Design Moodboard

 

initiateknitdesign_2018
My Pinterest moodboard for the Knit Design Challenge

 

This is my moodboard for the InitiateKnitDesign Challenge run by Francoise of Aroha Knits every year.

I popped over to Barcelona for a girly Weekend with two girlfriends and it gave me quite an emotional boost in the midwinter. Running on the beachfront Promenade, enjoying the sunshine, having Tapas, Cocktails and laughing just hit the spot.

We booked an audioguide tour to visit the Sagrada Familia Basilica (unless you’re in a travel group that takes care of everything, definitely book online beforehand. Apparently no one just Shows up and expects to get in anywhere anymore). I highly recommend going in the morning/mid-morning, so that you catch the sunlight coming through the Windows.

I was particularly taken with the tree-like columns within the Basilica. It felt like walking through a forest (but of stone), with the light streaming through the various windows in a fairly similar way to how light is filtered down to the forest floor.

I’m not sure yet what the final form will me: cowl, scarf, shawl or shrug, but that’s the start of an idea.

 

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Finished up: MoMA’s Fashion as Design

knit vest alternate materials
Moma – is Fashion modern?

 

It’s been a while since I finished the MoMA’s online course collaboration with Coursera, “Fashion as Design” which run more or less parallel to their Exhibition “Items: Is Fashion Modern.”

We looked at various items, we looked at production, inspirational heroes, silhouettes, lifecycles, modesty and expression. There were some tricky quizzes at the end of each week, but all in all, I managed to pull myself together to get it done.

I learned some new things about fashion in the late 19th and 20th centuries. But I won’t lie, it got a bit tedious at times, because I was constantly looking at the course material through the eyes of a knitter.

And there is no easy answer to the question, ‘Is fashion modern?’ because people are doing so many different things with the clothes that they put on their/our backs. Recycling, upcycling or even restyling garments of a bygone decade may feel less than modern, but the actual idea that this should be important to us is a fairly new one.

Or that making (and in particular knitting and crochet) is not old-fashioned or quaint, but a growing niche of forward-thinking activism (where supporting shepherds producing wool locally can help with anti-desertification around the world)…

 

Of note: Coursera blog’s conversation with Curator Paola Antonelli.

 

 

A Few Quick Updates

Black Panther film

Black-Panther-Nakia_small2
Walt Disney Pictures, Marvel Entertainment

 

 

 

 

I love to give credit where it is due. The designer of Nakia’s Shawl in the Black Panther film has been identified (after a concerted group effort), and has released a FREE pattern on Ravelry. So knitters of Ravelry, well done. And well done Jeff Gillies.

 

 

My knitting:

I’ve had to pause and restart some knitting. Since I last talked about my own knitting, I’ve picked up stitches on my Slow Knitting hat Sheep Sorrel by Pam Allen. I’ve also cast on for my Twisted Stirrup Socks and I visited my first wool festival.

Hope all is well in your world,

M

Art inspiring knits: Cherries

Amy Sherald in Studio 2017
Amy Sherald in her Studio fotosource: baltimoresun.com

I know, we were talking about Amy Sherald’s Portrait of Michelle Obama, but I also learned that she takes great care in choosing the clothes her subjects wear for their sittings.

Typically, Sherald …pairs her subjects with outfits carefully selected for a similar timeless feel, rendering them in comfortable stances against monochrome backgrounds, cut off at the knee, forthrightly regarding their Viewer.

Artnet News.

The Portrait, with the charming Name ‘Light is Easy to Love’,  in the Background of the photo above seems unfinished (a white picot edging was added to the collar). 

I couldn’t resist, because a cherry Pullover can sometimes be just the Thing for spring.

Fotosource: Ravelry

ClockWise from top left: Cherry on top Sweater by Sarah Kim, Paton UK’s Cherry Ripe (it IS the year of the Statement sleeve), Ryo’s Cherry Pullover (the little model on Ravelry is so cute), and Bestway’s Cherry Fair Isle Jumper (imagine it knit in that gorgeous deep blue with sky blue collar and waist trim).

 

 

Portraits and Pictures

Doreen St. Felix of the New Yorker breaks down why Amy Sherald’s Portrait of former First Lady Michelle Obama is so haunting.

 

There’s a funny thing about inspiration: While the Designer, Michelle Smith of Milly mentions to Vogue that her Inspiration was Mondrian,  Amy Sherald made the connection to the quilts of the women of Gee’s Bend.

Michelle Obama, Amy Sherald (r) unveil portrait at National Portrait Gallery
Michelle Obama and Amy Sherald unveil Portrait/ fotosource: Olivier Douliery INSTARimages.com

So although Folks are getting all upset because the portrait isn’t photo-realistic, it is clear that Obama and Sherald had a great working relationship, and she loved Sherald’s work. She likes how Sherald portrayed her for perpetuity. This is Art. It makes you stop and take a long hard look. And gets you thinking (why grey?), why this artist, why this dress, filling in the blanks, and what not.

It shook me how much Mrs. Obama looks like her younger daughter. But also how the negative space on the skirt suggests a heart (until it doesn’t). Sherald only paints 10 – 12 portraits a year, seeking out subjects who project a timeless quality. She hit it out of the ballpark.

Amy Sherald in Studio 2017
Amy Sherald in her Studio 2017 fotosource: baltimoresun.com

 

What say you?

Sports and Knitting

(Fotosource: ravelry.com)

 

Winter Games 2018 Cowl by Tanis Gray,

… because sometimes we want something sporty (ie in our country colours) but not too cheesy. I would definitely knit this up in black, red and Gold. This takes the fuss out of wondering what to knit. All about keeping it simple.

I just watched the Opening ceremony of the Winter Olympic Games in Pyeong-Chang at lunchtime, and it was quite lovely: a mix of Tradition and high-tech.

The most moving moments were when the Iranian athlete came in, almost in tears (She almost made me cry too!).  And the Nigerian Bobsled ladies  and a lone Kenyan Skier*(how cool are they? #BlackGirlMagic). I got a lump in my throat, when I saw the two Koreas entering together as one Team. The German commentators were also moved, because we remember when Germany was two states.

I absolutely love that countries that are not traditionally winter countries, are now participating in the Winter Games. It not only speaks to how Migration has been shaping our lives, but also to the magical effect of Sports (in particular Olympic sports) on countries big and small.

But about the knits:

 

OL2018_Germany
Olympic Team Uniform 2018 Pyeong-Chang /Source: teamdeutschland.de

 

 

I may be biased, but I thought the German team had the cutest hats. Red with cable diamonds and a pom pom. (One thing all Germans can agree on, is that there will ALWAYS be someone who doesn’t like the team uniform – I’m just glad they didn’t show up in some dark colours because it is supposed to be a party/ celebration of sports!)

The cutest scarves were worn by the Japanese team. Alternative headwear prize goes to Nigeria (because glitter headwraps). And the chicest outfit goes to Iran. And best non-knit outfit goes to Tonga (I hope he doesn’t catch cold). I’ll try to come back and post photos or screenshots when I can**.

So wherever you are, whomever you’re rooting for, have fun watching and knitting…

 

By the way, Tanis’ pattern is a free download from her site or Ravelry. I found out too late, that Ravellers are once again knitting, crocheting, ripping and Spinning along with the Games in their Ravellenics. I don’t think I have time for that this year… but it is good fun. This cowl would fit in the ‘Cowl Curling’ Event, and be even be eligible for a Colorwork Laurel Award.

 

*The Kenyan Skier, Sabrina Simader got a shout out from the German commentators  because she grew up in Austria, and often gets a helping Hand from the Austrian and German Teams.

via Daily Prompt: Simplify

**Updated to add Screenshots.

Long live stripes

I thought for sure, that stripes were over. I was pretty sure that stripes would settle back down in that corner where classics go to have a cocktail and catch their breaths, while Polka dots would have their Moment in the limelight. But there’s a saying in German:

“Totgesagte leben länger”

which basically means that there’s life in the old dog yet. And that means that I’m seeing those spots, alongside and stripes. But stripes of a different ilk.

Source: Vogue.com

Which makes me think of

Source: Ravelry.com

The Albers Pullover by Julia Farwell-Clay; Mitred Magic by Amy Polcyn; Liz Cardigan by Jesse Mozlan (a sweet pattern that’s currently free on Ravelry); and Bristol Ivy’s Arbus from her new book ‘Knitting Outside the Box.’

Spring/ Summer knitting

daniela gregis striped pullover 222018
Daniela Gregis ss2018 striped Pullover

 

Have you started your knitting for spring/ summer yet? Or are you still gathering Inspiration like me?

So far, the dominant trends seem to be pastels, especially lavender, brights and rainbows on the colour front.

Patterns: stripes, polka dots and florals. Silhouettes: easy-going forms alternate with statement sleeves.

photo source: Vogue.com

 

We still have a bit of time to flip through the glossies before we make up our minds and head out to the LYS.

Glamour Feb 2018 Tracee Ellis Ross in Jil Sander
Tracee Ellis Ross on the cover of February 2018 Glamour

Here’s how the Jil Sander two-piece looks on a real Person (well, although Tracee Ellis Ross is built like an amazon… Interesting that it’s styled with Jeans. Wouldn’t that be way too hot for summer?)

 

via Daily Prompt: Dominant

Winter capsule knitting

pexels-photo-758772.jpeg

I just ran across a few reminders of capsule wardrobes (which also work in the wintertime).

The Daily Connossieur’ Jennifer Scott just previewed her 10-item wardrobe for winter. However, she lives in California, as far as I’m aware. So her wardrobe Looks lighter than what I want to snuggle into when icy winds are storming their way across Germany.

Huffington Post’s Capsule includes:

  • Oversized Cardigan
  • V-Neck Tee
  • Ribbed Turtleneck
  • V-Neck sweater
  • Black leather booties
  • Knit Vest
  • Tunic
  • Knit leggings
  • Wedge Sneaker
  • Knit Dress

How would that translate into handknitting?

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Veronika Cardigan from Very Shannon; Ana D’s crocheted Knit look ribbed sweater; Michele Rose Orne’s Vanessa V-Neck; the Magnum Reversible Vest from Karen Clements (also crocheted); and Lion Brand Yarn’s Knit Dress (because after Christmas, we really want the flat tummy) Photo source: Ravelry.com

Not all these pieces are spanking new, but they have a certain timeless Quality about them, don’t you think?

 

Colour Dilemma: Ultraviolet

redheart_ultraviolet
source: blog.redheart.com

The colour of the year 2018 has been released for a while now, and I’ve been looking at it and looking at it for a good while now. Why?

I’ve been wondering what to make of it, and more precisely what to make out of it. And even if I should make anything at all. It’s a bit of a shock that I can’t decide at all.

On the one hand, I see my knits as having a journaling function. I love taking a handknit in my hands, and recalling not just the lovely memories I had wearing it, but also what was going on while I was making it. A lot of memories can attach itself to a knit (or a crocheted) Piece.

So, what will Ultraviolet be saying to me about 2018? I think I’ll have to wait a bit to know for sure.

On the other hand, it’s a much more wearable colour than Greenery, because it has more blue mixed into it.

The real dilemma is: make a garment or an accent piece? With a colour as Vibrant as Ultraviolet, the garment is the accent.

Luckily, this colour isn’t in the shops yet, so I have a moment or two to make up my mind.