Monday, June 29, 2015

The Kuna: the endangered last tribe of the Caribbean

From the Guardian Newspaper:
Photographer Eric Lafforgue documents the island tribe, whose existence is threatened by rising sea levels. The Kuna live on the San Blas islands off the coast of Panama.There are roughly 50,000 Kuna, who are one of the largest remaining indigenous South American tribes. More here.
Kuna women make and wear long strings of beads 
which they wrap around their wrists and ankles

The traditional beaded leg ornaments are made in beautiful geometric patterns
The colourful molas are also sold as decorative pieces

Sunday, June 28, 2015

African Textiles at the Cooper Hewitt Museum

Architect David Adjaye mines the museum’s permanent collection for the 12th exhibition in the ongoing Selects series. 

On view in the Marks Gallery, the exhibition features 14 West and Central African textiles from the museum’s textile holdings, including an Asante kente cloth from Ghana, a bògòloanfini mud cloth from Mali, a Dyula ikat wrapper from Ivory Coast and a Yoruba indigo dyed wrapper from Nigeria.

With Alice

Friday, June 26, 2015

The Pattern and Decoration movement

Pioneering Feminist Arts Miriam Schapiro died recently and in her obituary I learned more about The Pattern and Decoration Movement.

Quotes about this movement from her obit:
....creating collage works that straddled the line between painting and textile art, incorporating lace, sequins, needlework, and other traditional women's art objects collected from women across the country.

Schapiro dubbed such work "femmage."

"The thing about Pattern and Decoration for us feminists was that in women's traditional art you see pattern and decoration. And of course the decorative was always considered a trivialization," Schapiro explained.  Her work looked to combat such prejudice, and to elevate craft and domestic culture.

Hidden Chambers by Joyce Kozloff

Quotes about this movement from The NY Times:They all asked the same basic question: When faced with a big, blank, obstructing Minimalist wall, too tall, wide and firmly in place to get over or around, what do you do? And they answered: You paint it in bright patterns, or hang pretty pictures on it, or drape it with spangled light-catching fabrics. The wall may eventually collapse under the accumulated decorative weight. But at least it will look great.

And where do you find your patterns and pictures and fabrics? In places where Modernism had rarely looked before: in quilts and wallpapers and printed fabrics; in Art Deco glassware and Victorian valentines. You might take the search far afield, as most of these artists did.

They looked at Roman and Byzantine mosaics in Italy, Islamic tiles in Spain and North Africa. They went to Turkey for flower-covered embroideries, to Iran and India for carpets and miniatures, and to Manhattan’s Lower East Side for knockoffs of these. Then they took everything back to their studios and made a new art from it.

Sunday, June 21, 2015

New Groups

During the World Wide Knit in Public Day, I found out about some local groups. Stopped by two this week and met some lovely women.  I plan to attend on a regular basis in the future.

1) BIG APPLE KNITS meets at Knitty City and creates stuff for Charity.  They are working on blankets for veterans with 12x12" squares.  I started the flag at the meeting and made these others at home with the yarn they gave me. The middle blue square is actually knitted with the basket-weave stitch!

2) NYC Crochet Guild hosts a "Meet-up" at the St. Agnes Library once a month. These women are involved in many groups and are very welcoming.

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

This shawl is my first big knitting project and is not considered to be a success.  In the winter, as I read in bed, I like a shawl to cover my shoulders and back.  I have a really old crocheted one with lots of little pieces of color.  I made this one to match the red afghan I use in bed.  But I don't like how it turned out.  

 - Not big enough to be effective in covering my shoulders and chest
 - Curls at the bottom
 - Color changes don't work with this fancy pattern

I will use these colors in my next attempt: a rectangle shawl!

Here's the model from the pattern via Lion Brand Yarns

Good Golly... I just realized that I was wearing this shawl upside down! 
Looking more carefully at the model, I notice the lacy V holes point upward. 
It works better this way, but it is still too skimpy. 

Sunday June 14 is FLAG DAY.  
Let's celebrate Betsy Ross, fiber artist.

World Wide Knit in Public Day

On June 13, 2015, I attended WORLD WIDE KNIT IN PUBLIC DAY in Bryant Park.

What a a blast! For the past few years, I had to work Saturdays, but this year I'm free. Imagine being surrounded by hundreds of knitters and crocheters, all chatting and creating at once. 

Met some women who run local groups I plan to attend: Knit for charity at Knitty City on West 79th Street, and the Crochet Guild on monthly Saturdays at the library.

And ... As a "fast crocheter" contest winner I won a CD of knitting songs. Forgot my camera, shucks!

  1. The Knitting Song
    (feat. John Mettam, Michel Gentile, Bennett Paster & Jim Whitney)
  1. Stick to Your Knittin’, Kitten
    (feat. Bennett Paster, Pete Smith, Jim Whitney & Joe Strasser)
  1. The Pretty Little Mitt That Kitty Knit
    (feat. Bennett Paster & Pete Smith)
  1. Sittin’ With Your Knittin’
    (feat. Jim Whitney, John Mettam & Bennett Paster)
  1. Her Name Is Pearl (And She Knits)
    (feat. Bennett Paster, Pete Smith, Nina Theisen, Paul Theisen,
    Naomi Niwa, Leo Theisen, Barry Berkman, Wendy Gall,
    Suzanne Bachner, Bob Brader & Adam Brick)
  1. Knit One, Purl Two (Miller)
    (feat. Jim Whitney, Joe Strasser, Pete Smith & Bennett Paster)
  1. Pick Up Your Knitting
    (feat. Bennett Paster, John Mettam & Michel Gentile)
  1. Tend to Your Kniting
    (feat. Bennett Paster, Pete Smith, Jim Whitney & Joe Strasser)
  1. The Knitting Itch
    (feat. Bennett Paster)
  1. Knit One, Purl Two (Jurgens)
    (feat. Bennett Paster, Jim Whitney, John Mettam & Michel Gentile)
  1. I’m Knitting a Singlet for Cecil
    (feat. Jim Whitney, Bennett Paster & Pete Smith)
  1. Knitting
    (feat. Bennett Paster)
  1. Since Kitten’s Knittin’ Mittens for the Army
    (feat. Bennett Paster, John Mettam & Michel Gentile)
  1. Sweeter in a Sweater
    (feat. Bennett Paster, Joe Strasser, Pete Smith, Jim Whitney & John Mettam)
  1. Sweeter in a Sweater (Calypso)
    (feat. Bennett Paster, Pete Smith & Joe Strasser)