Friday, July 25, 2014

Great Things To Look At

Happy Friday, everyone! While I'm working on a fun project using the Berroco yarn to the left, I thought I would provide you with a few links and tips to really wonderful designs I've come across during the week.

If you haven't yet seen this awesome fall designs show from Lion Brand, you're in for a treat. While I admit I'm not the biggest lover of 100% acrylic yarn, they do have a time and place, and while yes, Lion Brand does promote a fair amount of its acrylic yarn through this show, there's also a lot of other great yarn they produce, and these designs are just super no matter what yarn one uses. Of course, I provide full disclosure: I design with many of the Lion Brand yarns, and especially love their LB Collections line. So, sit back and enjoy:

And if you've still got a little more fall preview to spare, I would urge, urge, urge you to check out Louisa Harding's new books for A/W 2014. They are simply stunning - great use of color and pattern : EsquelEventyr (check out all that fur)Nightingale (so many stunning accessories), Odense, and Susurro (just so decadent). Some of her best work, I think.

Now don't forget to head on over to Andrea's at Wisdom Begins in Wonder and see how everyone's Tour de Fleece spinning is winding down (bad, bad pun I know).

Monday, July 21, 2014

And Then There Was Pink

I'm currently working with both of these yarns - which one is
considered "pink" and which one "orchid" by each of their
respective yarn companies?
I have traditionally been a black kind of gal. Still am in many respects (no metaphors intended). Nevertheless, I have been taken with color over the last several years, and recently with pink. 

Pink! Just writing the word makes me squirm. And yet I have been drawn to it (one of my recently published designs, Tunisian Lace Curtains, was created with pink hemp lace weight yarn). I have made blankets with various shades of the stuff. I've created paintings with the color. I cannot tell you from whence the swell of pink love (or at least, appreciation) stems; nevertheless, I like the color. Sort of a lot at the moment, if truth be told.

A quick check of the cultural associations with pink: Pink Panther, Pepto Bismol, Barbie (gah, squirming again), pink Cadillac (both the actual car as well as the song), Pink Floyd, pink bubblegum, pink flamingos (now so retro chic), and hysterical 60s pink holiday trees. Currently pink is associated with women and girls; blue with men and boys, but it wasn't always this way. Since blue was traditionally thought to be a calming color, it was associated with girls and pink, the more lively color, associated with boys. Of course, in the 21st century, that's all changed.

I've been pinning lots of pink images on one of my Pinterest boards for quite some time, and I leave you with a few select ones. If you're a pink fan, enjoy! From left, top - bottom center: Palace of the Winds in Jaipur, India, a beautiful image from a building in Dubai, pink sheep in Scotland farmer-dyed with non-toxic dyes, a wash of rose paint.

Friday, July 11, 2014

Design Backstories this Fee-Fi(ber)-F.O. Friday

Hello my fiber lovin' friends - it is once again that Friday fiber arts time of the week. I thought I'd provide some background to the three recently published designs I blogged about on the 1st. All of them can be found at (although only one has thus far made it to the Ravelry database):

1. Boxed Sorbet Blanket: Designed in connection with an article I wrote for the same e-zine/edition about the difference between three different crochet stitch clusters, this blanket's inspiration is one of my own paintings: Tunisia Tryptich: Pink Blocks (scroll down once at the link to check it out). Made in Berroco Weekend (of which I posted a photograph here), I thoroughly enjoyed this blanket's design process. Not only did I see so much more in the painting while staring at it for several weeks (!), but the Berroco yarn is wonderful to work with, and the colorways are just so yummy. I really did think about gelato a lot while making this project (when I wasn't drinking copious amounts of coffee). 

2. Colorblock Plum Scarf - did a wonderful job photographing this lovely summer scarf made in Fibra Natura's 100% flax yarn (again, blogged about here). I think they even used one of their editors as the model! This is a very easy project - one that is perfect for traveling. It's light weight and fairly mindless, yet the end result is fantastic. I would highly recommend flax or linen or a very rustic, nubby cotton/silk for this scarf. The key to this project's success is definitely in the yarn texture, so do keep that in mind. 

3. Tunisian Lace Curtains: Last, but definitely not least, my wonderfully lacy tunisian crochet curtain panels. Don't let these panels fool you: a generously-sized hook + lace weight hemp yarn = a light, airy outcome. The stitch pattern is easily memorized and there's not a difficult stitch in the bunch. The absolute keys to project success here lie in blocking aggressively to bring out the beauty of the lace as well as the fiber, and choosing a tonally related yet different colorway for the rod pockets. 

I must give a shout-out to Tara Swiger. I met her during a local crafty event in December, 2010. That's where I first saw her excellent yarn and knew I wanted to make things with it. While we've both come a long way since 2010, and the main focus of Tara's business has veered in a slightly different direction, she's still providing wholesale this great hemp laceweight (and you can find out where to purchase it here). I so enjoyed working with it. 

Now I hope you will head on over to Andrea's place at Wisdom Begins in Wonder and see what fiber stuff everyone is spinning/weaving/hooking/sticking this week. We are in the middle of the Tour de France, so it's a safe bet there will be lovely Tour de Fleece spinning to ooh and aah over. As for moi, I'm finishing up a project using this:

Stay cool and calm everyone, and carry on with the fibering.