Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Sheila Hicks at Joslyn

I've been trying to get to this show for a while now, and I actually paid and made it to the gallery at Joslyn Art Museum in Omaha about a month ago, but they were having trouble with their alarm system, and there were strobe lights all over the museum flashing rapidly.  It was instant headache time, so we left, and I made it back today alone.  I'm so glad I didn't miss this.  What a wonderful exhibit!

Sheila Hicks is a native of Hastings, Nebraska.  Here's what Joslyn has as her bio:

Hicks was born in Hastings, Nebraska, in 1934 and trained as a painter at the Yale University School of Art, taking courses with famed color theorist Josef Albers, pre-Columbian art scholar George Kubler, and the architect Louis Kahn. Although she had learned to embroider and knit early in life, Hicks became interested in textiles in 1956 while studying Latin American art. The following year, she traveled to South America, a formative experience for the young artist. With Santiago, Chile, as her home base, Hicks toured the continent to photograph the landscape and historical sites and learn indigenous weaving techniques. These textile practices, along with other skills the artist discovered during her extensive travels — such as back-strap weaving and Moroccan and Guatemalan rug-making — continue to inform Hicks’s approach, even as she has developed new ways to use thread. 

I really  love almost all of what they showed, although I found it interesting that the first smaller room of the exhibition gallery, that you could see some of without a ticket, was the least interesting, at least to me.  Her colors and use of varied textiles and threads is really inspiring.  

I find myself eager to try to make art rather than just garments.  We shall see how that goes.  I purchased the exhibition catalog, Sheila Hicks: Material Voices to inspire me as time goes on.

Monday, January 18, 2016

Style Arc Issy Dress with Gorgeous Fabric

 As we all know, Gorgeous Fabrics does live up to their name. Ann chooses the most beautiful things for us to try to resist. This is a pique knit print I ordered before Christmas but had planned to use it for spring.

Last week gave us some horrendously cold weather which is still with us, and I decided last night to begin a dress out of this cheery fabric, just to warm up a little.  Dresses seem to be what I want to wear lately, and I don't really have many winter dresses, and this is not one either, so obviously my planning is not the best.

 I've been wanting to try Style Arc's Issy Top as a dress since my top turned out pretty well.  (Apparently I did not blog about that top, although I like it a lot.)  I got this pattern as a free pattern-of-the-month from StyleArc with the purchase of the Zoe Pencil Skirt.  I have to say, the skirt pattern was not a winner for me.  I made it up in a nice wool, lined it, had high hopes for the interesting side seams, and it was really nothing spectacular.  However, the Issy Top has been great fun, so I feel like it turned out well either way.

As you can see in the line drawing, it's an asymmetric top with gathers on both side seams, and an unusual draped neckline that looks like it might be loose, but is firmly attached and stays put in this shape.

My dress is basically the top with 18" added to the length, and I just extended the side seam lines at the original angles.  I ended up doing one more gathered area toward the hem on the right side.

Generally, I'd have to say I like this, but I think it might be better in a plain fabric, so the ruching would show a little better, and perhaps read as "cool ruching" rather than what I am afraid may be its message, "wrinkly wrinkles".   The fashion-savvy will know the difference obviously, but the rest of the population may be flummoxed.

I think this is cute though, and I will probably wear it first for an early "Spring" luncheon in March.  Hope it's not snowing and sleeting then! 

Still Swimming

I'm still doing Water Aerobics about 3 times a week, and so I still go through swimsuits with some regularity.  I finished one about a week ago, and another one today.  These are both from fabric I got at Spandex House when I was in New York last February, and shopped with Rosie, enabler extraordinaire.

They are the same pattern, but the green/brown print has a piece of Fold-Over Elastic (FOE) used as trim at the empire line and all around the back.  I usually leave the back pretty open, but this needed something, I thought, and I think it's cute.  You can see in the photos how the elastic works.

Monday, January 11, 2016

Top This! DMC Toddler Giraffe Hat

I bought this kit the other day at Hancock Fabric, and it turned out to be a very quick project (a couple of hours) and very cute.

You knit the hat and the topper is tied on with the attached ribbons, through a rubbery "washer" on the inside of the hat.

I had enough yarn to do almost 2 toddler-size hats, and I finished the second one with a cabled cotton yarn I had on  hand from a Prada style handbag I made several years ago.  I use a pompon on the top of it, and will donate it.

Saturday, January 09, 2016

American Girl Sweater Sets

I really enjoyed knitting these sweater and  hat sets.  A friend asked me to make them for her granddaughters, and I thought I might try.

The pattern is free.  Mochi Plus 18" Doll Sweater & Hat.

 It's also available on Ravelry

Instead of the specified yarn, she chose Lion Brand's Amazing.  I thought it was a good choice, and it worked beautifully for this pattern.  I like the colors too.  The color of the top set is Arcadia, the lower one is Wildflowers.

One skein made both the sweater and hat in each colorway with only a yard or two left over.

I did the Wildflowers set first, and used the specified needle sizes of 5 and 9.  The Arcadia set was done second, and I changed to size 4 and 8 needles, although I did the hat with the original sizes in both cases.

Each set took about 3 days, and was a lot of fun to knit.  I may try other doll clothes, as these were so much fun to knit.