September 11, 2009

Another Bear, the sailor...

I have finished making the "sailor" bear for little S. I am really pleased with this very big bear, he is more than 24" tall. He is going to live in a warm place and I thought the sailor outfit (a childlike interpretation) was appropriate. Imagining a resourceful bear, looking for an adventure in play, I wanted a paper folded hat. It is actually made from interfaced muslin that has the comic pages transfered on strategic areas. It is not only a sturdier alternative for an active boy, but is a reminder of the city it came from as well as the date it was constructed.  A simple sailor's collar and fishy heart completed the costume. He has a wool felt heart nestled inside his stuffing, with the child's name and date. S. will give him a name! My uncle was delighted with him and will be delivering "sailor bear" for me to a very special boy in his life. 

P.S. I was having fun with Photoshop in the first picture!

September 9, 2009

Norwegian Purl for Continental Knitters

This is for the continental or "picking" knitters out there. I hated purling! It always felt awkward for me and slowed me down a bit.
I had this odd way of "throwing" when I needed to purl, using my left hand to throw, ridiculous, I know. We probably all have some unusual habits when it comes to knitting or crocheting. I am convinced it is a combination of how old we were when we were taught and if we were quite young (me, for instance) our imitation of the teacher, accomplished in a way that our (my) immature fingers could manage. Does that make any sense? Over the years I became quite adept at making the end product look tensioned evenly, but it wasn't pretty to watch. I was told that everyone does it differently, but I still felt slightly embarrassed in front of other knitters, who somehow "got" the continental purling technique down pat and were just as quick and fluid with it as their garter stitches.

Enter...Norwegian purling! Here is the video that changed everything (as far as purling is concerned) for me. I believe it was featured in a article that I received in an email "round up". I will not attempt to explain it in detail (just watch), but the basic idea is, this stitching method let's you purl without moving the working yarn to the front! If you hate to purl, give this a try. You will have to practice it, but once you have it you will love it. Now I rib and cable like a pro...let me know if you decide to try it.

September 8, 2009

Beautiful Felted Vest

I just love the beautiful felted vest made by Margo (Her Majesty Margo). The colors are magnificent, the cut of it is perfect. She made this vest as part of a workshop given by Myfawny Stirling, another incredible artist. I can only hope she will give another workshop soon. Wet felting is a glorious process, in which all sorts of transformations take place under your hands. It has an ancient history in many cultures, of course, functional as well as decorative, but todays artists are stretching the boundaries in the most extraordinary ways. Incorporating various materials, such as the silk in Margo's vest, known as Nuno, is one of my favorites. Silk, another ancient medium, adds a strong but light dimension to dense felt. An oxymoron for sure, but the results are undeniably
remarkable. Thank you Margo, for sharing your workshop experience and the gorgeous result of your endeavors! Check out some of Margo's other work here.