Knit Wit Living

Reflections, Beading, Knitting, Life

Archive for the category “Fair Isle Inspirations”

Cross Stitch Finds

One of my secrets for finding inspiration is just way too easy that I am always surprised that I haven’t seen anyone else mention this. Have you ever noticed that cross stitch patterns are easily translatable for knitting?  They use the same grid designs that are used for knitting patterns and I find that cross stitch patterns are more prolific than knitting design patterns.

This is the reason why I always try to include links for deals for cross stitch products on my offers page.  This post is about me not assuming you knew why they are included.

I have one of the best books – a Reader’s Digest Big Book of Cross Stitch Designs – that I bought for this very purpose.  Its designs are simple to follow and range from basic to complex in its colorwork.

Cross Stitch Finds

I also subscribe to Jenny Hart’s sublime stitching newsletter. Her designs are for embroidery, not cross stitch, but I have ordered some of them to incorporate into knitting as well.

I love the crossover from one medium to another.  There is a woman who displays her art of prints focused on yarn and knitting stitches at the Vogue Knitting Live shows. I can only wish that I were that talented! (I will update the post with her name and works when I find it – or after the next VKL if she is showing there again.)

Here are some cross stitch inspirations that I just love –

Cross Stitch Finds

Cross Stitch Finds

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Cross Stitch Finds

Where do you find inspiration?

Holiday Sale for Knitting Inspirations

I took some time off last week for a staycation which mostly consisted of cleaning out my “arts and crafts” room, i.e. organizing my stash, and taking advantage of some holiday sales.

While I was in the mall, I took some pictures of some fair isle or other knitting inspirations.

Knitting Inspiration

Knitting Inspiration

Knitting Inspiration

and then I went  on Etsy and found this lovely Missoni vintage blouse.

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Just gorgeous!

MoMA’s Matisse Cut Out Exhibition

…or you know you’re a knitter when you see knitting pattern possibilities when looking at one of art’s great masters.

Verve Cut Out

ES was in town for Thanksgiving and took me to the MoMA’s Exhibition of Matisse Cut Outs as a birthday gift.  It was a perfect gift – getting to spend time with my son, going into the city, and going to the MoMA.  (Then, of course, I took him to lunch [at Momofuku Ma Peche, which we spontaneously selected due to proximity to the museum] which we both enjoyed before heading back home.)

 

MatissCut Oute started doing cut outs from paper when he was putting together designs for his works.  It seems simple enough, I’m sure many of us have done it.  When I first walked into the exhibition, I thought, well, this is interesting but is it really art?  The exhibit also displayed quotes that some people weren’t sure of it either.

 

 

But then as his work and the exhibition continued, you can see it evolving from simple paper cutouts to his thought processes…

Cut Out Evolution 1

 

 

 

 

Cut Out Evolution 2

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cut Out Evolution 3

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

and in some cases, they had the final result – the actual artwork (like a lovely stained glass window) next to its respective cut outs (not pictured in this post).

You know when some people just have a knack for composition and colors, they make it look so easy.  That’s what this exhibit was about. I love colors and loved the way Matisse placed the shapes together.  But this exhibit also shows that he worked at it.  Played around with the composition and juxtaposition of the shapes.

Cut Out Evolution 4

 

 

 

My son and I discussed how revolutionary these designs were in Matisse’s era.  It may now be deemed more commonplace, though still appreciated (Marimekko and Kaffe Fassett came readily to mind) – which is amazing that we’re seeing its origins!

If you are a fiber enthusiast – knitter, crocheter, spinner, embroiderer, etc. – I’m betting your mind is just humming with these colors and patterns, like mine was!  Designs for a hat, scarf, throw, new color compositions to consider, etc.

The Sheaf

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Sheaf Evolution 2?

 

 

 

 

 

The Sheaf Evolution 3?

 

 

 

 

One more – easy knitting design?!!

Matisse Cut Out

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Oh, and if NYC is a schlep for you, but you’re planning to go to the NYC Vogue Knitting Live in January, you’re in luck! The exhibit runs through February 8, 2015.

Matisse Cut Out

This was one of Matisse’s later cut outs, which was considered a final art piece in itself.

 

 

Fair Isle Inspirations #2

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I had ordered prints of many of my Fair Isle inspiration photos awhile back and wanted to put some of them in a collage frame. When I went shopping, I realized that collage frames are not for me.  They’re too restrictive, and don’t have the cut-out size options I wanted.  On one hand, I could take it to the extreme and design my own mat openings, but….let’s be realistic!  So I came up with a better solution.

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I bought a simple frame, and some black wrapping paper.

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I took the cardboard that came with the frame and covered it with the paper. (I wrapped it like a gift at the edges, folding and taping facing flaps, then created a triangle at the corners of the open edges before folding and taping them in.)

And then I had to decide my “most inspirational” photos.

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So many choices!

Of course nothing is set in stone so I can switch them out as needed, or even purchase and set up more frames.

The final products below. I love them both!

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I love the detailing in these photos!

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I must confess that I like this one the best!

Mah Jongg as Inspiration

How could I not think of patterns and colors each week during my Mah Jongg game? Especially when someone takes a long time for her turn, there is nothing to do but stare at the tiles.  But it’s not such a bad thing – keeps my mind whirring with design possibilities.

There are three suits – Craks (red), Bams (green) and Dots (circles).  Each number has its own unique design within each suit.

I love the 8 Dot tile.  It’s all black as opposed to the others like the 9 in the back. But look at the 1 dot. Pretty! I found it similar to the carpeting in a hotel, where I recently attended a meeting.

The flowers and the jokers are the most inspirational. The flower tiles in my set are really quite stylistic.

I use my grandmother’s set which I think was manufactured around the 1950’s but could be earlier.  I love playing with these tiles because she did too. Sometimes I can hear her fingernails clacking on the table as she considers the next move.

The 1 Bam is super stylized – almost Art Deco.  I could see this being a repetitive pattern or maybe 1 large design just on its own.

I couldn’t end without showing the Dragons.

Thank you, Oma.

Fair Isle Inspirations #1 (Because there will be a lot of these)

In January, I attended the Vogue Knitting Live conference in Manhattan. I participated in four classes and was inspired in each!
I was lucky to get in the Fair Isle Inspirations class with Debbie Bliss. I love Fair Isle. I love mixing colors and patterns – it is a perfect fit for me!  And Debbie Bliss is the master (mistress?)!
The class consisted of a short PowerPoint presentation of how she derives inspiration. Then she gave each of us some sample yarn, told us to take out our graph paper and get started. We looked at each other. This is it? This is the class? We were annoyed, angry, but wanted to make the best of it so started working.

Here are some of the samples she brought.

Well. We each did a couple of designs and then had the opportunity to consult with Debbie one on one to get her advice and feedback.
It turned out to be the best class of them all!
Here are some of the photos I took after the class. For some reason I found myself drawn to beiges and muted colors. Very unlike me.  An interesting turn of events.

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