Monday, November 24, 2014

Giving in to the Social Media

As the title suggests, I've given in.

Without A Stitch On is now also on Facebook. This should complete the social media setup, so there should be something for everyone. For those who want a breakdown, this is what's likely to be where:

Facebook is likely to be primarily cosplay/costume/photography based, but certainly updates from here will get posted there too.

Instagram is primarily shots of works in progress of all sorts, but I also like to throw in random shots that I like too.

Flickr is for good shots, proper photos, and anything that I feel is too good as is to be chopped up for Instagram.

Twitter is the most comprehensive of the offerings outside of the blog itself. The updates from other social medias are likely to show up here.

Hopefully, this will be the last addition of places I have to curate. The blog, as ever, will trundle on. I've some possible plans for a revamp, but right now that won't be happening until 2015.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Art at the Knitting & Stitching Show

One of the aspects that I love about the Knitting & Stitching Show but never talk about is the textile art. Every year, textile artists, patchwork quilters, embroiderers, and more get the opportunity to show off their skills and artwork. It is a part of the show that I love and am always inspired by.

This year’s art was particularly gorgeous. So many of the artists who chose to exhibit their work were incredibly original and truly beautiful.

"Avocado" by Horst Couture

Horst Couture had a number of felted dresses on display, this being my favorite. It reminds me of moss and nature and also Cthulhu (and who doesn't love Cthulhu?). I'm sure I'd die of heatstroke, but would love the chance to wear such a piece to an event.

Felted skull by Stephanie Metz

Stephanie Metz was probably my favourite artist this year. Her felted creations make me consider learning how to felt wool. Her bone creations were incredibly captivating. I couldn’t believe how real they looked. It was almost like being in a slightly fuzzy museum of history collection.

Felted Ruxpin skull by Stephanie Metz
Her Teddy Ruxpin skull was especially charming and nostalgia-inducing. Her work was so incredible that I would seriously contemplate learning to felt.

"Dress Code" by Rose Mary Cullen
My embroidery love keeps going back to this piece: Dress Code by Rose Mary Cullen. The details were lovely, especially the nearly hidden whitework. It was a shame the piece was so high on the wall as it was difficult to see the detailed collar, but I still loved it.

"Eye am a Quilter" by Tracy Wardle
Every year there is a quilting show put on by the Irish Patchwork Society. This year’s theme was “Explorations” and there were quite a few stunning examples. Tracy Wardle’s “Eye am a Quilter” was the first to catch my eye, even before I was looking at the exhibition. I’m a sucker for pixel art anyway, and quilting works beautifully to bring it to life. I like the modernity that mixing the two brings.

"A Blog" by Irene MacWilliam
My favourite quilt though was “A Blog” by Irene MacWilliam. Every day for just over 365 days, she made a square and it was all put together. It was fascinating to see what she chose each day. It reminded me of my 100 Happy Days. What makes the quilt says about as much about her as the things that didn’t make it. From happy moments to deaths, the artist will always have these memories to look back on.

There were other exhibitions, other artists. There were a number whose talents just somehow wouldn’t translate to my camera on the day, like the 7 Deadly Sins by Rachel Olin, the painted fabric animals of Rebecca Connell and the pieces on display by the Silkfelt Collective.

The Lockout 1913 quilt/embroidery collaborations bringing the graphic novel alive was very cool, both in idea and execution. And, of course, the Royal School of Needlework’s stand was stunning as ever, once again reminding me that I really need to find the time and money to work with them.

I look forward to the new and inspiring things at next year’s show. As always, it will make my day.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Trooping at Temple Street

If you’ve been following on Twitter or Flickr you will have seen an influx of photos around Halloween. Back in August, I attended Dublin Comic Con and met the 501st Ireland Garrison. With fabulous costumes, and a love of Star Wars, how could I resist? So I signed up, and yes I have made moves towards my own Star Wars-based costume. 

One of the things that drew me to the club is that the 501st is not just a costuming club. I joined the Irish Garrison, but the 501st is worldwide. Not only that, but they wear their costumes not just for fun, but for charity. 

There is something that has drawn me to charity work lately. In the last year I’ve become a proofreader for Project Gutenberg (which everyone should consider doing), and found the work to really be fulfilling. No pay, no credit, but there’s a personal satisfaction that comes with working for charity. The 501st, then, seemed a fantastic fit for me.

While I didn’t have a costume ready yet, I finally found an event that didn’t conflict with the rest of my hectic schedule, and volunteered to crew (which is essentially being a dresser if you’ve ever done theatre work plus occasionally talking to people and helping out) as the Garrison trooped its way around Temple Street Children's University Hospital. It happened to be for a cause that I knew would mean something, not only to me but to everyone else involved. 

Perhaps you’ve seen the stories before about superheroes visiting children’s hospitals. Perhaps you’ve participated in some of the superhero fundraising events that take place. Until you are standing in the doorway, watching their little faces light up with delight as Batman, Spiderman, and a host of Star Wars characters walk over to shake their hand, you just can’t understand what these visits mean to the sick kids in a hospital. 

My Halloween this year didn’t consist of getting in costume, there was no candy devoured, but it was one of the most fulfilling I’ve had in a long time. I look forward to when I am one of those characters bringing the smiles to their faces.

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Knitting & Stitching Show 2014

I’ll be honest, I wasn’t entirely enthused about going this year by the time the Knitting & Stitching Show came about. I had followed The Plan for attending shows like this in preparation already. I had booked tickets with a Groupon months ago for cheaper tickets. I had organised meeting up with a friend. I had a small list of things I needed and a budget worked out. I even had my outfit worked out. I was as ready as I could be, but I just wasn’t… keen

Possibly the most important step of the plan: fortifying at 3fe
Man am I glad I didn’t skip out on it. It was good that I had my pre-prepared plan, as having everything ready to go made showing up on the day easy, even though I wasn’t terribly excited. I was more than pleasantly surprised though. My partner and crime and I met up at 3fe for morning fortification, then taxi’d up. We skipped the queue with our pre-paid tickets (score 1 for organisation) and were straight into the thick of it. 

This year’s K&S Show is probably the best I’ve been to in terms of vendors. I’m not sure whether we just stopped at more, as our interests had broadened since last year, but I found a lot of new vendors, some of which I am quite certain were not there last year and others who were there but had branched out into new things that drew us in. 

The usual suspects were there. Coleshill as always has loads of useful tools. Surprisingly, I didn’t buy anything at Village Fabrics, despite stopping and staring longingly at their stand at least three times.

Swincraft2 was new to me, with lots of furs that I don’t get to see in Dublin often, and particularly not for the prices they were offering them at. Naturaleigh was full of gorgeous stuff that I didn’t need but really wanted. Sew Law Di Da had some really lovely patterns, with full sized mockups which means now I’m certain I’m going to have to go look more in depth at a few of them as I’m quite certain some would be lovely on me. 

This year's haul.
My new favourite though has to be Create with Kate. I’d always seen her stand and ignored it as it was mainly papercraft, which while I love the look of I desperately do not need to get into. However, my partner in crime was looking at papercraft stuff now, so I stopped too. I remember her stand from before, as her aesthetic is unique and gorgeous. This year, she has fabric. GORGEOUS fabric. The Absolutely fantastic, unique fabric. I completely fell in love with the Eclectic Elements line and considered myself lucky getting away with a single metre of my favourite of the prints, but I’m fairly confident that I’ll be looking for more later. 

My gorgeous Steampunk-y fabric from Create with Kate.
It was a successful year again. Came out within budget, with everything ticked off my list. Sticking to the plan has made the hardest part of these shows deciding what I definitely want to buy and what I’ll leave, but I found myself in the position where I have most of what I need for the projects that are WIPs, which helped in the decision making.

There’s one day left of the show- Sunday 2nd November. If you haven’t been, I do recommend it. I’m already looking forward to next year.