Friday, January 29, 2016

Friday Inspiration - Marianne Kemp

One of the things I especially love about fiber art is the immense variety of materials artists use!  And every time I think I've seen everything, I discover a new artist doing amazing things with a new medium.  Like Dutch artist Marianne Kemp.

Tube Waves

Marianne works her weavings with horsehair - and as you can see from these examples, it's not quite what one would picture!  I love her use of repetition - it's soothing in a reassuring way.  The textures are wonderful and I have a feeling they're even better when seen in person.

Black Zigzag has a good interview with Marianne talking about how she got started in textile art, her processes, and her inspirations along with more photos of her work.  Be sure to check it out here.

Start A Fire

Happy Creating!  Deborah

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Crocheting Lace

I just finished a quick crochet lace project that turned out great!  Looking for something different than what I've been working on lately, I decided to give Amy O'Neill Houck's Alpine Lace Scarf a try:

I used Juniper Moon Farms' Findley Dappled in Cloudbank.

And amazingly enough, I didn't make any modifications on this one!  

This pattern is a good example of what blocking can do - first, a photo of how the fabric looked before blocking .... 

... and after.  I love how this stitch looks like little snowflakes!   

Happy Creating!  Deborah

Friday, January 22, 2016

Friday Inspiration - Winter

A few weeks back, we had a pretty good cold snap - snow, ice, wind and just generally the type of weather that makes you want to hang out by the fire all day.  But the wind brought down trees, so my husband had to go out and check the fences.  And way at the back of our land, he found these twigs and small branches covered in the strangest ice either of us had ever seen!  All we can come up with is that it must have had something to do with the wind.

Now we're sitting here at 58 degrees and actually enjoying sunshine, which has been in short supply so far this winter.  However, as I listen to the forecast for record snowfall on the east coast, I have a feeling winter's not finished with us either!  So now seems like a good time to sit back with a cup of something steamy and look at winter inspirations!

I love the simplicity of quilt artist Bobbie Sullivan's Winter Quilt.  The background of pieced squares works perfectly to capture winter's colors.  See more of her work here.

Winter Quilt

Another piece that shows winter colors well is New Mexico tapestry artist Elizabeth Buckley's Sandia Mountain Winter Sunset, which she amazingly created from a black and white photo.  Be sure to take a look at more of her New Mexico inspired pieces here.

Sandia Mountain Winter Sunset

California artist Helene Lohr uses embroidery and beading in her nature inspired work.  I really enjoy the great textures she creates!  See more here.

Winter Dream

Ludmilla Aristova uses her background as a fashion designer to create gorgeous fabric, embroidered, and beaded abstract fiber art.  She has work inspired by nature, the seasons, and also various world cities.  Take a look at more here.


And sometimes when winter rages outside, there's nothing more inspiring to me than sitting inside and knitting!  I go back and forth between wanting to knit in bright colors during winter and using nice winter whites.  This free pattern from Purl Bee would look good in either!  Instructions on their website are here and a free download on Ravelry is here.

Jasmine Scarf

Stay warm!

Happy Creating!  Deborah

Thursday, January 21, 2016

A Spiral Cowl/Hood

I started the New Year with a dedication to do as much knitting as possible using only yarn from my stash ... there are a few things (um, yarns) that are conspiring to thwart me on this, however!  I'm sure you'll be seeing those in the not too far future.

Still, after cleaning up and organizing all my yarn, I found the leftovers from the knitted dress I made Charlie last spring.  Perfect for a knit-a-long I wanted to join!  The pattern is Keri Mckiernan's Spiral Cowl which is available free here.  

I made a few changes on mine:

-  I made the cowl longer so it can pull up to be a hood by doing 15 repeats of the 7 row lace pattern, 3 repeats of each color.

-  to make it a "mindless" knit (don't have to think much or count rows/stitches), I added one stitch before starting the lace section and then knitted two together to get back to 128 stitches at the start of the first row after the lace section - that way one can just keep knitting around and around without counting rows or following a chart.

- to keep the eyelets on the smaller side, I knit in the back of each slipped stitch instead of in the front like usual.

The instructions suggest that you might want to do a provisional cast on - definitely do it!  If you don't, you'll be trying to pick up little purl stitch bumps when you work on the picot edging.  I like to do a crochet provisional cast on - this site has good instructions on the technique.

This was a really fun knit and I plan on making another that's shorter!

Happy Creating!  Deborah

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Triangle Knit Scarf

This pattern is good news/bad news!  The good news is that I came up with a great pattern for Shibui Knits Kavo.  This is a beautiful silk wrapped cotton yarn that drapes wonderfully when used in the right pattern.  It's a textured yarn that goes frrom a fingering weight to lace - I've seen it described as being dk.  Not a chance!  And that brings us to the bad news.  Shibui Knits announced yesterday they will be discontinuing it.  I can't help but feel that it would've sold better if it hadn't been listed as a dk weight.  So .... if you like this pattern, quickly get some ordered from one of the shops that still has it in stock!  This is where I got mine. - it's 20% off.


2 skeins Shibui Knits Kavo (this scarf is in the Cascade colorway)
size 6 needles
size H crochet hook

1.  Cast on three stitches.

2.  Follow this pattern until your triangle is the size you want:

Start with a knitting row:  Knit 1, make 1, knit to within one stitch of the end, make 1, knit 1.
Next row, purl straight across.

When you have the size you want, cast off.  Using a size G crochet hook, rejoin yarn and single crochet all around, spacing your stitches evenly and putting three stitches in each corner.  Join to first single crochet with a slip stitch.  Chain one and add a second row of single crochet.  Join and fasten off.

I knitted enough for this one to be a scarf, as opposed to a shawl, that can be worn several ways - here are two.  And please forgive my phone photos!

Happy Creating!  Deborah