This year for my birthday, I celebrated at the beach. Two days of listening to the pounding surf, as I hiked through sand brought in from the storms of 2017, while hunting for sea glass. The first day was windy and cold.
The second day on the sand was gorgeous, but there was not an abundance of sea glass. I decided to focus on rocks with holes, lines and texture as my found objects. (I always check for signage regarding removing objects from the beach).
My birthday celebration would not be complete without reservations at Cafe Rio in Rio Del Mar.
Mango Salsa atop Swordfish resting on shaved Brussel Sprouts and Rice was delicious, but of course, I saved room for dessert.
Words cannot express the intense flavor of this dessert. As Tess Flanders expressed in 1911, “Use a picture. It’s worth a thousand words.”
Can another person truly appreciate the collections of another? I’ve been contemplating the answer to this question. Each time I climb the stairs to my attic, I transcend the reality of down below. Surrounded by bins full of color, texture, and print transports me to a reality all my own. Will someone else be able to share my reality or create their own?
I own three Singer sewing machines, two Bernina sewing machines and one Bernina Funlock machine. My first Singer was given to me by my parents as a Christmas gift, the second was given to me by my husband when I was expecting our daughter, and the third I bought from a co-worker who needed the money. The Bernina I purchased for myself and the second Bernina was given to me after my mother-in-law passed away. Each machine, as silly as it sounds, represents a stage in my life. They are a part of my history.
Which brings me to the reason for this post…I didn’t think I had much in common with Betty, except for her son and granddaughter, my husband and daughter. Well, that was until I inherited her sewing machine, fabric and notions.
Rarely, did I see Betty wear color, but her thread collection reflects a different story.
The Stretch and Sew pins bring back memories of the Stretch and Sew knits http://www.asg.org/files/hall/2004_Person.pdf. I can’t part with her collection of hotel sewing kits, especially the one from a hotel in Sri Lanka. Betty was a world traveler reflected by the stamps in her passports (which I’ve got for safe keeping). Her collection of silk from Thailand and India, and batiks from Bali.
I appreciate Betty’s love of travel and culture, narrated by her gifts to me.
Browsing through my pictures I discovered three experiments I never posted because I didn’t feel the outcome was worthy of a blog post. Today, however, I find them quite interesting. Should I consider these attempts an experiment or mistake?
Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines experiment as “A controlled procedure carried out to discover, or demonstrate something .” Mistake, “To blunder in the choice of.”
Attempt #1: Originally, I did not find the colors appealing in the scarf I felted with the novelty yarn. Now, I do.
Attempt #2: At the time, I thought the felted roving looked like a jumbled mess, but know the fiber looks like a spider web with a multitude of possibilities.
Last but not least, Attempt #3: The knitted block/rectangle was suppose to look like a log cabin quilt. I wasn’t attracted to the outcome, but know I am pleased with the colors and texture created by the different yarn and color combinations.
I don’t consider these mistakes, they are experiments. Perhaps our creative tastes evolve with time and experience.
How can I describe why I like to knit? Is it the tactile experience of the yarn running through my fingers, color unfolding on my needles, texture created by stitches or sharing a common interest with others?
I realized why I like to knit. Today, I watched Kate try on her completed sweater for the first time. With a sense of pride, she marveled at her silhouette in the mirror and called me her fairy godmother for making her “knitting wish come true.” Thanks Kate!
It’s no secret that I’m more about letting yarn do what it’s supposed to do. What do I mean? Mohair added to any fiber, man-made or natural creates a beautiful subtle halo of color and softness, but combining novelty yarns together “knit as one” or with a natural fiber does not interest me. Yarns have their own fiber content, color and texture waiting to be transformed. Knit as individuals, different gauges and fiber content used in the same project creates a juxtaposition of weight and appearance which produces an interesting sculptural quality. In my personal opinion, combining yarns “knit as one” does not allow the individual yarn to speak for itself. Knit and crochet stitches translate for the yarn a language for all to see.
A sampler of textures expressed in the following images were knitted using Alchemy Yarns, and Habu(top left) and Habu and SMC Select (bottom two images).Using a size 10 US (6mm) needle, the stitches in the pieces were stockinette stitch, garter stitch, K1, P1 rib, K2, P1 rib, (RS) K1, P1 and purl back on the WS, seed stitch and Polperro Laughing Boy stitch. Kits for the scarf pictured below are available from email@example.com.
“I’m hooked.” I gravitate toward patterns creating design, stitches manipulating tension and the unpredictability of motifs determined by the placement color. I am determined to manipulate yarn with a reasonable amount of preparation and a minimal amount of blood, sweat and tears. So with that being said, I purchased four more skeins of Craftsmart yarn in Color #15 Sangria.
Purl stitches change the tension of the piece, commonly referred to “uneven tension” in the knitting world. The random puckering of the surface adds visual interest to the piece, an uneveness, “topography on purpose.” I plan on knitting four squares, joining each square into a garment displaying a topographical relief of peaks and valleys.
Creating motifs knitting traditional Fair Isle or Intarsia are not of interest to me. Each time I crack the cover of Kaffee Fassett’s, kaffee Knits Again or Sasha Kagan’s, Country Inspiration, I marvel at pictoral images translated from rows of charted squares and symbols. The knitter uses her needles, like a painter does her brush, with each stitch or stroke emerges color, pattern and texture.
In order to visually create pattern and texture, I am fascinated with the dimensional effects offered by knit, purl and slip stitches. The textural quality of knit and purl stitches are unlimited. Mosaic patterns are formed by slipping stitches over rows giving an impression that two or more colors have been used in the same row. The Harmony Guides 250 Creative Knitting Stitches, Volume 4 and Mosaic Knitting by Barbara G. Walker have captured my attention.