Saturday, 3 December 2011

Elf Taught? (Post 53)

It crossed my mind that a lot of what I know has been 'self-taught' or as I like to say 'elf taught'. Interestingly though, as you read through other artists' blogs you come across a majority who also admit they have had no formal training and quite often have 'accidentally' taken up their chosen craft.

Being left-handed, has never been a hindrance to me, but it has affected others who have tried to pass on skills of one sort or another.  I remember most vividly, as a child, learning to knit.  My mum could not understand how I could do something, which looked completely different to what she was showing me, yet surprisingly turned out as it should, and I know it was very difficult to teach me.  (I would imagine, this is where I first started teaching myself).  My first knitted project was a bright red dress.  It took me just three weeks and I was so proud of it.  I wore it to a disco ... and probably constantly for a while.  

I went on to teach myself all types of knitting stitches, but could never get the hang of crochet. Never one to give up though, one of these days I will conquer it!

Its been a while since I did any regular knitting, but recently re-introduced myself to it.

Fingerless Gloves
These gloves match my scarf, made of baby alpaca wool, a lovely sage green.  My husband's first comments were, 'what is the point'?  I think they are very useful.  How many times have you been shopping and tried to get out your purse without dropping your gloves.  With these you can still control your fingers.

Maybe being so close to Christmas, when all the musicals come to the forefront, these perhaps remind you of 'Fagin's gloves' in Oliver Twist!!

I'm never far away, from jewellery making and bead embroidery is another form of art in itself.  To return to my earlier comment; 'elf taught' artists.  

One beadwork artist which is really inspiring is Diana L Grygo, aka The Lone Beader.  

"a self-taught bead embroidery artist currently working in Quincy, Massachusetts. She loves to create extremely dimensional beaded paintings by stitching glass seed beads to felt. Her work also combines images from history with ideas of the future using mixed media. Her current pieces are inspired by pop culture, dogs, classic cars & city scenes".
Source: Artist Profile - Lone Beader Website 

Take a look at the Lone Beader Blog, to see her how her journey unfolded.  Diana has just brought out a very detailed tutorial for a cute Jack Russell brooch (or pendant) which you may also like to take a peek at.   What particularly stands out, is her attention to detail and she manages to produce this amazing beaded art work whilst still working full-time - there's dedication for you.

Before I forget, continue to be inspired by checking out Wendy's  Handmade Monday No: 43 link party, where you'll also see some outstanding work, again, many of whom I know are 'elf taught'.   

'Keep Watching, and I'll Keep Blogging'



  1. I love the fingerless gloves.I went through a phase years ago of knitting them all the time and you've inspired me to have a go again!

  2. Thank you so much for your kind words regarding my beadwork! Also, I love the fingerless gloves. My sister made me a gray pair like that for my birthday! :D

  3. Thanks Monica, I seem to be flitting from jewellery to knitting to .... must be the change in weather?

    Lone Beader, yes these fingerless gloves seem to be popular at the minute. Your beadwork is lovely especially love the sheepdog group - so sweet!

  4. Being left handed too mum just sat me down in fron of her and I copied everything she did mirror image when I learnt to knit and crochet. Sis is left handed as well but this didn't work for her and she taught herself her own way of knitting but still can't crochet so I guess there is no hard and fast rule on how to do it. Knitted several pairs of fingerless gloves myself anf find them very easy to use when stiching. Love the patern on ypour green ones and the colour. Hugs Mrs A.

  5. Thanks Mrs A. I've heard about using a mirror to reverse image, but find that too confusing? Probably just me, I like to persevere ... always get there in the end. Envy you the crocheting though :(
    Knitting and crocheting are making a come-back, I'm pleased to hear. Maybe that could be one of my new year's resolutions?


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