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.