Archives for category: fibers and fabric

 Here at Island Creek Forest Walk, the scenery looks like a cross between an ancient Japanese moss garden and “Lord of the Rings.”

The cypress “knees” have given me an idea for my next yarn bombing project. If anyone wants to join me, let me know!

the bald cypress “knees” following the path

bald cypress clinging to the river bank, reflected in the black water

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Back on the Roosevelt Trail…

……..the knitted tags are growing

 

The original yarn bomb

And then there were two…

I met lynn while she was waiting for chemo in the infusion room. She was a complete beginner, as most of our participants are, and is starting to weave blocks together by twisting the yarns between each section.

Chipper’s 2nd tapestry completed. He was playing with creating warp lines.

It’s been 10 months since we started our free monthly drop-in tapestry class, and we are starting to build up a solid group of participants. I’m learning to offer adaptive techniques- such as using a big darning needle to weave if there are difficulties with pushing the weft between the warp ends.

Dot has almost completed her tapestry; next month she plans to mount it in a wooden frame. She says she has just the right place to display it- beside a ceramic vase with the same colors as the tapestry

Nona is almost done- or so she says..

Slowly but surely, tapestries are being completed, different techniques are incorporated and concerns about presentation are explored. Our next session is  April 13.

Chipper’s first tapestry- which he has since mounted on a canvas and calls”American Devil“. 

Hedy has her own loom at home where she weaves bulky tapestries with lots of texture. I am trying to persuade her to bring her tapestries to class, so we can all see them and admire them too.

Imagine a Better Future…at the Kuusisto Art Manor in Finland

August 12-September 14, 2018

I am very excited and honored to be invited to participate in the upcoming Art Exhibition at the Kuusisto Art Manor, located in South-Western Finland, 170 km west from Helsinki, and 17 km from Turku and Parainen.  I will be showing a collection of knitted guns.

The only moment to make a better future is now

Name of artwork: Sparky: 7mm semi -automatic knitted pistol. Size: 6 ¼“ x 5 ½” x 1” (16 cm x 14cm x 4cm) materials: black knitting yarn (mixed fibers) and silver metallic yarn, poly fill stuffing

Name of artwork: Pumpkin Princess: 7mm semi-automatic knitted pistol 5 ½” x 5” x 1” (14 cm x 13cm x 4cm) materials:100% orange mohair yarn black yarn(mixed fibers) poly fill stuffing

Imagine a future where we have the courage to address our fears and paranoia without threatening to kill each other. Here in USA, the gun lobby spent more than $30 million in the 2016 elections. Since 9/11, guns have been promoted as the  “ American “ way to protect oneself in a harsh and unforgiving society- as in the Wild West, where without a gun, you could not survive. Restricting the sale of guns is seen as taking away individual freedoms, leaving citizens vulnerable and helpless against what they see as destructive outside forces. To defeat this fear and to take the guns out of our schools, churches, nightclubs, hospitals, movie theatres, restaurants, people have to communicate their fears without grabbing a gun as the answer.

What if we transform the gun from a weapon of destruction, into a knitted object that can never cause any harm or pain. Why knitted? Knitting activities are in essence, all about sharing and promoting love, caring, protection. Imagine a grandmother or mother knitting by the fireside, knitting socks, hats or baby blankets. It is the image of peace, safety, warmth and comfort. The knitting stitch itself is a metaphor for our connection with each other- a continuous loop that holds us together, still flexible enough to stretch. Every loop is vital in the construction of the fabric- without all the loops holding each other together- the fabric unravels, and cannot function. If we can face our fears together in a community that is in a supportive, safe and protected environment, we can imagine and will have a better future.

 

There is a  magical lake at the end of a 6 mile walk, at the North River Farms Restoration site.

The lake is part of a restoration project by the North Carolina Coastal Federation who work to protect and restore water quality, wetlands, oyster reefs and shorelines. There was a small group of trees beside the river that fed into the lake which was the only place where you could cross the river onto the land beyond.

This is where I chose to add my knitted tag.

In this vast and open expanse, I wanted there to be a sign that showed where you could cross the river to the other side.

Yarn bombing in Wiesbaden, Germany.

Thank you Marianne, for this gorgeous photograph of a tree in Weisbaden, Germany. I think this would have to be a group effort as there is so much knitting, and over such a large area, beautifully done. An inspirational piece of art, that enlivens and brightens up the city street.

 

 

This is an  invite to everybody to send me any images they have of yarn bombing- and say if it’s something you have seen or done yourself! 

 

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.


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..

oops

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.

ouch

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.

JUMP!

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