About Me

My photo
Denman Island, British Columbia, Canada
Jean Cockburn retired from her professional career as an academic librarian in 2008 to become a textile artist living on Denman Island, British Columbia. She draws, quilts, embroiders, knits and crochets, makes wearable art, weaves baskets, dyes fabric, and paints watercolours. Her work has been exhibited locally in juried and group shows on Denman Island, in Courtenay, Comox, and Duncan on Vancouver Island, in West Vancouver, and across Canada with the Surface Design Association.

Saturday, January 31, 2015

Pam wearing her Bloomsbury sweater

Pam received her Bloomsbury sweater this week, that I had mailed to her in Edmonton. It fits her perfectly and the colour is lovely on her.

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Sock knitting again

Lovely to be back knitting socks again.

One of my favourite patterns, which I have knit several times in the past, is Monkey Socks, by Cookie A. I am using the pattern from her book, knit.sock.love, that I bought at the Sock Summit in Portland in the summer of 2013.

The yarn is soft and fine and will make great socks. I know that I bought it in Campbell River at the Needle & Arts Centre last year, but the label has gone missing. This is a top down pattern, so the heel is constructed in the classic fashion with a heel flap. As much as I like knitting socks from the toe up, I think that the classic heel is a better fit.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Tuesday with the watercolour group: Yellow Aconite

The yellow aconite are blooming underneath the apple trees along the bank of the stream that runs behind the Arts Centre, interspersed with delicate purple violets. Just lovely! I had picked up a branch of Douglas Fir to paint today, so I picked three aconite blooms and arranged them with the branch, which served as a prop to hold up the flower heads.

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Studio slippers

The floor of my studio is cold, hard tile so warm and comfy slippers are a must. I knit these from another DROPS pattern,  http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/156-55-celtic-dancer, and used the local natural coarse grey wool from Sandstone Farms that I purchased from Fern at the Christmas Fair.

The toes don't match because the pattern was tricky to read and master at that point. But no problem, these slippers serve the purpose of being easy to get on and off and keeping my feet warm on the cold studio floor.

The sewn back seam that creates the heel results in a point at the bottom of the heel that is less than ideal. Okay for this purpose, but I will not make this particular pattern again. Back to the previous DROPS slipper pattern for me.

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Doll completed: "Green Gardening Girl"

I started making this doll last November, when I was exploring doll making. That exploration resulted in five Tilda dolls which I sold at the Christmas Craft Fair. They were sewn from natural linen, stuffed with wool roving and had various outfits of cotton clothing and knitted wool garments.

This doll languished while I searched for a wire coat hanger that was required as a loom to create her hair. Wire coat hangers were formerly ubiquitous in my world, but since I retired from work 6 years ago, dry cleaning has disappeared from my life and so have wire coat hangers.

She is the "Tara" doll from The Complete Photo Guide to Doll Making. She is made from natural wool felt died with tea, stuffed with wool roving from local Sandstone Farms, her clothing is cotton, and her hair, socks and scarf are wool.

I finished her this week, and will be donating her to Seedy Saturday for their raffle, so I have named her Green Gardening Girl in honour of that event.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Weekly watercolour

Today at my watercolour painting group.

I used a dip calligraphy pen and India ink for the outlines, instead of the Pitt technical pen that I had been using. Not as much control with the nib pen, and it does not dry as quickly, but the line is more interesting and the ink has a gloss that is a nice addition to the painting.

Friday, January 16, 2015

Bloomsbury sweater finished

I finished the Bloomsbury sweater that I am knitting for my friend Pam. I thought that I was making the sleeves really long, so that she could pull them over her hands for warmth or roll them up for cuffs. However, when I tried on the completed sweater yesterday, the sleeves were a perfect length on me, coming down to the base of my thumbs. Now I have rather short arms, so I hope that the length will be good for Pam. Otherwise, she and I are basically the same size, except that she is so thin these days because of illness.

I think the sweater is incredibly beautiful and that it will look lovely on Pam. The Malabrigo worsted merino wool yarn is so soft and pliable and it will be lovely to wear, although it may tend to pill under the arms.

Shoulder detail (maybe photo this should have been rotated).

The lace back.

The lace pattern on the sleeve.

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Back with the watercolour painting group

My first day back with the weekly watercolour painting group. I plucked a sword fern branch from beside the stream that runs behind the Arts Centre and painted that.

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Another pair of Aran slippers

I knit another pair of DROPS pattern Aran slippers, this time DROPS Design Short Socks 125-15, from local Denman Island aran type yarn, from Sandstone Farms.

I sent these to Katie in Toronto for her birthday.