably more suitable for felting. The colours are just what I expected, maybe a bit pink-heavy, but a fair range. I’m very impressed.

Flax – bought to test my spinning skills and to try out something a bit different. It feels soft, looks hairy and smells like sunshine and grass, in a good way.

Although I was initially disappointed by the amount of fibre in the bag, I have left the bags open, and the contents is slowly expanding now it’s no longer squished. I seem to have bought a lot of wool. What a delicious adventure…