Saturday, November 26, 2016

Great Basin Sky


As an official Dark Sky Park, Great Basin National Park has some of the most beautiful views of the night sky. The early fall constellations provide the best of both worlds with summer constellations still visible but winter constellations beginning to make their debut. Still having the opportunity to be enveloped by starlit skies is one reason our national parks really are America’ greatest idea. This artwork was produced under the Darwin Lambert Artist in Residence Program at Great Basin National Park.

The cowl is made with beautiful ombré yarn from Wollelfe and crystal beads lined with silver for the stars. It is officially my new favorite pattern.

Sunday, November 20, 2016

Horsetail


While hiking up Pole Canyon in Great Basin National Park, I rounded a bend of pines and aspens and came across a grove of horsetail that took me by surprise. The delight at seeing these plants of my childhood made me stop in thought. The fascination of how they grew (and how they pulled apart) came back to me from my youth. Did you know that the spacing of the nodes inspired John Napier to discover logarithms? I wanted to capture this childlike wonder in a scarf for kids and adults alike. Before I was even finished, Tommy had already claimed it as his own.

Monday, November 7, 2016

Leave No Trace


The Leave No Trace ethos is the most widely accepted outdoor ethics program used on public lands. It teaches people of all ages how to enjoy the outdoors responsibly. Among several principles is the notion of “Leave What You Find” including rocks, plants, and natural materials. I was thinking about this idea a lot before and during my residency. So I made some mittens that would allow me to keep a visual memory of some of the natural material in Great Basin National Park through sun-sensitive dye. These mittens are the perfect solution to remember my adventure there while still leaving no trace.

And they were accepted in this year’s Statewide Annual exhibition of Mixed Media and Works on Paper on display now in the Rio Gallery in Salt Lake City. So if you are in the area, you can see them in person along with an amazing array of talented Utah artists.

This artwork was produced under the Darwin Lambert Artist in Residence Program at Great Basin National Park.


Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Red-winged Blackbird


One of the first pieces I finished while living in Great Basin National Park was this Red-winged Blackbird shawl. I caught a fleeting glimpse of red while watching some blackbirds and loved the ephemeral surprise it gave me. I didn’t see another one the whole time I was there but captured the beautiful contrast in the shawl. It is one of my favorites that I have created so far.

Information that will be included in the pattern: Red-winged blackbirds are a familiar site in Great Basin National Park. They can be spotted in marshy fields and the grassy edges of wetlands. The males’ beautiful red and yellow shoulder patches stand in stark contrast to their deep black feathers. Singing atop cattails, the males flaunt their epaulets making a showy spectacle for their female onlookers. This artwork was produced under the Darwin Lambert Artist in Residence Program at Great Basin National Park.

Saturday, October 22, 2016

Strawberry Creek Fire


Right before I went to Great Basin National Park, there was a wild fire near the Strawberry Creek area in the northern part of the park. The fire was devastating and one firefighter lost his life. Many of the hikes I was planning on taking were closed because of the damage and the danger that still persisted. When I arrived, I wanted to see the destruction for myself. I was warned that I should stay in the car due to snags, dead hollow trees that have been burned and are in danger of falling.

When I arrived, I was struck by the damage and the bleakness it left. But there is a destructive beauty to the stark black trees against the bare ground. The contrast stuck with me and I formed it into a pattern on a cowl. Plus, I wanted something to keep me warm as the nights were starting to get cold.

Here is some technical information I will be including with the pattern:

On August 8, 2016 a fire was reported in the Strawberry Creek area of Great Basin National Park. Started by lightning, the Strawberry Fire burned more than 4,000 acres before it was contained. The complete devastation of the forest left black trees in stark contrast to their surroundings. Leaving no doubt about nature’s power. This artwork was produced under the Darwin Lambert Artist in Residence Program at Great Basin National Park.

Saturday, October 15, 2016

Coyote Willow


Great Basin National Park has seven climate zones as it rises to more than 13000 feet above sea level. These varied zones were part of the wonder I felt every time I went for a hike and saw the changes in vegetation and wildlife. The riparian zones that wove throughout all the landscapes of the park were especially surprising and beautiful. One plant that seemed to thrive by the rivers and streams regardless of surrounding climate was coyote willow. I saw this swaying tree among sagebrush and juniper as well as mountain mahogany and aspens.

I wanted to capture the delicate beauty and movement of the leaves in this wrap. It is very light, being knit out of mohair, and the buttons are light as well so it doesn’t weigh it down. It is a delicate wrap to just keep you warm when summer begins to turn to fall.

Here is some technical information I will be including with the pattern:

Coyote willow thrives in the Great Basin where it is a pioneering species; one of the first to colonize flood deposits. It is primarily found along rivers and streams where it provides shelter for many animals and is the favorite food of beavers. American Indians used willow for basket weaving as well as to reduce fever and relieve pain because willow bark’s active ingredient is the same as in aspirin. The long narrow leaves are a beautiful, draping green that adds softness to the Great Basin landscape. This artwork was produced under the Darwin Lambert Artist in Residence Program at Great Basin National Park.

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Great Basin Knitting Projects


Well, I obviously did not have time to blog much during my residency. But I am going to begin recording my projects here, mostly to help me keep track of things. First up I will post about a few pieces I finished at the park.


The rabbitbrush was in bloom and beautiful when I got there at the beginning of September and glowed throughout the month. As I was leaving it was just beginning to fade. Everyday I would marvel at the color of the desert. So I made some Rabbitbrush mittens that mimicked the color and shape.


I am hoping to get a suite of pieces inspired by Great Basin National Park and make an ebook of patterns when I am finished. Hopefully in the spring or summer. I will also post some more pieces I finished last month and then do some in-progress posts about ideas I am germinating.