Sunday, November 11, 2012

Tree Huggers

Iowa City is home to a real group of tree huggers or perhaps the trees are just cold and needed a sweater.
Maybe, but this is a wonderful piece of living art on display downtown. Local knitters designed, knitted and installed these tree huggers throughout the area. I am excited to say that three of the knitters are Craft Guild members, Jill, Sara, and Sheri.
Jill is installing her argyle hugger.
Sara's tree hugger is on the left.
Sheri's tree hugger is on the right. As the deary months arrive, these colorful wonders will make us smile. Thanks to all the knitters who took the time, energy and expense to brighten the day.

Deflection, Differnential Shrinkage, Doubleweave

This picture and this description...It does make you think...what's going on here? Ruby Leslie lead a dozen or so weavers through her Deflection, Differential Shrinkage and Doubleweave workshop. Each weaver brought in a loom ready to weave one of Ruby's patterns.
The samples were woven in classic round robin style. Her lectures discussed the interlacements of doubleweave, choices of fibers and the changes to expect. She explained that fibers shrink differently, and in doing so, move other fibers around. Here are two examples of the patterns chosen for the workshop.
The color dynamics and interweaving made this workshop unique. And yet, there was more...
After weaving, the samples were to be xeroxed, washed and dried. Now this is where the miracles occurred. It was mind-boggling to see the results, ruffles, crinkles, puffs, felting...Each of these changes dramatically altered the fabric size, design or texture. What can you do with crinkles or ruffles? This picture is a camisole that Ruby designed from yards and yards and yards of ruffle, and further embellished it to make it even more festive.
Now I know y'all are just dying to know what really was happening in that first picture...No, I wasn't praying I could weave, nor trying to sneak away. It really was simple...my timer on my camera decided I wanted 10 shots and not one...oh, well, technology wins again, amidst copious laughter. We laughed a lot and learned a lot...great workshop.

Friday, November 2, 2012

Clickety, Clack, Swoosh, Hmm.

What an intro...clickety-clack, swoosh, hmmm, oooohh. Those are the sounds you hear as knitters gather. These two groups (evening and day) of knitters meet to share their love of the craft. They love the feel of the fiber, the colors and what it does in their hands. For me, it's a love/hate relationship. It's like committing to "going to the gym". It has a noble purpose, a specific results expectation and a frustration level at the amount of time it takes. However, knowing that this time is dedicated to an activity I enjoy and I might be creatively productive contributes to its appeal. We have some very talented people in these groups. Knitting has many faces...Whether its Terry making unique mittens
or Anna Finally completing that sweater, started last fall. It can be knitting bracelets or necklaces from beads and wires. Not exactly what you'd imagine when someone asks "what are you knitting these days?". The tools for this kind of knitting are little different but they have the same properties of connecting the "yarn" or wire in this case to another in some pattern, adding beads to complete the pattern. Just as Linda did in this bracelet.
Or as Lucy did using this tool to "knit" these necklaces. Knitting, it's all about the vision, the hands, and that fiber place in your heart.

Tomorrow Comes

I don't know where the times goes, but I cannot believe its November. And yet, as I write this, my New Jersey/New York family reminds me what really is important. Time is relative and life as you know it can change in a moment...or in "Sandy's" case-a 24 hour moment. My family, still are without power, laughing and joking about camping out in the rumble, using "somebody's" wifi signal to say we're OK, and sharing whatever they have with whomever they can for that all important meal, shelter or shower. Yes, they lost a lot, but its just stuff. That which is most precious, each other, is sitting next to them, safe, reasonably dry, holding hands, reaching for that last Pringle. They are tenacious; they will come back; they have each other.