Lion Brand Notebook

News, Ideas and Information for Crafting with Yarn

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Archive for May, 2008

Amazing Art with Fun Fur

May 23rd, 2008

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Fun Fur Pseudo-Sod Car by Amy Caterina

We were contacted by Amy Caterina, an artist who uses Fun Fur in her amazing sculptural pieces. She is currently working on an exhibit at the Grand Central Art Center at the California State University, Fullerton. When we saw how amazing her sculptures were, we knew we had to get involved.

Born in Niagara Falls, NY, Amy received her MFA at CSUF in 2002 in photography. In early 2005, Amy started knitting and gave birth to the Pseudo-Sod, a series that quickly emerged as a major component in her evolving oeuvre of mixed media installations. She was selected to be the artist-in-residence at the Huntington Beach Art Center in conjunction with the exhibition “MANufacture”; during her residency she displays mixed media knitted “grass” (made with Fun Fur) covered deer and moose, beside four cemetery plot sized sections of “grass.” The Pseudo-Sod car cover [above] was also featured in 2005 for the first time and presented in various locations throughout Orange County.

Fun Fur Sculptures in progressAmy Caterina is currently the artist-in-residence at the CSUF Grand Central Art Center in Santa Ana, California, and will open her first solo exhibition entitled, “This used to be real estate, now it’s only fields and trees,” on July 5, 2008.

Amy was kind enough to send us some photos of the progress she’s made so far on this exhibition [right]. She’s got quite a few of these furry woodland creatures in the works, and they’re really coming along! Talk about amazing uses of Fun Fur!

We’ll update you as Amy gets closer to the opening of her exhibition.

1,000 Knitters Project

May 22nd, 2008

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1,000 Knitters is a photography project developed by Franklin Habit, a Chicago photographer and knitter. He is in the process of creating individual portraits of 1,000 people knitting the same scarf. Some of them are famous knitters and authors, but most of the photographs are of individual knitters who will ultimately become part of a beautiful work of art.

According to the web site “the goal is to celebrate through portraiture a creative community whose members have historically been either overlooked or sentimentalized, and whose work is often undervalued.” Franklin started photographing the series in July 2007. At the end of the project, he hopes to create a book or an exhibit, or both.

Tree of Life Knit-Along #2 – Twin Trees

May 21st, 2008

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Tree of Life Knit-Along BadgeLast Sunday was a bright and sunny day and I jumped at the chance to sit on my roof overlooking downtown Manhattan and start my spring afghan project. It’s calm, quiet and feels like a private oasis in the center of a busy city. Whenever I start a project as large as this, I try to take my time and read through the pattern in advance, as well as double-checking my cast on. It’s so easy to miss 1 or 2 cast on stitches, when you are working with 180 stitches, and even 1 stitch too few will throw your whole pattern off.

A great thing to remember when tackling a challenging project is to not get overwhelmed by the size of it, but break it down into simple components, section by section and row by row. When setting up, remember that in this project, the right side of the work will have a purled background and the trees will pop out of that because they are knitted, so your right side rows will begin with a purl stitch.

The trees are beautiful, with their twining branches, and do take some concentration, but the pattern chart is simple to follow if you can keep track of what row you are on. I suggest using a post-it to cover the rows already completed. The row directly above the post-it, is the row I am currently working on. Where M1 increases are used on the trunks of the trees, be sure to make them knitwise, as stated in the pattern,

The cables that make the branches twist as if waving in the wind are quick and easy once you’ve done one or two. Even if this is your very first cable project, you CAN do this!

Lion Staff Stories – Marlene’s Daughter

May 20th, 2008

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Marlene smiles as she holds a picture painted by her daughter who wants to be a knitter

Marlene, a sales associate, wrote this guest post about her daughter:

I guess those days off from school when my 6 year old daughter Amanda has come to the office to visit has made a lasting impression. She was asked at school to write an autobiography about herself and what she wants to be when she grows up. Well I was surprised when I read, “When I grow up I want to be a knitter. I will make blankets. I am special because I like to make scarves.” She then complimented her work with a drawing of me teaching her how to knit. I guess in looking at the picture you can figure I am the one with the big smile on my face.

Seen in the Yarniverse: Knitting the Ones You Love

May 16th, 2008

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How far would you go to remember your beloved pets? Some people create elaborate memorials to best give tribute to their best companions. One married couple in England took it one step further, by knitting their pets’ fur into garments. The Cleveland Plain Dealer had readers email their local Dog Lady about the practice with comments. The English couple who had knit their two pets into jumpers had heard about the process through their dog breeders, and now have keepsakes of their best two companions.

Even Martha Stewart creates items out of her dog Paw Paw. In a segment of her February 14 show, she showed the care she takes of her dog, and how she is interested in knitting a keepsake using a skein of Paw Paw’s fur yarn. She personally uses a local company VIP Fibers to spin the fur.

What do you think about this process? Have any of you tried using your dogs’ or pets’ fur to create a keepsake?