Exercise 3.2 – Translation through yarn

For this exercise we were asked to select a good quality image or postcard of and Old Master’s painting.  Old Masters were artists who were fully trained and worked in Europe before the 1800’s.  I did some research on the internet and found that I liked the paintings of Sandro Botticelli (1445-1510) and that they fulfilled the brief with textiles as the focal point and distinctions between different colours. Sandro Botticelli was and Italian painter who was part of the Florentine School under Lorenzo de’ Medici.  Botticelli is known as an Early Renaissance painter.   I also had to research where I could buy a copy of his painting and which ones were available at an affordable amount.  I bought a copy of this painting called The Virgin and Child and Five Angles from a well known auction site.

The original work of art is located in the Musee du Louvre in Paris.  It is oil on canvas and was painted by Botticelli around 1470.

The Virgin and Child and Five Angels – Sandro Botticelli – oil on canvas


Yarn Wraps

For this exercise I brought together all the bits of ribbon, embroidery thread, wool that I identified were possibly the same colours as in the image.  I have a large collection of (junk as my husband calls it!) all these items stored in plastic boxes in my work room.  It did take quite a lot of time identifying all the different colours and tones in the picture which is possibly not the best quality but was the best available to me.

Yarn wraps

The yarn wrap on the left side is the first one that I completed and I worked from the top of the image selecting the different colours and proportions I thought appropriate as I worked.  I have used a selection of different threads, yarns, ribbons and fabrics.

The yarn wrap on the right side I have worked using the same materials but have wrapped in the order of light to dark.

Here is a list of the threads, yarns and ribbons etc that I have used in these two wraps. All these items have been taken from my collection some have been purchased many years ago or inherited and some I have bought more recently.  The ribbons are also repurposed from packaging or those infuriating bits that are sewn into clothing to prevent them falling off the hangers which I cut out before wearing.  Sorry the list is long…


1 – Dewhurst Sylko no 40 cotton thread – cinnamon D162

2 – Black polyester ribbon – from a Betty Jackson dress

3 – Madeira Stranded Cotton – shade 435

4 – Stranded Cotton (poss DMC) D809

5 – Anchor Stranded Cotton  – shade 308

6 – Anchor Stranded Cotton – shade 868

7 – Stranded Cotton – pale blue (shade and make unknown)

8 – Stranded Cotton – shade 109 – Rose brand

9 – Gold polyester ribbon

10 – Black polyester ribbon

11 – Candy pink polyester ribbon

12 – Polyester sewing thread – red (shade and make unknown)

13 – Handmade paper (gift bag)

14 – DMC Cotton Perle No 5 – shade 816

15 – Anchor Marlitt – shade 1209

16 – Clark & Co Stranded Cotton – shade 504

17 – DMC Stranded Cotton – shade 224

18 – Dewhurst Sylko cotton thread – shade 121

19 – Bergere de France acrylic yarn (no shade number – pale blue)

20 – Gutermann polyester sewing thread – shade 435

21 – Clarks Stranded Cotton (no shade number – pale blue)

22 – Gutermann polyester sewing thread – shade 75

23 – King Cole Twister chunky yarn – shade 684

24 – Light gold ribbon & Carps machine twist cotton thread

25 – Silver braid

26 – Gutermann polyester sewing thread – shade 40

27 – Coates polyester thread – shade ‘moon’

28 – Bergere de France – acrylic yarn (no shade number – pistachio green)

29 – Crochet cotton – white

30 – Anchor Stranded Cotton – shade 306

31 – Felt (very pale blue)


For my third wrap I have selected a small section of the image and knotted threads together to match the colours of this section and their rough proportions to each other.  I have then experimented with rapping the lengths of coloured yarns randomly or laying the threads down side by side.

Selected section of image


Left hand photo is of the different coloured yarns knotted together before wrapping.  Right hand photo is this selection of yarns wrapped unevenly.

Further experiments with wrapping the left hand photo is the result of starting the wrapping from the opposite end of the joined threads.  In the middle photo I have wrapped lengthways and the right hand photo I have squashed the threads together.

I also experimented with laying the threads side by side as I have in my original wrapping exercise.

Final wrap


This exercise produced interesting results and even with small amounts of thread you can see how different colours work together and their relationship.  Whether you wrap in a random manner or lay the threads down side by side, each wrap produces different colour combinations.




https://en.m.wikipedia.org – Old masters

https://en.m.wikipedia.org – Sandro Botticelli

https://www.wikiart.org – The Virgin and Child surrounded by Five Angels



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