Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Freeform rides again

Everyone needs a journal to share thoughts and fibery projects. This freeform journal was created using a three ring binder, felt and lots of different yarns, knitting and crocheting. It makes me want to create a world of designs, yarns and other delights. It could also be used as a portfolio cover to showcase your work.

Additionally, here are some new flowers created using Ozark Handspun. I think they turned out pretty nice and they certainly make a statement. Over the years, I've made fabric flowers, crocheted and knitted flowers using all kinds of yarns from threads to bulky as well as hand-dyed silk fabrics. There is something about flowers that pleases my sensibilities. They are quick and fun projects which provide almost instant gratification.

This Saturday, I will again be at Unraveled in Monrovia. I will be available to anyone who wanders in to ask me questions or get help with any project they are working on and even a pep talk to motivate finishing UFOs. It certainly is my favorite place to hang out and I have some new designs on display in the shop with patterns to go with them. Come on by as I would love to see what is on your needles or hooks.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Belle Armoire article

The new issue of Belle Armoire magazine arrived today. Inside was an article on my fiber wrapped accessories (belts) and some very nice words concerning my work by the Editor-in-Chief Jenny Doh. In a recent conversation with her she said that the magazine is headed in a new direction with more of a fibery emphasis. She seems to share my love of yarn and fibers and is excited at all the new territory in this field for exploration. For a while (before Jenny) the magazine had become somewhat disappointing and I had made up my mind to drop my subscription. However, under her leadership, it promises to again become the magazine you wait excitedly to show up in the mailbox. There are some wonderful examples of knitted and crocheted items in this issue. So, if you can, find a copy and check them out. I posted the cover and the front page of my article as a teaser.

Additionally, this Saturday, I will be at Unraveled in Monrovia, just hanging out as I am bringing some new store samples using Ozark Handspun in for display. If you happen to be in the neighborhood do stop in and knit or crochet with me for a while. I would love to see you. Oh, I posted a photo of Sluggo in the midst of a yarn explosion with a smiling knitdad (Larry) in the background. Good fun was had by all on this occasion.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Saturday class

This Saturday, I taught a low key class at Unraveled on Contemporary Abstract Knitting. We had a great time playing with all kinds of fibers and yarns. As the day progressed, friends wandered in and out including Larry of Knitdad fame. He is always a delight to hang out with and I admire his subtle style of knitting and color usage as well as his dry sense of humor. Lisa (of L and H) came through and was working on a new project doing a monochromatic freeform sweater in cotton yarns which promises to be quite amazing when finished.

Additionally, Christine (Unraveled owner) picked out a large selection of Ozark Handspun yarns to add to her shop inventory in some great colorways. There will also be some new samples in the store to give ideas of what can be done using these handspuns in combination with other yarns. Patterns and suggestions will be available for purchase and some free patterns will be given away with yarn purchase of Ozark Handspun at Unraveled. Try to get in the store to check out the new yarns for a good choice.

This is a store that I consider my LYS even though it is an two hour drive from where I live. Not only is it a gorgeous shop with great yarns but the staff is wonderfully helpful and pleasant. It is located in the charming Old Town area of Monrovia and there are lots of great little bistros and restaurants within walking distance and delightful gift shops. In addition, this area is used in filming the television show October Road and it is fun to see the process involved with the production.

Oh, by the way, someone emailed me yesterday to tell me that the article in Belle Armoire magazine on my fleece shawls is out. I haven't seen it yet but try to get a copy and check it out. Happy knitting and crocheting!

Monday, February 11, 2008

New stuff

Well, I've been experimenting in the fiber lab again and discovering new uses for scraps of yarn and wool felt remnants. The cuff bracelet is made from a recycled insert from some yarn and leftover felt bits wrapped and embroidered with the addition of a dicroic glass button. I must say I really like the simplicity of this project.

Here also is a small freeform purse made using an old crocheted nylon bag as the base. I didn't like the strap so I cut that off and replaced with another handle. Then, I covered the bag with knitting and crochet whip stitching in place as I went along. This is a handy little bag and it was already lined and had zippers so it is good to go.

Hope you enjoy these little fiber bits. Happy knitting and crocheting as well as felting.

Friday, February 8, 2008

Completed projects

Okay, I am done playing in the park for a while and have been finishing up projects. As promised, I am posting a new freeform bag using a Tilli Tomas silk liner. I love these things as once you are done with the fancies there is no lining to make. Very nice.

Also, I am just about finished with my wet felted hat, just a bit more whip stitching on the brim area. It is pretty good for my first attempt at this. No one told me that this was an ambitious project for a beginner. But, I guess that is the story of my life. I just jump into the deep end of the pool and dog-paddle like crazy! Wet felting is a fascinating process just for the technique itself and I can see why people get absorbed with this for the rest of their lives. It is incredible what can be accomplished when you consider all the variables. I must continue with my experiments. Yikes, I sound like a bit of a mad scientist! Anyway, hope you like these. There are more items coming along. Be sure to get plenty of fiber in your life. It is a lot of fun!

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

New adventures - fiber and otherwise

Okay, I have been a ba-a-a-d girl/woman and have been gallivanting around all over the place. On Saturday, we returned to Balboa Park and checked out the Asher Durand exhibit at the San Diego Art Museum. Fabulous, wonderful landscapes, portraits and a few still lifes. Wonderful. Additionally, there were some lovely California artist landscapes in another hall including Maurice Braun, who is one of my favorites - I love his use of color and light. Then we went to the Mingei Museum and for the first time, I actually was in the presence of a few of George Nakashima's furniture masterpieces as well as work by his daughter Mira Nakashima. He truly was the Elegant Craftsman and was called a living treasure in our country before his death in 1990. He had a very spiritual relationship with wood and it certainly shows in his furniture. There were also some very Zen-like displays of stones that had been collected in various parts of California. They were works of art created by nature.

There were some gorgeous traditional children's wind caps from China (even Sluggo was excited) as well as beaded modesty panels from Cameroon. I also loved the Indonesian baby carrier basket made of beads, shells, buttons and wood. Just gorgeous! The attention to detail lavished on these pieces is quite astounding.

We were allowed to take photos but could not use flash so some of the images may be a little dark. There was a wall covered with Indonesian print blocks that were really remarkable and I could see these interpreted into intarsia as well as the baby carrier or the modesty panels. Great graphics. The colors and designs were so inspiring. I want to work on some pieces incorporating these ideas. Outside of the museum was a captivating modern mosaic sculpture which attracted lots of children including me. It was magical! Just a wonderful sunny day!

Just so you know, I have been doing some knitting and crocheting as well. I am working on some new designs and will post when complete. Also, my freeform sweater is finally progressing again and all I have to do at this point is finish up the yoke and the finishing touches. Yeah! It has been languishing in the workbasket for over a year and I will be happy to have it done. I have been working on a freeform purse as well and am posting a little teaser as I haven't given it to the person I am making it for yet. The colorway is a little outside my usual choices but it was interesting to work with and I am pleased with the finished result.

On Sunday, I went to the LA Fiber Guild meeting and we worked on wet felting using a resist method. It was a cold and rainy day and by the end I was soaking wet and pruney but had a wonderful time. As soon as my project dries and I have finished it, I'll post it here and describe the process more. Suffice it to say, it was a lot of fun!