Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Palm Bark Redux

I was not entirely happy with the last swatch of palm bark so reworked it again. Here is my latest swatch. I think the cells are better after a few false starts at the beginning (the top pattern on the swatch is what I have finally landed on) and I worked out how to do it flat as well as in the round. The “skin” will be flat but the cowl will be in the round. Now to get started.

Saturday, December 19, 2015

I have been collected

Guess who now has art in the State of Utah's art collection! I am so honored to be included in this 116 year old collection of great Utah artists. Utah, you now have my most favorite piece. Great Basin Cyanometer was created during my residency at Black Rock Desert. Woo Hoo!

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

My first bark skin

I am in the process of choosing the types of trees that will be in the Identitatum Arborum projects. I want a variety of color and textures of bark but also want unique trees that have qualities that people (and other trees) would want to adopt. The first bark that I want to replicate in knitting is the palm tree. One of the most widely cultivated trees, Palm trees are monocot evergreeens that can withstand fierce winds. Their unique trunks have no branches but vascular bundles inside instead of tree rings that give them supple strength. The scars on the bark of most palm trees are created when the leaves fall off as it grows or is pruned.

I love the crisscross pattern of some types of palm trees and am going to try and replicate that. I created a test swatch in the round to try and get it right. It isn’t in the right color but I was going for the pattern.

After several iterations, I think I am getting close. The final two rows of pattern seem to be on the right track, I just need to tweak the shape a bit.  I like the look of it in the round as well and am thinking of translating the skin into a big cowl for my pattern. Now I just need to get it into the right colors and see how it looks.

Thursday, December 3, 2015

Shepherd’s Wool Yarn

The more I think about my test swatches the more I really want to use wool. Even before I get the results of my test swatches, I am leaning toward 100% wool because I think it will keep its shape better than acrylic. After all, fisherman all over the world have been wearing wool out in the elements and it is the best fiber for harsh conditions. All of these thoughts have been keeping me up at night because of the sheer cost of what I want to do. Not only knit bark skins, but wearable accessories made from the bark patterns (all in wool) will add up.

So I took a chance and did something that I have never done before. I emailed a yarn company that I love and have been using their products for years, Stonehedge Fiber Mill to ask them to sponsor my project. They make Shepherd’s Wool Yarn that I used for both the Jasmine Sidewinder Stole and the Hopper Pillow.

The company was generous enough to help sponsor and is sending me yarn! I will use their yarn exclusively for the knit skins as well as in the patterns. They have been so nice and wonderful to work with. Any knitters out there, I recommend trying their yarn, not only because they are nice, but the yarn is wonderful as well.