Mitered Squares and Op Art

I have always had a thing for optical illusion. Those collages people do with thousands of tiny photos fascinate me, as does Op Art and Impressionism. When you look close, you see all the individual elements, and when you step back, you see the big picture. It follows then, in knitting, that I’m a sucker for mitered square projects. I’ve made mitered square blankets in the past and am currently working on this one. I would love to replicate some of Li Shurui’s work next. Her body of work is highly focused on the plays of light and color, which of course, speaks to me on yet another whole level. Many of her paintings look like photos that have been manipulated with filters, but in reality, they are acrylic paintings. Enjoy!


For the Sake of Passion

Some of us city folk have very romantic ideas about what it would be like to retire to some remote location in Maine to take care of a farm and animals and slow our pace. For me, this scenario usually looks most attractive on weeks where I’m overwhelmed, realize I’ve overbooked myself, and find my life a little too full of obligations that aren’t particularly bringing me joy. Knitters and crocheters are especially prone to these fantasies because of our appreciation for the animals who provide our fiber.

However, there are those folks who take the next step and actually make that jump, and as they say, there’s no teacher like experience. Cinnamon Girl of Maine gives in-depth descriptions of her life and challenges on the farm. She cringes at being called “inspiring”, which I’ve carefully NOT done here, and makes the point that this lifestyle is a choice to make when you’re truly passionate for it, as you will need the passion when the romance wears off. And for those of us who really are city people at heart, the point to have a passion still rings true. Pursue yours, whatever it is, and when you need an escape into someone else’s reality, a great blog helps!


Floor Installations

I am very excited to be taking a class on shadow knitting at Vogue Knitting Live later this month. Perhaps it’s my affinity for Op Art, but being able to create optical illusions fascinates me. I saw an article in Vogue a long time ago about Jim Lambie and I find his work extremely inspiring. I hope one of his floor installations will be on display in LA at some point so I have the chance to see it in person. He uses vinyl tape to create some of his installations, and aside from the fact I love all the bright colors, I also admire people who can take a mundane thing like tape and create something spectacular out of it. Of course, my medium is yarn, and once I learn the techniques behind shadow knitting, I hope to design some pieces inspired by his work.


Swants

I’ve been giving very careful thought to my next projects. Inspired by Stephen West, and my recent fun at Stitches with him, I decided to try my hand at swants. Harem-style pants are really fashionable right now, and I realized out of all the garments I’ve made, I’ve never knit any bottoms.

If you are interested in making your own, Stephen gave an excellent tutorial on his blog.

He also, just for fun, did a Youtube video of dancing in them.

There are many reasons to make swants, but the best one I can think of is putting a sweater you’re sick of to different use. There are lots of tutorials for doing it, and I would suggest doing a quick search on Youtube to watch a video if you have a hard time following the blog tutorials.

Yes, I saved the best for last. Steven and Stephen.

The two who can pull off everything, including swants!

So….you all don’t really believe me, do you??? April Fool’s! :)


A Good Education Put to Good Use

I have been super busy knitting and finishing projects (photos to come soon!), plus I worked ALOT last week for the Los Angeles Yarn Crawl. I am now on the lookout and in the mood for some new projects. I happened to stumble across this blog, and had to share. This well-educated designer who used to work for NASA and titles everything in Latin is fun to read and does great work! And I like the twist of using an ancient language as applied to an ancient tradition like knitting. Happy reading!


Playing With Color

One of the things I’ve noticed working at a yarn shop is that many people are extremely insecure about color. Usually, they know their favorites, and then they get nervous about veering away from them. This is not to say there’s anything wrong with sticking to a certain palette if that’s what makes you happy. But for all my fellow crafters out there who are wanting to change up their colors, or to become more skilled at mixing them, this designer gives you lots of fun things to try and consider. Pull out your stash, and look at it with new vision. As a designer myself, I’m pretty experimental with color, and love playing around with it. But exercises like these do help give new perspective when creative block hits. Have fun!


Inspiration Machine

Ravelry has an awesome search engine. It’s hard to beat, in fact. But, if you don’t know what to make, or you just want to play around to see what will come up that you might not have thought of, you will love this online inspiration machine. I kind of wish I’d known about this before the holidays when I was trying to figure out what to make for everyone. Of course, there’s always holiday season later this year, not to mention Mother’s Day and all the family and friend birthdays in between! Have fun!


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