Sunday, September 22, 2013

So I went by the Green Bean the other day to get some shots of the show up on the walls. I have to say, the photos don't do any of it justice but I so badly wanted to share them that these will have to do! Half of the pieces were finished within hours of hanging so I guess it won't be till the end of October when I get a chance to properly document those pieces. Did I mention the show will be up through October now? That's pretty exciting since the High Point Furniture Market happens in October, so now all the interior design big-wigs can buy it all up!!

 This post I'm going to highlight the 3 "Aloof" pieces. This was my first go-round with Intarsia, a color knitting technique where the colors are connecting at points of change, but are all worked separately. This means every time you need a new color within a row, it needs its own ball of working yarn, follow me? So, starting at the top, things were easy, I had two colors, 3 balls of yarn and I got to start getting the feel for it. But then, as I advanced, more and more balls of yarn were needed. 6 then 12, then 15.

This is 15 working yarns here. In truth, it's not difficult to knit with 15 yarns, the difficulty lies in keeping the balls organized. There's a few methods I approached to dealing with this problem. First I tried the don't-worry-about-it method for a few rows and then would stop and reorganize. Next I tried sitting on the floor and attempted to keep the balls from moving while I fastidiously kept them in order every stitch. 
Not fun. 

 Then I went for everyone's favorite, the fuck-it method. Here I happily enjoyed my knitting while caring less about the balls behind my work. This works great until the tangle seizes up completely and won't allow you to advance any further. At this point, I was up to 23 working yarns active on the needles. WOAH. I decided to persevere with this method, cutting when necessary to free my yarn and just get the damn thing over with!

 Here I am after the storm clouds of wool yarn have rolled back and I find myself on the homestretch. When a new yarn is started, the tail is brought to the front, to keep it from getting mixed up and mixed in with everything else. Those have to be dealt with after finishing.

 Ahhh, peace and tranquility! How clean it looks! Success! But with one mistake, so of course that means I have to do another one. I also wanted to play with multiple color schemes, and liked them all so much that I couldn't decide which to do. Aaand some jerk told me to do all of them and of course I listened.

This is #2 or "Aloof (orange)" as its labeled. Color isn't very accurate in this image but did my best with the lighting available. I got organized on round 2. I had the wizened days of weeks past to keep me from jumping in so recklessly on this one. And instead of finding myself bored with repeating a design, I found myself knowledgable and was able to work more smoothly with less brain-wrapping attention given to my work. That was nice.

 Here we go, I found every possible can or jar around the house to test this theory of organization. Luckily for me, I have a plethora of large industrial thread spools from a local hosiery mill and Adam's old Bali Shag habits worked in my favor. This didn't work quite as well as I hoped, mainly when the balls of yarn got so small that they didn't have enough weight to stay in their proper compartment, but it  still was much better than any of my earlier attempts. 

By the time I got to #3, "Aloof (pink)", pictured top, I came to the conclusion that simply having small balls of working yarn that could be pulled through the tangled mess when needed proved easiest. This means from time to time you have to knot and add more when you run out, but it's a small price to pay. That, with the jars, was sufficient.

Now I'm looking at a new knitting project that is pushing me into the 30 balls of yarn range. Am I crazy???

Stay tuned...

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

We had the opening to our show on Friday, it was great! Thanks to everyone who came out and supported us. Megan did a little window graphics to add some enticement for passerbys. 

I'm realizing now that this is sorta my first real art show. Megan and I did a little show in a family garage a couple years ago but hardly the "putting-yourself-out-there" kind of venue as this. To be an artist, and suddenly find yourself and all your work in public can create very conflicting emotions. On the one hand, you have these pieces that you put incredible amounts of time, thought, and energy into, and you love them and believe in them and you want to share that. But now suddenly people are asking you where these words came from and how do you explain, "well see I was in this long relationship and it ended like this and I felt like shit and I felt these blah blah blah". And you open yourself up to criticism, which is really not that scary (Megan and I know about some criticism - we went to art school and we've already gotten torn apart!) 

The real anxieties I felt with this show came from two places: having so much attention placed on me and wondering if I am going in the right direction with my career, the latter being a mainstay these days that I'm thinking comes with simply being in my 20's. Have you ever heard Wayne White's expression "beauty is embarrassing"? There's something about getting praise or compliments or such that it starts to make you feel real uncomfortable and, well, embarrassed. And you totally appreciate it and it certainly means something to you but I found myself ready to not be the center of attention by the end of the night. I just want people to enjoy the show and enjoy the colors and textures and take whatever meanings they want from it all and allow it to put them in a new place for a moment. And I can watch them from the corner and feel smug in my little heart :)

Not surprisingly enough, I didn't bother pulling out a camera to document the show. That will have to come later! Here's the table while we were still figuring out wall arrangements and I got around to signing the new art prints. Can't wait to share the latest pieces when I can!!

Monday, September 2, 2013

Hooray! Another project finally realized!

I just had my birthday and when I was thinking about what I wanted to do on my day, I decided to finally see this dress into fruition. Then I could wear it to dinner that night AND to my art opening next week!

I can remember the exact day I thought of this dress, November 11th, 2011...
Then I got around to dying the fabric...just about a year later...

 This was around 2 yards of a sand colored double knit cotton that was leftover from my senior fashion collection in '08.

 I started at the top, writing with my chosen resist tool (pancake batter), and it shows that the longer the batter had to dry, the better the resist turned out. I couldn't just leave everything outside for days on end, so I had to commit to spraying the dye earlier than was ideal. BUT it's cool to see where the batter was still wet, it absorbed the dye and created the opposite of a resist. That's a whole nother technique in itself.

  The greatest nugget of wisdom I got from dying class in college was, to go into a dye project with all your knowledge but don't have any expectations about how it will turn out. Dye is an unpredictable medium, no matter how skilled you are, and it is A LOT more fun if you just go with it!

 Here I am using Skram's awesomely-huge table that's living in the upholstery room. This past week I closed the door on my sewing studio in Hillsborough and moved over here to Burlington. Jacob has been so kind as to allow me use of the upholstery room, being that it goes unused when I'm not in there working for him :)

 This is a simple dress pattern, modified from a silly Vogue pattern at Hancock's. Part of me might be too proud to use another pattern and not draft my own but part of me just wanted that sleeve pattern without the work! It's still not a perfectly tweaked pattern but it's getting there. I made a dress in the winter from this that had a longer hem and long sleeves, and there I tried out a neckline that didn't thrill me, so I'm testing a new shape and finishing technique for the neck on this dress.

 I'm happy the words are mostly unreadable, the idea was not to say anything but use script for its beauty. The words came from snippets out of my journal involving previous love and devolution of that love; those are in cursive. They're intermingled with lyrics from a Future Islands song, Before The Bridge; those are in caps.

Don't forget you need a left AND a right sleeve! Two lefts just won't cut it, and of course I didn't make this mistake..... I'm a professional.....

 Backyard barn posing, harder than it looks!