In My Happy Place

This week I needed to get a way for a day.  I decided to return to the stacks at the University of California, Berkeley’s Anthropology library.  During my stay as a student, I spent many hours focusing on Art History, with little regard or time for anything else. Now I have the time to explore other disciplines.  I was looking forward to picking up a book I had on hold at Doe Library, Decorative Patterns Of The Ancient World, by Flinders Petrie. On my way, I captured a picture of the infamous Campanile.

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Photo credit: Mary Lou Fall

Such a relief to relax and take in the atmosphere without worrying about the next paper or test.  I headed over to the Anthropology library and ventured into the world of prehistoric textiles.  Three books, Women’s Work: The First 20,000 years,  Making Textiles In Pre-Roman And Roman Times, and Textile Production In Pre-Roman Italy,  I was excited to discover because they support my area of interest.

My interest in textile arts began at the age of eight.  Through the guidance of a 4-H leader, I walked the runway in my first sewn dress. I continued to sew through the years and decided to purchase my first weaving loom.  Toting my infant daughter on my hip, I warped my loom for the first time.  From weaving, I moved on to knitting, felting and dyeing yarn.  Throughout the many years of developing my expertise in the textile arts, I didn’t give much thought to the people, places and identities of the individuals that came before me, until now.

On my way across campus to the parking garage, I captured a few more pictures.

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Photo credit: Mary Lou Fall

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Photo credit: Mary Lou Fall

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Photo credit: Mary Lou Fall

An Abundance of Flowers

We exist in a kind of brand mania that asserts that everything from your razor blade to your public library to the I.R.S. needs to have a relatable personality.

The above quote was taken from a New York Times Style Magazine article dated October 25, 2015, written by Michael Rock entitled, Hooked on a Feeling.  Rock mentions, “Through the use of the various social media platforms everything and everyone has its own brand, lacking human emotions.  Why are we all so susceptible to manufactured emotion.  Why are we so needy?”

I argue, throughout history people have always coveted “objects of desire” to define a public persona.”Conspicuous consumption,” the public display of economic power has been around since the leisure class. I believe branding only suits largely distributed objects and not individuals.  Social media has corrupted the “one-on-one look me in the eyes conversation,” creating a lack of empathy.

Michael Rock’s article reminds me of Cicero’s famous quote, “Times are bad.  Children no longer obey their parents, and everyone is writing a book.”

Here’s what defines me:

Cottage Garden 2013 #4

The vibrancy of colors in nature.

100 Flowers of Crochet

The memories of crocheting 100 flowers for an art class, while the remaining students used technology.

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Conversations with my husband.

Noro Taiyo Sock Yarn Jacket_1

My latest knitting project.

A Wrong Does Make A Right

After knitting about eight inches on Design Mine, I measured for gauge and found the width of the back was not to measurement.  Does a gauge swatch truly address the variability of yarn?  A gauge swatch is definitely necessary, but until the yarn has been knitted outside the confines of a gauge swatch, does a true textile emerge.

Online Linie 79 Evita, consists of a wrapped woven inner core which creates an interesting “thick and thin” yarn.  What makes Evita visually unique, also creates an inconsistent gauge.  Revising the number of cast on stitches, provided an opportunity for me to really “look” at the effects of inconsistency.

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A Wrong Does Make A Right #2

The wrong side of the knitted piece has an interesting sculptural Ikat weave surface pattern.  For me, the wrong side of the piece is visually more interesting, in comparison to the right side.

A Wrong Does Make A Right #3

 

Monochrome With A Touch Of Grey

I’ve always been attracted to the pairing of black and white with geometric patterns, stripes and photographs.

One afternoon while browsing through my collection of knitting books,  I turned to a page marked with a post-it note and discovered a project on my  forgotten “this looks interesting” list.  Eureka! An opportunity to use Louisa Harding Yarns‘, Akiko (70% Wool and 30% Alpaca) in cols. 004, 005, 006.

Monochrome with Grey Sweater #7

I selected the pattern from, Vogue Knitting, Very Easy Knits, The Best of Very Easy Very Vogue, Split-Color Pullover, designed by Barbara Nudleman and Susan Prince for the Fall/Winter 1984 issue of Vogue Knitting.  I decided to color block the sleeves of the sweater, lacking symmetry.

Monochrome with Grey Sweater #2_1

The neckline has an “unfinished look” so I’ve added a crochet picot edge on the neckline.  I photographed the neckline unfinished for comparison.  Monochrome with Grey Sweater #3

Knitting with Akiko is amazing. There is a slight thickness variation between the colors which affects the drape of the yarn, but does not significantly alter the gauge.

Woven Mesh Cowl Redux

Originally, I designed the Woven Mesh Cowl with a yarn that is no longer available. Previously, I didn’t have control over what I designed with, but this time I selected from my own stash of Habu textiles and vintage rayon yarn from The Great Adirondack Yarn Co.  How liberating!  I improved the design by adding a K2 P2 rib which eliminates the rolled edge of stockinette stitch.  I combined  different colors of Habu wrapped merino for the stitch pattern, used wrapped silk for the rib stitch and each segment of the pattern stitch is separated by a touch of copper-colored metallic lame rayon yarn.

The pattern stitch knit in the round:

Rnd 1:  Knit

Rnd 2: *Purl 1, Slip 1 wyif* repeat across round

Rnd 3: Knit

Rnd 4: *Slip 1 wyif, Purl 1* repeat across round

Gauge:  Approximately 4.5 sts/5 sts per inch

CO 223 stitches using a Size 7 needle. Join being careful not to twist stitches.  I cast on an extra stitch for joining.  If using another method of joining, use an even amount of stitches.  I began with 8 rounds of rib followed by the pattern stitch.  Separate each segment of pattern stitch with rounds of stockinette stitch.   When cowl has reached desired width, end with 8 rounds of rib.

Bind off loosely.

Woven Mesh Cowl Redux #3

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