Archives for category: knitted pieces

 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…

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.

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.

We are starting drop-in monthly fiber art classes, starting on May 19, 1-3 pm, at the Historic Revolutionary Mill, suite 1250, in the Hirsch Wellness classroom 130 Revolutionary Mill Drive in Greensboro, North Carolina.

Many of our tapestry students enjoyed weaving alongside their fellow students at our personal tapestry weaving workshops, getting support, encouragement and inspiration from each other . However,we have found that once a year is a long time to wait between tapestry sessions, especially if you have any technical concerns and have no one to ask for help.

The drop-in sessions are designed to bridge the gap between the once a year tapestry workshop, to get friends together again, and to keep everyone motivated to complete projects and start new ones!

I will be available to help with tapestry weaving and knitting and tapestry looms, yarns and knitting needles are all provided by the Hirsch Wellness Network.

I love the idea of the drop-in classes ! It gives me the opportunity to meet up with everyone again, see everyone’s progress and I get to enjoy seeing some of the finished pieces!

 

 

 

blanket-cropped

Piecing it together with pins, making a rectangle of 32″ x 38″ Lots of work still ahead – it needs to be shaped, blocked , steamed and stitched

Piecing it together in my head

I had the idea of knitting a security blanket as a metaphor for American culture so I started by knitting – as an example- my own security blanket.

img_1154

detail of stripe

So as I was knitting the different sections, I was puzzled as to why I was using such a different range of colors in this knitting.  Usually I work with pure color, and never use black. And why did I start knitting with size 15 knitting needles when I have very few bulky yarns?  To create the bulky yarns needed for size 15 knitting needles, I  combined different thickness of yarns together, different colors together and different textures together which gave a much more muted palette. Black and browns, deep blues and textured black yarns made stripes of stocking stitch between ribs of blended colors. Why did I construct the pieces with stripes of stocking stitch and ribs? It was mystifying. I hung up the knitted pieces on a piece of foam core, sat down and started to look at them.

As I was looking at the thick stripes, a memory started to form in my head. The thick textured dark stripes reminded me of some winter cardigans my mother used to have hanging on the back of the bedroom doors, and in the hall, of my childhood home. We lived in a very large and cold, old house and whenever I returned home to visit my parents, one of the first things I would do on my arrival, was to look for a cardigan to wear from my mother’s extensive collection. Most of them were from thrift shops and many were for men (for my father) Mixed in with the charcoals, blacks, navy and dull green stocking stitch cardigans that my father favored, were some jumbo rib stripe cardigans knitted in muted Shetland colors for ladies. I admit that I was more attracted to the colored stripes but was more than happy to wear whatever was available in the stash, depending on how many family members were visiting at the same time. Wrapped in one of those winter cardigans, you finally knew you were home.

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2 more sections added

 

This is how it looks like right now.

I’m beginning to run out of some of my hand dyed/ hand spun yarns which are mixed with other yarns so this and a deadline of finishing by this weekend, will limit the final size of the blanket. Nothing is sewn together so the finished piece may look radically different..!

knitting-in-progress

Knitting in progress

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