Over the past few weeks Birch Bay evolved from an unspun batt, to spun singles and then to a two-ply yarn. Today, I finally finished
knitting it into a delightful slouchy hat (a bit slouchier than I
intended, but more on that later). I know that I was imagining a red and
black hat last time, but I decided to start at the opposite end of the
ball and wound up with an (almost) entirely vivid blue hat instead! I love that the colors shift into the dark magentas towards the crown and the shiny strands of sparkle really pop too.
I had a little bit of relaxation time during the holiday season, and it was nice to be able to sink my teeth into some fiber projects (both new and old). I did start a bunch of knitting projects, but I also had time to take my spinning wheel for a, um, spin.
Working alongside so many clever crafters, it is easy to branch out of my comfort zone and try my hand at new projects and crafts. In addition to those who knit and crochet, there are also spinners, weavers, and dyers here at the KP office – a wealth of knowledge and inspiration! Over the past year, I have crocheted a few amigurumi toys and learned how to weave on a rigid heddle loom. Not only is it so much fun to explore new ways to indulge my fiber love, but it is also welcomed reality check. It was strange and exciting to be back into that unknown territory where I couldn’t read my stitches and I wasn’t sure if my hands were moving correctly to warp the loom. It was fun to have a project where I could embrace the experience and learning process rather than focus on the finished object.
In the spirit of a new year and new projects, I am beginning to plan my list of new things to try out in 2012. First things first – I am starting to realize I have a growing collection of fiber. I have a drop spindle that I play around with from time to time, but I think learning to spin would be a much more effective use of my time and fiber!
When we first received our shipment of Full Circle, I was in love. I love single ply yarns & this one was even more interesting since it was from recycled wool!
I especially loved that it was in 100 gram skeins! So I immediately snapped up a couple of colors…but then I had to decide on what to do.
Occasionally as a designer, the opportunity arises to really explore
the art of knitting. When I was in college, knitting was another artform
to me, much like the metals, encaustic and foam core board I was used
to playing with. I liked that it was an additive, structural process. As
I was studying modern art, I started seeing all mediums in a different
way; there’s so much more possibility in any medium than can be
expressed in its intended use. This, to me, was as true for oil paints
as it was for yarn.
One concept I often explored in my art was the balance of hard/soft.
That old theme was reinvigorated when I started to really think about
the linear, almost mechanical process of knitting with something so soft
and changeable as yarn. Pondering artists like Chuck Close, Warhol and
Kandinsky, I thought, what if they were knitters? What would they do
with yarn? And so I started to play.