Wednesday, January 13, 2021

Knitting the Pandemic

Thank you, Lynda, for passing along this item from CBC News. Each stitch on Sarah McLean's epic project represents 100 COVID-19 cases. It takes her hours a day to keep up. 

While I have not attempted anything as ambitious as McLean's project, I have found some solace in knitting during these difficult days. At this point I am using wool scraps to make slippers for the local women's shelter. It steadies me to have something to do with my hands while watching too much television.

Sunday, January 10, 2021

"We Are the Story": quilt exhibition in Minneapolis

I'll Fly Away,
Susan Brubaker Knapp

An article in The New York Times reviews "We Are the Story", one of a series of quilt exhibitions at seven sites throughout Minneapolis and St. Paul, presented by the Textile Center and the national Women of Color Quilters Network. The first exhibition, "Gone but Never Forgotten:Remembering Those Lost to Police Brutality, is available online, and other shows run through the spring.

Writing on the Wall,
Deborah Fell

Wednesday, January 6, 2021

Architecture and Knitting Machines

I subscribe to a blog by painter James Gurney, where I recently learned about an innovative approach to building that relies on knitted textiles to support concrete construction. This method is being explored as a new way to build affordable housing, with a smaller environmental footprint.

The video below features architect Mariana Popescu, explaining how knitting machines can create the "bones" of concrete structures.

Sunday, January 3, 2021

Excellence in Fibers VI

Repair (detail), Kevan Lunney, 2016
Aluminum base, neon glass tubes, industrial wool felt,
white electric cord; back fully enclosed with
removable aluminum plate, knitted construction

This virtual show is presented by the New Bedford Art Museum, in Massachusetts. It showcases fifty-two outstanding works, juried from over 1100 submissions, in the categories of 

  • Installation
  • Sculptural
  • Vessels
  • Wall and Floor, and
  • Wearables.
The exhibition presents a truly astonishing diversity of material, technique, and subject.

Wednesday, December 30, 2020

The Queen and The Crown @ the Brooklyn Museum

Those who have enjoyed the Netflix series of The Crown, Season 4, and The Queen's Gambit, may wish to know more about the costumes. Currently, the Brooklyn Museum is staging a virtual show that allows visitors to see many of the costumes made for these productions, to view them in detail, and to access more information from the costume designers themselves.

To learn more, go to the exhibition website, which offers a link to a virtual exploration of the show. The link includes film clips featuring the various costumes, and a panel discussion with the designers.

I learned about this exhibition by reading Leanne Delap's article in a recent issue of The Kit, available here.

Sunday, December 27, 2020

Hidden Pond Yarns

Many of us are especially focused on family at this time of year.  So please indulge me when I explain how very proud I am of my daughter, Katya. The busy mom of two little ones, Katya has long had an interest in knitting and a great eye for colour. When the pandemic began, she took the opportunity to open a home-based business, offering hand-dyed yarn. Hidden Pond Yarns is getting 5-star reviews!

Katya's gorgeous yarns are available through her Etsy site. Their rich colours have even re-kindled my own long-dormant interest in knitting.

Wednesday, December 23, 2020

Another project for Christmas giving

without hat

I discovered this charming doll pattern on line, and just had to knit it up for my granddaughter. A steep learning curve for me, but I persisted. I love her unruly hair. My daughter chose the colour palette and supplied me with her own hand-dyed yarn.

with hat

The pattern is available on-line from Mary Jane's Tearoom, along with knitting patterns for delightful teddies, elephants, rabbits and mice. The patterns are also carried by Ravelry and Etsy (just do a search for "Mary Jane's Tearoom".)

Sunday, December 20, 2020

Quilt as Political Statement

AIDS Memorial Quilt panel, NAMES Project

This recent article in The Observer, by Karen Chernick, traces the history of quilts as political statement.

In Quilting as a Radical Act: An Exhibition Examines the Art Form's Revolutionary Impact, Chernick reviews a new exhibition at the Toledo Museum of Art, titled Radical Tradition: American Quilts and Social Change. 

While the common public perception of quilts and quilters is one of cozy domesticity, the reality is often different. This show gathers together over 30 quilts from the mid-19th century onward, revealing a long history of quilts made for social causes.

Quilts that comment on our current pandemic, and that pay tribute to its victims, are no doubt already in the making. 

Wednesday, December 16, 2020

"Creative Threads" @ BIG Arts, Sanibel Island

Thank you, Lynda, for sharing news of this 3-artist exhibition of art quilts, currently staged at BIG Arts Gallery, Sanibel Island, Florida. Featured is the fibre-based art of Sally Dutko, Bonnie Langenfeld, and Angela Scozzari.

While we can't teleport to Florida, we can enjoy the virtual version of this show.

Sally Dutko, Dots Without the Polka,
hand-dyed cottons, silk

I particularly enjoyed the larger pieces in the exhibition, one of which is shown above. The physical space of the gallery seems to favour the bigger, bolder works. No doubt the charms of the smaller pieces are appreciated by those seeing the show in person.

Sunday, December 13, 2020

All in good fun

For me, one of the joys of being a grandmother is making things for the grandchildren.

Here is a recent project I've completed for my little grandson, whose nursery has been given a "hunting lodge" theme. 

I made the "stag head" from a pattern by Amie Scott, a Toronto-based pattern designer, who also offers clothing patterns. On her website are similar patterns for unicorns, bunnies and rhinos. Amusing, yes?

Wednesday, December 9, 2020

Artists Reinvent the Mask

 From The Guardian: 45 artists were asked to reinvent the mask. Here's the link.

Porcupine Fish, Liz Sexton

Beak, Elizabeth Morisette

Breathing Apparatus, Adrienne DeLoe

Sunday, December 6, 2020

Vogue Magazine celebrates patchwork

Recently published by Vogue, an amazing photo essay about patchwork on the runway. Catch it here.

Dolce & Gabbana,
spring 2020 ready-to-wear