Thursday, September 4, 2014

Baby Cardigan, Easy as 1,2...3!

I once said I would never make baby stuff....never in a million years. I never even made any baby stuff for my son who is now a 23 year old eating machine. My mother-in-law made him baby stuff. Later on in my son's growing life I made him an afghan and perhaps again I'll make him another afghan.....

Until a few weeks ago I was texting with my British sister-in-law, now American citizen about her sister in the UK now pregnant with her first child. My sister-in-law is relatively new to knitting and has made her a blanket. My inner voice said, 'make that newborn something!' Huh? Me? So I asked my sister-in-law if it was ok if I knit something up for the lad (yes, it's going to be a boy due the end of October), and so here is my blog entry of the pattern 'In Threes'.

I overheard someone at my local yarn shop recommend this pattern because it is so easy and knits up quickly...they weren't kidding. In Threes pattern is available on Ravelry. The link to the pattern is here: In Threes: A Baby Cardigan

Since this baby gift is going to an English lad, I had to accompany my knitting with some classic British chocolate!

The cardigan is a top down construction without seams....good grief, how much easier could this get? The yarn is Cascade 220 worsted weight in brown heather. One skein was just enough to make this garment. You can use any smooth worsted weight yarn to make this.
As you can see, the progress went quickly. 

Then the stitch markers went in to indicate where the sleeves will be placed.

A few rows later, the sleeves began to take shape.

The finished cardi! I decided to embroider some color in for interest. The embroidery was not in the pattern, I thought a plain brown cardigan just looked too boring. 

There it is....if I get any pictures of the baby wearing this, I'll post it here. 

Monday, September 1, 2014

Colour Quest with Zauberball Crazy

Beautiful morning and a beautiful holiday weekend. I decided to sit on my back porch with my Mama Mocha's coffee and knit up some hats for this fall's Kentuck Art Show coming up quickly. This is Schoppel Zauberball Crazy fingering weight yarn and is available in a wide array of colors. The finished toque on the right shows quite the array of color progression that did not repeat.

If you plan on making a pair of socks from this yarn, be prepared to not achieve color symmetry from one ball. You may have to buy a second ball to do this, which will lead to a pricey pair of socks. Thus, knitting a hat or shawlette would be a better option. Below is a close up of the color progression.

Pretty colors! 

The Alabama summer sun cut short my morning on the back porch and the hummingbirds were chattering at me as I was too close to their nectar feeder. So I had to retreat back into the house. 

Have a beautiful day and enjoy the world around you. 

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Square Foot Exhibition in Atlanta

48 artists in the Southeast United States (mostly from Georgia) exhibited their creativity in the 2014 Square Foot Exhibit at the Southeast Fiber Arts Alliance Center in north Atlanta. Here are a few snapshots of their work.

The techniques used were numerous…knit, crochet, weaving, beadwork, embroidery, silk painting, spinning, quilting, wire work on appliqué, wrapped string on or over a print, mixed media of objects on textile work and the list goes on. Some of the techniques I've never seen or heard of until the exhibition. 

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Treelander: "Dreamdusk"

We lost the skyline….
                                ...We stepped right off the map
                                                  Drifted into blank space….
                               …And let the clocks relapse
-Porcupine Tree 'The Sky Moves Sideways'

To best describe Dreamdusk is like diving into a dream and not wanting to look away. Inspired by creation around me, the sky is like a moving canvas of shifting light and color with added drama of weather and nature.

So I captured a daydream in freeform textile art. The sky is tapestry weaving with the color shifts implementing impressionist technique used by Monet. The added texture of the clouds in freeform embroidery gave the sky more depth. Modern Irish Crochet motifs that create the tree came from Duplet-Crochet issue #124, and then embellished with freeform embroidery. Knitted cord became the winding trunk of the tree and texturized with freeform embroidery. Lastly, the 'landscape' is embroidered silk and rayon ribbon. 

As I was weaving the sky, I was inspired by a progressive rock band called Porcupine Tree. Specifically, their album "The Sky Moves Sideways". The song is dreamlike, very characteristic of Pink Floyd's 'Echoes' and like classic prog music, it is over 20 minutes long. It was in the lyrics the name of this Treelander was revealed…

In the dream dusk
We walked beside the lake
We watched the sky move sideways
And heard the evening break

Steven Wilson of Porcupine Tree is a genius with this album. It is one of my new favorites. The band may no longer be together but Steven Wilson is still creating beautiful music. I also recommend listening his solo album 'The Raven That Refused to Sing'.

Open house to see the Square Foot exhibition is this weekend (April 26, 2014).

Dreamdusk came home today from Atlanta with a little surprise attached! Thank you Atlanta and Southeast Fiber Arts Alliance for the recognition.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Freeform to a Template

I like starting new directions after Stitches conferences. The first thing I like to do after these events is apply what I've learned in a new project. Even better if it's a couple of classes into one project. That's what I've done in this.

Multidirectional Knitting is a class taught by Myra Wood. Knit some shapes and piece them together in a template. Have fun, get creative and fill a square template. There's no mistakes, just happy accidents!
Challenging Stitches using Japanese Knitting Charts is a class taught by Gayle Roehm. The knitting charts are international symbols but some of the knitting techniques in Japanese knitting are quite clever. Pairing both of these classes into a project made creating even more fun! So I started with a Japanese chart and with 2 colors, knitted a swatch. I purposely misread the chart (yes! I really did!) can came up with a similar stitch pattern just as lovely.

The first image is the stitch I modified and the blue and gold swatch is the one I learned in class. Placing my modified swatch on my cut and press board…now the fun begins. I'm working with odds and ends from Noro yarns so I would have some interesting color progressions.

Next I added some squares. Joined the three together and added to my first rectangle.

Then I single crocheted a border around two sides of the piece, and then I picked up and knitted 32 stitches on the side. With 3 Noro colors I knitted a seed stitch switching colors every row. With each join, I lightly steam the squares and block them. Pretty cool! I'll revise this blog entry as the piece eventually becomes a 10 X 10 inch square.

The completed square!
7/2/2014: I completed three squares to make a 30 X 10 inch rectangle. I folded it twice and seamed together to create a bag. 

Sunday, March 30, 2014

More Designing & More Learning

Once again I've been remiss on my postings. Kentuck Art Show last October kept me busy and inspired to bring more to this coming fall. I've designed four more fingerless mitt patterns (maybe five) and have purchased a charting program. I've gotten more serious about pattern writing. I haven't published anything yet because I haven't considered how I want to go about this process. Below is one of my original offerings for this fall.

 Learning more skills is another task that's kept me busy and inspired. Just for fun I decided to stretch my knitting skills with Bavarian knitting (shown below). This hat turned out beautifully though not in my favorite color. This will also be available for this fall as well…and in other colors besides hot pink.

Another skill set I worked with in the last couple of months is slip stitch crochet. This simple but unique technique yields a fabric that is stretchy and resembles knitting. With it comes horizontal cables and a design for fingerless mitts that are beautiful and elegant. I'm excited to see how well these will do in the art show as well.

Next month is Stitches South 2014. So looking forward to the challenge of this conference's classes! I will be learning more about reading the Japanese knitting charts. I've figured out a lot of them, but this class will help me understand them in more depth. A six hour class with Myra Wood in multidirectional knitting. This class is connected with her new book "Knitting in New Directions". I've taken many classes from Myra and really love her approach to textile art. Another six hour workshop/class with Amy Herzog on sweaters will be valuable as I go into more garment making.

Next month, I'll be able to publish pictures of my latest Treelander exhibition piece. This new addition will be exhibited in Atlanta's Square Foot Pin Up Exhibition sometime in April. I'm so excited to share it with those who follow my art pieces.