Brenda Dayne is a knitter and a storyteller who knows the power of stitch memory. She is the host of the wildly popular knitting podcast, Cast On and has been telling stories through her knitting for years.
I first fell in love with her podcast in the summer of 2006. It was my last free summer before leaving for the Jersey Boys tour. I used to be a Stage Manager, but my real passion was knitting. Listening to Brenda talking about following her passion was a big part of my quitting my 22 year career in theatre to pursue knitting full time, and two years later, joining Lion Brand to open the Lion Brand Yarn Studio (our retail store & education center in New York City).
Now I’m sooo excited that Brenda is launching her North American tour at the Lion Brand Yarn Studio on May 3rd. Brenda will be collecting yarncrafter’s memories as part of her art piece called “A Memorable Yarn.” The finished piece will exhibit at the Wool Museum in Wales through the summer of 2012. This is where you all come in.
Early each year, Lion Brand hosts our annual fashion show, showcasing the amazing things that can be done with yarn. For me, it was a special fashion show, not only because I got to co-host the show with our spokesperson, Vanna White, but also because of the unique designs we featured.
This year, we worked with design students and emerging designers from all over the world (from Paris, Tokyo, Helsinki, New York, San Francisco, and more) who created spectacular, one-of-a-kind pieces out of your favorite Lion Brand yarns. They explored the theme, “Yarn Is Art.”
These designers and design students truly showed just how incredible yarn creations can be, and we hope you’re as inspired by their creativity and energy as we are.
Click here to learn more about the designers and their creations.
Did you know that March is both National Crochet Month and National Craft Month? It’s such an exciting month, and there are so many different ways to celebrate. Our favorite way, of course, is to give back to others through teaching. If you’d like to teach a friend, relative, or complete stranger how to crochet or knit, we have many resources to support you. You can find helpful instructions, illustrations, and videos at learntocrochet.lionbrand.com and learntoknit.lionbrand.com.
We also have lots of blog posts to support your teaching. Here are some of our favorite posts.
As you’re teaching friends, remember to check out the two great sweepstakes sponsored by our friends at Knitty Daily. Click here to find out how you can win some amazing books and DVDs. I hope you celebrate the rest of the month with tons of crafting, crocheting, and knitting!
Photo credit: Jeff Newfeld. If you’re viewing this blog post in your email, please click on the blog post’s title so that you can view the full slideshow on the blog.
One of the things that I love most about working with yarn is that it inspires us with its colors and textures. By working with each of our unique palettes, we create something that’s completely our own.
Taking her cues from the colors of nature, fiber artist Suzanne Tidwell has created her latest installation in Occidental Park, in Seattle, Washington, covering dead tree stumps (considered eyesores by the local community) with beautiful knit sleeves. Selecting from the diverse palettes of Vanna’s Choice and Vanna’s Choice Baby, Suzanne has created some unexpected color combinations that truly pop. The color block style of the sleeves remind me of a Rothko painting–they are so vibrant and inspiring.
If you’re in the Seattle area, I hope you’ll visit “Summer Into Fall: Sammamish Trees,” up from now until December 16, and enjoy this lovely splash of color.
You don’t need to search far to see that fiber arts are a huge news trend this year. Profiles in The New York Times, Woman’s Day, and New York Magazine are talking about how yarn-bombing is 2011’s hottest art form. As they’re discovering, and as we here at Lion Brand have known for years, yarn just might be the most chic-yet-comforting medium that an artist can use!
Over the years, we’ve featured many textile artists from around the globe; here are some of our favorites. [As always, highlighted text are active links.]
We’ve been a longtime fan of Nathan’s; he’s even displayed some of his knitted taxidermy on our very own Lion Brand Yarn Studio Gallery Wall. Seen above, his current Bellevue Arts Museum installation, “Locker Room,” was created from more than 200 skeins of yarn! We love how all the different stitches can create a world of lifelike texture.
Our collaboration with Robyn began in 2008 with her outdoor installation, “The Knitted Mile.” Most recently, at the World Maker Faire, she yarnbombed the fairgrounds’ rocket ship with handcrafted, flame-like extensions. Afterwards, the “yarn flames” were removed to be recycled into afghans to donate to Warm Up America.
Amy is well-known in the textile arts world for Pseudo-Sod, a grass-like material that she makes from Fun Fur. Her material of choice not only looks soft and snuggly, but also is flexible enough to cover taxidermy, landscapes, and even a car!
Looking for upcoming yarn-bomb installations? This Canadian homesteading collective will be creating a yarncrafted installation at the James Street North Supercrawl in Hamilton, Ontario this fall. We can’t tell you the details, but you can read about the collective’s day-to-day adventures at their blog.
Want to learn more about the hottest trends in fiber art? Episodes 45 and 60 of the YarnCraft podcast feature interviews And if you live in the NYC area, stop by the Lion Brand Yarn Studio to take a look at our Gallery Wall. We feature a different artist every month!
Earlier this year, we featured a photo of our Amazing man, a sculpture made with various colors of our Amazing yarn that was featured at the CHA trade show. If you want to see him in person, you can visit the San Jose Museum of Quilts & Textiles in San Jose, CA starting this week. Both he and his couch will be part of the exhibit, Primary Structures from May 17 to August 7.
Here at Lion Brand, we believe in supporting the next generation of fiber aficionados and artists. That’s why we support programs at universities like FIT in New York City and Shenkar College of Engineering and Design in Israel.
Last month, Mindy Tchieu, a grad student at NYU Tisch’s ITP program whose work incorporates yarncrafted elements, shared with me the following clip from her classmate Matt Parker, whose graduate thesis project is a 3D volumetric display (it allows a 3D image to be projected):
You might be wondering, “What does this have to do with yarn?” Well, Mindy wrote:
[M]y favorite part about Lumarca is that it’s projected on YARN! Honestly when I saw the videos, I thought, “Wow this is cool,” but it wasn’t until I saw it in person at school and realized that it was white yarn, that my mind was blown.
Thanks, Mindy, for sharing this very cool usage of yarn with us! It’s always cool when low-tech materials like yarn can be used for high-tech purposes.
Have you seen some amazing uses for yarn? Share them with us by leaving a comment!
Each month at the Lion Brand Yarn Studio, we are lucky enough to have a special guest join us. We have had wonderful designers, fiber artists, authors, and teachers who come in for our free special event night. The store is closed and customers who RSVP’ed fill the audience for these great talks, presentations, and trunk shows. With all the yarn, stories, and yarncrafting, a great time is had by all.
Since not everyone can join us here in NY, we film an interview and put it up on YouTube so the whole world can join in on the fun. Here’s a playlist of interviews so far (click the left and right arrows to browse all the videos):
Planning a trip to the NYC area? Be sure to check out the Lion Brand Yarn Studio’s blog for upcoming free events! We hope you stop on by!
If you’re going to be in Berlin from April 6 to 10, stop by the Pictoplasma Festival–an annual celebration contemporary character culture–to see a whole solar system made in yarn!
Our friend Anna Hrachovec, the amazing knitter behind the popular blog Mochimochi Land and the book Knitting Mochimochi, will have a new installation called “Mochimochi Worlds” held at the Smallspace gallery. Learn more about the project on her blog.
We wish Anna a great show, and we hope that if you’re in the Berlin area, you’ll check it out!
Recently Lindsey blogged about a video of artist Olek covering the famous Wall Street bull sculpture with a crocheted cozy. Catching the eye of the culture blog Flavorwire, her work inspired the blog to post an artist round-up: 10 Artists Who Use Yarn As Their Medium.
This interesting blog post includes Tatyana Yanishevsky (whose work can currently be seen at the Brooklyn Art Museum in NYC), Magda Sayeg of Knitta Please (whose work we’ve blogged about previously here and here), and Dave Cole (whose giant knitted pieces have been featured in such exhibits as Radical Lace and Subversive Knitting). Click the title of the article above to learn more about these 10 artists and their work.
With fiber art garnering more and more attention, it will be interesting to see what 2011 brings! Do you have a favorite fiber artist? Leave us a comment and tell us about him/her!