Monday, February 20, 2017

Tundra Swan

I took a break from doing the many pieces I have in the works for my Great Basin Artist in Residency to create a lacy shawl patterned after tundra swans. They are beginning to migrate again through northern Utah and are so beautiful soaring in the sky that I had to stop and create something. I have put the pattern in my Ravelry store if anyone else wants to create one. Now back to knitting and remembering the beautiful Great Basin National Park!

Caption from pattern:

Tundra swans migrate through the Farmington Bay Waterfowl Management Area in Utah twice each year. In the fall, about 40,000 swans fly through on their way to California where they spend the winter. Then in the spring, they fly back to the Arctic tundra. With a massive wingspan of up to six feet a wedge of Tundra Swans can dominate the skies during migration. A bevy of these birds create a graceful dance in the sky.

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Mountain Mahogany

The scent of mountain mahogany is the most powerful memory from my time spent in Great Basin National Park. September rains infused the mountain air with a wonderful licorice smell that took me a few days to realize was this ubiquitous tree. I loved the hours I spent knitting in the mountains surrounded by these trees and that smell. I created a headband that echoes the mahogany bark and reminds me of the scent every time I wear it.

Info from the pattern: Mountain mahogany is not a true mahogany but instead is in the rose family. It gets its name from the dense, heavy wood, which sinks in water. This shrubby, slow-growing tree thrives where other plants struggle: rocky, gravelly slopes in high mountain areas, with little water and plenty of sun. When it rains, the sweet licorice smell of the mountain mahogany infuses the air, encapsulating you in the landscape. This artwork was produced under the Darwin Lambert Artist in Residence Program at Great Basin National Park.

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


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.