20 September 2013

More Fiber Art on Display

At the beginning of the summer, I mentioned a number of opportunities to view fiber art in the metro Atlanta area. I am happy to report there are more opportunities this fall!

Georgia Quilt Show, which this year is at Cobb Galleria.
It was open Thursday and Friday, and will be open tomorrow, Saturday 21 September, from 10:00 AM - 5:30 PM. Tickets are $10 at the door.
This show has plenty of vendors and classes. But if you just want to view the work, keep walking past the vendors. The back half of the exhibition hall has quilts on view, and the work is stunning. Allow yourself a couple hours to take it all in.

"Fantasy in Fiber" is currently on view at Lamar Arts in Barnesville, Georgia.Open hours are Fridays 11 AM to 2 PM and Saturdays 10 AM to 4 PM.
The show runs through 31 October 2013.
This venue is an hour's drive south of Atlanta. Just follow I-75 south to Exit 201 and proceed west on Highway 36. When the road forks, keep left and follow it into town. The art gallery is a converted rail depot, and it will be on your right. Barnesville is an adorable small Southern town, perfect for walking around, getting a bite to eat, and lingering in the local antique shops. Artists on exhibit include Lucinda Carlstrom, Leisa Rich, Lynn Pollard, Anne Vincent, Judith Krone, and Karen Tunnell amongst others.
Coral Reef by Susan Hanberry, on display at Lamar Arts
Southeast Fiber Arts Alliance is making significant use of their exhibition space.
Currently on view from the Atlanta Chapter of the American Sewing Guild: "National Sewing Month: Sew for the Skill of It!"
On view through Saturday 28 September 2013.
This exhibition has a surprising range. There are quilts and clothes, but also dolls and fabric pottery! Some people are sewing to construct something, others are sewing for embellishment. There is also a silent auction in conjunction with this exhibition. The holidays are not all that far away, and this is a great opportunity to pick out a handcrafted gift.

In October, SEFAA will be showing "It's All in the Cards" from Fiber Art Fusion. If I am understanding correctly, this exhibit comes from a challenge project where members drew randomly from a deck of playing cards. Dates are 8 through 25 October.

And in November, SEFAA's resident artist Karen Tunnell will be exhibiting her work. Karen stiffens fabric and then marbles it, a technique you might recall from the end papers of old books. The initial patterns often resemble geology and cartography, reflections in water, or other natural but chaotic patterning. She often embellishes on top of the marbling, either with stitching or drawing. Her works appear abstract at a distance, but many have hidden recognizable imagery up close. The colors and patterns alone are often pleasing, but many of her works are topical, dealing with environmental issues. I believe Karen may also be having an open house to coincide with this show.
Tumbling Stones by Karen Tunnell
As with all SEFAA exhibitions, more information can be found here on their website.
SEFAA is open most weeks on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 10 AM to 4 PM.
SEFAA is located just off I-75 at Exit 252 Northside Drive NW. Proceed south one block on Northside Drive, then turn right at the traffic signal on to Bellemeade Ave NW. As you head up the hill, just past the apartments you can turn right into the back entrance to the senior center. SEFAA's space is in there. Or you can go to the first stop sign, turn right, come in through the front, and someone can direct you to SEFAA's space.

12 September 2013

Keeping It Simple

Another scrap-busting project I finished earlier in the summer is the "Keep It Simple Spiral" from Betsy Beads by Betsy Hershberg. If you have a scrap stash and a bead stash, Betsy's book is an excellent addition to your knitting library. Most of the projects are quick, fun, and gift-able. For me, this was a true scrap-bust, as the yarn was a sample of South West Trading Company Amaizing from February 2009. The beads were already in stash, too. I did need to purchase a magnetic clasp at Michael's.

This project begins with stringing beads; but with the proper tool, it should take less than half an hour and possibly less than fifteen minutes. Because the whole project is i-cord and the yarn was a little slick, I increased the coefficient of friction by using my wooden Blue Sky Alpacas double-pointed needles. Mine project is choker length because that's how much yarn I had. But pattern could easily be a longer necklace or a shorter bracelet. It is easy enough for knit-night or television knitting. If you like sporting events, you could probably make one each weekend while watching football and be ready for holiday gift giving in time for the post season.

11 September 2013

Nearly Instant Gratification

Things are finally settling into what is now the new normal. The Cuddly Hubby was back in town for our 19th consecutive Dragon*Con. Woo-hoo! He stayed a few extra days, and it was very good to have a few days of what was the old normal.

For once I remembered to take some knitting to Dragon*Con. After all, it is four days of sitting in panels, so it is prime knitting time. And the costuming is always inspiring. I limited myself to four outfits during the weekend, and that left just enough room to pack a some yarn. One project was cast on after Dragon*Con -- the Circular Stranded Baby Surprise Jacket. I'm still poking away at it.

Another was cast on and all but bound off during the convention, but then I changed my mind and decided to knit it over again with some refinements. That project is a blanket square, and it is still in production right now. It is great as television knitting while I catch up on the latter half of the second season of Grimm.
The third project I did cast on and work all but the bind-off during the convention. The Fall 2013 Giorgio Armani Prive collection prominently featured the color pink. Armani chose not a strong pink, but a soft whisper just-barely-there almost-nude pink. It is like the color of champagne with just a drop or two of strawberry or raspberry juice, or perhaps the drippings off a maraschino cherry. This, of course, reminded me of a certain lovely skein of angora-merino blend from the market in Uzes, France. I had been looking for an excuse to work up something in “The most Beautiful Shawl on Earth” stitch pattern from page 177 of The Haapsalu Shawl. And I've been trying to work up small one-skein or less projects as samples for my scrap-busting class.
The directions for this cowl are simple. Using backward loop, cast on in the round in multiples of 14 -- mine has 84 stitches. Follow the chart from the book. Do be careful, as the pattern shifts a bit and your beginning of round marker will need to adjust accordingly. But it is pretty obvious where the center of the motifs are, so you can always find your place from round to round. Bind off using Elizabeth Zimmermann's sewn bind-off to match the cast on. I didn't even bother to block the cowl, because the buttery soft angora might object. Yes, this is pure luxury, which is why I've photographed it with my grandmother's mink stole. If you like to fold the cowl snug, as I have, a single pearl or diamond tack pin or even a cuff link is perfect.