Sunday, May 29, 2016

Working With Fiber: Modern Weaving!

Lately I am getting lots of opportunities to work with fiber in new ways! Over the years I have collected all kinds of beautiful yarns, roving, and fibers.

I am the project manager for the Weaving Stories project for the Sadu House in Kuwait in honor of Kuwait being chosen the Islamic Cultural Capital of 2016. We are involving the community in creating a panoramic woven wall, inspired by the traditional Bedouin tent divider. This wall will celebrate the traditions and culture of Kuwait. It will be made up of pieces created by artists and makers in Kuwait and abroad in the medium of their choice. 

We are holding workshops to get people inspired to work with their hands and give them the skills they need to start creating, as well as to encourage them to make pieces for the Weaving Stories installation. 

Consulting with us, is Lesli Robertson, an artist and professor of textiles from Texas. She has been visiting us the past two weeks and she taught a wonderful workshop on the art of modern weaving, called Woven Paintings. Participants were given looms to use and take home with them, so they can continue to weave! Most of the participants were new to weaving, and everyone created their own mini work of art! Here is a nice article that was written by the Kuwait Times about the workshop.

I wove my first piece, and really enjoyed it so much! I was able to combine my love for fibers, and my embroidery, and freeform crochet experience into this piece. As soon as I finished it, I was ready to start another! It is in progress and will definitely include crochet. The posibilities are endless, and I think that weaving could be a really fun thing to do while traveling! You can use a mix of fibers, colors, and textures, and it is very relaxing. It is really like painting with yarn!

Stay tuned for my crochet infused weavings!

Sunday, May 15, 2016

Crocheting with Dark Thread

I wear black practically every single day, but I didn't realize until a few days ago that I rarely crochet with black or dark thread. It wasn't because I was a afraid of not being able to see the stitches either. I guess I just gravitate towards earth tones for crocheting.

This week I decided that I NEED a black version of the Bow Tie Necklace I designed for Robyn Chachula's new book, Vintage Modern Crochet. Since I wear so much black, I thought it is something that I would really wear a lot. I got out my DMC Pearl Cotton 8 and a 1.25 mm hook, and began to crochet at night, in a half lit room because I was trying to get my daughter into bed time mode. Big mistake! Even though I am comfortable with the pattern, "crocheting into the ridges on the underside of the chain" seemed like navigating a dark rocky road on foot! I decided to wait until my daughter went to sleep so I could crochet in a lighter room. That helped, but it still wasn't light enough to see the stitches! Next I got out a portable light and crocheted very close to it. That helped a little more. I was wearing black pants, and I noticed that they were not helping me to see the stitches. I found a white cloth to put on my lap to give a contrasting background which brightened the effect of the light. I was able to get the first row done with these new conditions, but was too tired to continue to the second row.  In the morning I did the same thing, but found crocheting even easier with the morning light added into the mix. Black thread and tiny hooks still aren't my favorite combination, but at least I completed the project I set out to crochet! I am in search of black chain to finish it off. I can't wait to be able to wear it!

I will be showing you how it turned out on June 2nd, when I post about a giveaway I am doing of a digital copy of Vintage Modern Crochet. Stay tuned!

Thursday, May 5, 2016

The "Crochet" Motif, That isn't Crocheted!

Photo by Penguin & Fish
You know that feeling when you discover a new idea that is so exciting that it makes the creative wheels in your head start spinning? That is how I felt when I discovered this embroidery pattern by Alyssa Thomas of Penguin and Fish. You must go to her blog to read about her lovely inspiration for this design and how it is used as a part of The Splendid Sampler.

At first glance, I thought it was a crocheted motif stitched onto the fabric. When I realized that it was actually embroidery stitched to look like crochet, my mind was blown! What a fantastic idea! I love combining two crafts, and this is such a unique way to do it! If you know how to crochet and embroider, you can make the stitches look as though they are crocheted. It makes me want to try following the directions for a crochet pattern, and embroider the stitches onto fabric instead. It would be a very interesting experiment!

This version of Penguin and Fish's design was stitched by the talented Harmonie, whose work I recently discovered on Instagram. Isn't it beautiful!
Photo by Harmonie
To illustrate that this really is embroidered:
Photo by Harmonie 
I am now envisioning embroidery stitches on fabric as I crochet. I really must try this soon! Thank you Alyssa, for such a wonderful idea!