Saturday, January 26, 2008

The Quilt's Power

This quilt, which I made in November and December 2001, was recently juried into a show in the Museum TwentseWell in Enschede, The Netherlands, which will run from April to September, 2008. The quilt is entirely machine pieced, and quilted on my home sewing machine in various patterns. The show is called "De kracht van de quilt, or, The Quilt's power, and features 10 large quilts and 6 small quilts, which were all made in response to the events of 9/11. Here is a wikipedia article which describes the motivation for the show:
You can also see more of this quilt on my website ( ) in the first gallery page, at the bottom.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Seeing Stars

For his 18th birthday, my son Michael wanted a purple dodecahedron star. How could I resist making this? Pattern: Celestine by Norah Gaughan ( ) One skein Cascade 220 ( with 2 inches left over! LOL!) in Purple Hyacinth, size 6 DPNs. It was a blast to make; now my younger son wants one, too. In red, of course...

Monday, January 14, 2008

"Making Mathematics with Needlework"

The summer before last, I had the great fortune to send my son to the Hampshire College Summer Studies in Mathematics program( ) for the second time. He had a wonderful time learning and playing with mathematics, and I got to hang out with sarah-marie belcastro ( , a Math professor at Smith College, who is co-director of the program. She was knitting a magical toroidal object with teeny tiny double pointed needles! We got to talking, and I mentioned my interest in knitting and quilting. She was writing a book about Math and needlework, and I enthusiastically offered to be a pattern tester. Well, several months later, she sent me the patterns for two mobius quilt designs. I had a blast constructing these, and for good measure, made a quilt of a "squashed dodecahedron"...I sent them to sarah-marie, and now, I'm thrilled to hold the book in my hand! My quilts are on the hard cover, and you can read the directions to make these in the book! it is available from Amazon, or directly from the publisher, AK Peters ( ). The directions for making your own knitted torus are there, plus fascinating papers on mathematics as it relates to needlepoint,blackwork embroidery, quilting, knitting and crochet. Truly a feast for those of us who love mathematics and needlework.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

The Little Flower Doily

My friend Andrea, of Bad Cat Designs ( ) shared the pattern for her doily to several of us as test knitters, and here is my version of this beautiful design. Size 10 crochet cotton, 00 needles, 7.5 inches diameter.

Pattern Recognition

My resolution for the new year has to do with documentation. Writing patterns is one of my goals, even though my current main love has to do with devising and making up my knitting as I go along. Enough people are starting to ask me for patterns that I think it is about time to delve into writing down some of the stuff I've made. Trouble is, I do take notes, but sometimes I just have to re-knit stuff to know exactly what I did, as I kind of make decisions as I go along. I suppose I have an attitude that I can figure out anything I want to make now ( except I have yet to comprehend lace circles in a very deep way, but I'm seeing that as a long term goal, too!) and I'm willing to rip liberally if necessary. Writing patterns, however, is a whole 'nother game. It involves setting down in formal terms, using a specific,universally acknowledged code, something that is inherently a process. And since I borrow liberally from every source I find, mutating and metabolizing it to suit my intended effect, it becomes difficult to acknowledge my sources. I just can't always recall where I found a particular idea! When I'm doing this for myself, it is not a problem, but when I consider doing this for someone else, a lot of issues come into play. Anyway, recently 2 people asked me to write up patterns for sweaters , one of which I've made, and the other was a formilization of an idea I'd been kicking around in my mind for a while. I really appreciate having " test knitters"; someone who can knit along with my directions and give me feedback about my instructions, as sometimes what seems obvious to me can be opaque to someone else! So, Thank you Jackie and Patti!

So, I've been working this week on The Leaf Lace Vest. I've gotten it written up to Row 9, and above is a photo of that. Cotton Classic, size 9 needles. As it leans on the ideas of Evelyn Clark, especially in her excellent book "Knitting Lace Triangles" ,I would encourage you to get this book! Evelyn graciously encouraged me to write up my pattern, and I am very grateful to her for her marvelous designs and her clarity of thought. Now all I have to do is find the time to learn charting software, and I'll be good to go! Graph paper and pencil is still my friend...