Reading a fascinating book called “Yarn Bombing. The Art of Crochet and Knit Graffiti ” by Mandy Moore and Leanne Prain.

Published in 2009, the authors talk about how people use crochet and knit graffiti  to explore and comment on art, politics and culture.

I love the idea of taking pieces of knitting and connecting them with nature- drawing attention to the natural world and the world of making fabrics by women. Both areas are often overlooked and under-appreciated.

This is my homage to the Croatan National Park-: a blue and burgundy mohair  knitted “base” with waves of blue textured tufts of yarn, knitted and held onto the mohair.

Searching for the perfect space

Found it. An exquisite Virginia pine, visible from many directions

Attached to the tree, the knitted piece blends in remarkably well with the textured bark. The piece will not last long as  the  birds will use the yarns to line their nests.

From a distance, the piece invites the viewer to come closer and look at the tree in more detail.


 “That’s a very good place to start, ” as Maria says, in the “Sound of Music” 

I started with drawings the trees in my back garden, which have beautiful colors in the early fall mornings

When weaving a design with a lot of horizontal lines or shapes, it is easier to weave the design sideways. This way the tree trunks can be woven horizontally. So in this example, my warp is displayed on the left hand  side, and the filling is vertical.

Well said, Maria.

For our upcoming tapestry weaving classes in  January 2018 at the Hirsch Wellness Center, I’m going to start at the very beginning of the process of creating a tapestry:  how to use source material or  inspirational material.  You can use drawings, photographs, illustrations. In this example,  I did drawings of my favorite trees in the back garden and selected one drawing that had the simplest blocks of color and shapes that I thought could translate into a woven tapestry.

I tend to use the drawings as a starting place and refer back to them for guidance but do not  translate the drawing exactly into a tapestry. I try to keep as my goal: simplify, simplify, simplify.

Your source material is like  using a recipe for a cake- you can follow the instructions and get a delicious cake at the end of the process, and be very satisfied with the result. Or you can throw in some of your favorite ingredients, mix them up with some new spices and see what happens.


Our last tapestry session for the year is on  Friday, December 15, 2017 at  1-3pm, the Hirsch Center,  Revolution Mill, Studio 130, Greensboro.

Knitting at Mark’s mountain house..

Knitting another baby hat, this time for my 10 month old niece, Elaia.

I am ‘way behind schedule…. by about 10 months.

It’s almost done- I need to sew in the pom-pom and then it will be ready to send off to Spain, in time for Christmas.



Dara in a ‘sporty, textured’ hat which is a blend of 75% wool and 25% nylon and machine washable

Cora’s hat is a three different textured yarns knitted together, with a big mix of fibers- wool, hand woven silk, acrylic and mohair

Fiona’s hat with star shaped brim

We love this hat! Fiona picked the mint green for the top and somehow I finished knitting the hat in time for her to wear it home, that evening

Recently there’s been a bit of a struggle ( ha ha!) getting the correct sizes for the knitted hats for the various babes and children.

I really should know better- I’ve knitted loads of baby hats and all of them my own designs and until now- no problems with the sizes.

When Dara was born in August, I quickly knitted up a chunky little hat with lots of different yarns and sent it off to Scotland..


Imagine my surprise when I was sent a photo of Dara’s older sister, Cora ( 2 years old) wearing the hat! And she wears it constantly, even to bed.  So it was out with the knitting needles again, this time with finer yarns and finer needles and another hat was sent off.  Cora can get this one on her head too, ( it’s a very stretchy rib) but luckily it fits Dara better!

So, quite puzzled as to how I could have got my sizes so wrong, I started another hat.  It was a small hat in blues and greens, and I was thinking of sending it to another newborn nephew, Oran.


However, my grand daughter Fiona, ( age 8 nearly 9 years old) saw the knitting ( the hat for a newborn baby) on the circular needles and tried it on her head.  It fitted around her head ! She loved it!  She liked the stretchy ribs and asked me to finish it for her so she could wear it home- that evening

no way

I think I have mentioned before that Fiona can be very persuasive. I told her that I could not possibly knit up the hat by the time she left that evening.  She very calmly went into my studio and picked out some mint green yarn that she liked and brought it to me as I picked up the needles and started to knit the body of the hat.

Ok,  I like a challenge

Seven inches later, I added the mint green and then started to decrease for the crown. We were running 5 minutes late as I stitched up the top.

At our November Hirsch Wellness drop-in tapestry session, Dorothy brought in some buttons and started to hand them out to anyone who was interested.

Wendy’s tapestry is almost finished

And here it is off the loom!

Deepi’s tapestry is almost done

“I know it’s a religious comment,” she said, “But it’s also a political statement.” She belongs to the Friends Church in Greensboro and is a Quaker. Meanwhile, some tapestries are finished and we need to start thinking about the best way to present the artwork…

…. perhaps we can have a Christmas Tapestry Show?

Deepi’s tapestry completed. We are trying different presentation ideas; this is with a mat board and frame

This is an Oxford punch needle # 10 and officially called a rug hooking needle

My trusty punch needle that has lasted years, broke. When I sent off for a new one, I accidentally ordered the wrong size- a much smaller needle. Rather than re-ordering, I decided to go in the opposite direction by trying a bigger needle, one I had bought 3 years ago- in Colorado.

Then I discovered- my embroidery yarns are too fine for this big boy. Luckily for me, I have a rich stash of silk scarves, silk hankies and fabrics scraps, just waiting for the opportunity to be cut into strips and threaded into the punch needle.

A very different look-it has a much more fragmented image than the embroidery threads, maybe because the strips are not uniform in size, or of the same fiber composition. I’m going to see where this goes.

It all starts with a pack of adhesive foam sheets. There are many different sizes of adhesive foam sheets, I bought a small size with 65 sheets so I could play and not worry about using up all the sheets

One side of the foam sheet has a white paper sheet covering the adhesive surface. If you want, you can draw on the paper sheet, marking the foam underneath

Pull the paper backing from the adhesive sheet. You can see that the adhesive sheet I have drawn on, is yellow.

First create a border by sticking a yarn all around the edges. The adhesive is very sticky and the border helps to keep your fingers off the surface. Then  outline  your sketch with another piece of yarn

Once you have edged your outline in yarn, start to fill in the background with more yarn

Continue to fill the spaces with yarns

Add as much detail as you want

you can pull out and replace any colors and yarns if you want to make changes

Yarn drawings are very forgiving, cheap, fast and simple to create. This is the perfect use for scraps of yarns and threads, even ribbons. For me, it’s a quick way to see how different colors and textures look together and even helps me lay out simple compositions. The different colored adhesive sheets help to jump start different color combos, and because the materials are so cheap and plentiful, it encourages a more playful and adventurous approach. Try it and see! Then send me some photos of your work, I’d love to showcase them on the blog.

So there is a Hirsch Wellness art table at Wesley Long hospital, in the cancer center and on September 25, I was working alongside fellow   artist, Elaine and volunteer, Earline.  We were showing people how to make yarn drawings, inspired by the Mexican Huichol art of yarn drawing. A dozen people waiting for treatment, or waiting for relatives or friends having treatment, decided to join our free class and everyone created at least one piece to donate to the cancer center for a community hospital mobile.

Fiona promptly made about 5 yarn drawings, each designed for the special people in her life- mainly for mommy and daddy. This is one she made for my friend, Lynn

I was so inspired, I rushed home to create my own yarn drawings, enlisting the help of my grand daughter and partner in crime, Fiona.

Meanwhile I was using up small pieces of yarns and fibers and not quite as confident as Fiona that people would be as excited to get a yarn drawing from me…! I must say that it’s a lot of fun, really easy and fast

On Saturday, October 8, 2017,  at the Hirsch Wellness Silent Auction  my punch needle piece “First Things First” was auctioned, along with 120 other pieces of art to help raise funds for free art classes for cancer survivors and carers.  A lovely evening of great art, music, food and wine.

Way to go, Mona

A few days before the auction, at our September community fiber  drop-in class, Mona completed her first tapestry


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