Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Knitting is Art

Wow. My knitting has now been declared art by the City of Alexandria. I went to the artist reception tonight and got to take pictures of my knits hanging on the walls of City Hall. It was a very nice feeling to see my stuff right next to paintings, professional photography, and some other really great pieces. I can say though that artists are a strange bunch. I guess now that includes me. Oh no.

Below are pictures of my two pieces. The first is 18th Century-style knitting using hand dyed wool yarn. There's the Thomas Paine Mittens ("These are the times that try men's souls") made with Onion and Walnut, "Liberty or Death" cap using Madder Root, and my "No Search" stockings made with Indigo.

The second piece is my doll dress in 18th Century-style clothing. I made her to use as a demonstration model to show what small clothes (underclothes) and other clothing that they wore in the 18th Century. She is dressed from head to foot with knitted wool stockings, petticoat, apron, and even a set of linen pockets.

I also want to show my giant fern that I had brought back from Hawaii the last time. It is doing quite well and has another frond just coming up.

I also want to say that Gwen is now on You Tube. You can see her video at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1kOfqALCfNY. No, I don't let her eat that whole pile.

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Finished Stocking Order

I have finally finished the stocking order from two weeks ago. Although I had problems with the indigo dye, the yarn knitted up beautifully.

Also, for the last week I have been busy making up two pieces to hang for a jurored exhibition: "Art in the City". Any art selected will hang in the Alexandria Virginia City Hall for the next six months.

I had to drop my two pieces off Saturday and then wait until Sunday at noon to find out if any of the two were selected. If they hadn't been selected, I would have had to go back and pick them up.

I called at 1230 and found out that they accepted both my pieces. They are having an artist open house on the 23rd. I will take pictures of the two of them and where they are being displayed. I am so excited.

Sunday, April 01, 2007

Socks and Indigo

I have been trying to finish a sock order that I got last week: 2 pairs of natural, 2 pairs of Cochineal and one pair of Indigo. I dyed the Cochineal wool yarn last weekend.

Today I finished knitting them. Now they are wet and on the sock stretchers.

Now I just have the one pair Indigo to go. I put on a dye pot of Indigo last weekend. I thought it was ready to go on Saturday and tried to dye a pound of wool yarn. Everything looked like it was going well until the rinse after the dyeing. Almost all of the Indigo washed out.

I can't use that yarn for the socks - it is just too light. Not a good quality bath at all. I know I'll end up redyeing the wool.

So, I put more Indigo in the dye bath, added more lye water, and we'll let it set a few more days to see how it does. After only one Indigo bath previously, I am certainly not an expert and I guess I should expect some batches that don't go well.