Lion Brand Notebook

News, Ideas and Information for Crafting with Yarn

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Archive for the 'Fiber Arts/Artists' Category


Arts Street Textile Studio: Fiber Arts Supporting the Homeless in Philadelphia

October 18th, 2010

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This month, we’re highlighting various fiber works and projects taking place currently around the country and the world. If you’d like to suggest an artist, exhibit, or event, please feel free to leave a comment and let us know!

From the summer of 2009 to the summer of 2010, the Philadelphia Mural Arts Program worked on the “Finding Home” project, a textile mural designed by Josh Saranatitis and Kathryn Pannepacker, assisted by Shelby Donnelly, aimed at raising awareness about homelessness. During that time artists and volunteers working in homeless shelters and cafes throughout Philadelphia worked together to weave the pieces of this mural. After this project, the studio re-invented itself into the Arts Street Textile Studio: handmade with the homeless. Staffed by fiber artists Kathryn Pannepacker and Leslie Sudock, recreation specialist Rachel Gucwa and muralist Mary Newsom, it’s a space that offers lessons in weaving, knitting, crochet, quilting, embroidery in an open studio space for a nominal contribution. The studio will also serve as a gallery featuring the works “of individuals who, though stigmatized as homeless or life-challenged, nonetheless identify as artists and want to work productively as artisans.” In addition, the organization–which is currently working to obtain non-profit status–has also initiated an outreach program to invite homeless women and children to participate in knitting, crochet, and quilting circles.

Stating that “art is a social service,” they are encouraging members of their community to come learn new skills and support this effort. Donations and contributions of materials, tools, and equipment are always welcome. Learn more by contacting Kathryn Pannepacker (kpannepacker@gmail.com) or Leslie Sudock (lsudock@gmail.com).

Arts Street Textile Studio
626 South Street, Philadelphia, PA
Wednesday – Sunday, 3 – 8pm

For more organizations doing good in the world through yarncrafting, click here for our Charity Connection.


Help Create Art Inspired by Endangered Animals

October 12th, 2010

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This month, we’re highlighting the works of various fiber artists currently showing around the country and the world. If you’d like to suggest an artist or an exhibit, please feel free to leave a comment and let us know!

Ruth Marshall, a fiber artist based in New York City, is looking for volunteer knitters to help her create knitted tiger pelts, her latest fine art textile project, sponsored in part by Lion Brand. Ruth has been studying archived tiger pelts at the American Museum of Natural History, and she currently participating in the Open Studio Program at the Museum of Art & Design located at Columbus Circle, in Manhattan, every Friday until December 3rd, 2010.

On YarnCraft, our radio-style podcast, my co-host Liz and I also had the pleasure of talking to Ruth about her fascinating work, which draws attention to various endangered big cat species. (Click here to listen to that episode [MP3]; the interview with Ruth starts at about 11:14.)

If you are an experienced knitter in the NYC-area, particularly with experience in intarsia and multi-colored yarns and would like to hang out and knit at the Museum of Art & Design, please contact Ruth by visiting her website, RuthMarshall.com, and clicking on the “contact” button which will open up an email window.

Ruth’s previous work has been exhibited across North America at such institutions as the Hunterdon Museum, San Jose Museum, Indiana State Museum, Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art, MassArt, Museum of Art & Design, Dam, Stuhltrager Gallery – Brooklyn & Berlin, as well as various art fairs in Miami, FL; Chicago, IL; Paris, France; and Istanbul, Turkey. Awards include the BRIO-Bronx Council of the Arts. Ruth will be featured in two books coming out next spring, and will participate in “Green: A Color and a Cause”, at the Textile Museum, Washington D.C. in 2011.

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Fiber Arts Shows in NYC

October 11th, 2010

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This month, we’re highlighting the works of various fiber artists currently showing around the country and the world. If you’d like to suggest an artist or an exhibit, please feel free to leave a comment and let us know!

This past week two fun art exhibits in New York City opened featuring some of our favorite fiber artists: Anna Hrachovec and Nathan Vincent.

Anna Hrachovec is best known for her blog Mochimochi Land and Knitting Mochimochi, her book of adorable knit toys.  Her new exhibit at Gallery Hanahou displays an entirely hand-knit world, including skyscrapers and a quirky landscape with a model train running through it.  The exhibit will last through October 29.

Nathan Vincent is a fiber artist who creates typically masculine objects in knit and crochet.  He is one of many artists being featured in the inaugural group exhibit at Klause Gallery through October 31.  You may remember him from the crochet taxidermy at the Lion Brand Yarn Studio or from the Yarn Show on Martha Stewart.

Workshops for a November exhibition at the Textile Arts Center are already underway.  Artist Kim Hall, who believes that every knitter’s first scarf is lucky, is teaching knitting and collecting the resulting scarves for her project, “Virgin Knitters“.  Check out the calendar for more information.

Are there any fiber related events near you?  Let us know in the comments.

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What’s Your Message To The Universe?

October 3rd, 2010

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At the World Maker Faire in New York City last week,  fiber artist, Robyn Love, created a piece of installation art that was made of hundreds of hand knit and crochet squares of Hometown USA yarn.  The squares were sewn together to create flame-like extensions for the rocket ship (still standing from the 1964 World’s Fair) that is located on the grounds of the New York Hall of Science.  Robyn invited visitors to pin a note to the yarn squares with their message to the universe to symbolically send their wishes into space.  Thousands of people at Maker Faire saw the work and hundreds participated by sending a message.  The hand crafted “yarn flames” were removed from the rocket ship and will be resewn into afghans to donate to Warm Up America.

If you could send a message to the universe in just a few words, what would it be?

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Would You Knit Yourself a Couch?

September 1st, 2010

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Last year, I wrote about artist Kwangho Lee’s beautiful knitted light fixtures, and recently, I came across some of his newest work on a design blog I enjoy. I love how he has taken materials like plastic cord, combined it with knitting, and come up with amazing new applications. In this series, called “Obsession,” furniture emerges out of knitted plastic.

Be sure to visit his website to see even more photos of this series by clicking on “Furniture.”

Via MoCo Loco.

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See Nathan Vincent’s Crochet Taxidermy in NYC until Sept. 30

August 26th, 2010

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If you didn’t have an opportunity to see crochet artist Nathan Vincent’s fascinating yarn taxidermy when it was at the Lion Brand Yarn Studio back in late 2009 (as seen above), and you’re in the New York City area, you now have a second chance to see them! Nathan’s pieces will be on display from now through September 30 at Volume Black, a gallery in downtown Manhattan, located at 89 Washington Street.
From the artist’s website:

My work explores gender permissions and the challenges that arise from straying from the prescribed norms. It questions the qualities of gender by considering what constitutes masculine and feminine. It critiques stereotypical gender mediums by creating “masculine objects” using “feminine processes” such as crochet, sewing, and applique.

Want to learn more about Nathan’s work? Listen to our radio-style podcast YarnCraft’s episode 60 :: A Behind-the-Scenes Look at Fiber Artists Ruth Marshall & Nathan Vincent to hear more about his fascinating pieces in his own words.

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Spotted: A Crochet Bike in NYC

May 25th, 2010

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I was walking through the Lower East Side of New York City when I spotted this bike, completely covered in crochet. Notice that even the kick-stand and wheels are completely covered!

I’m not sure where it came from or why it was there, but it was a fun sight that reminded me of the surprising places you can come across yarn art.

In what unexpected places have you spotted yarn? Let us know by leaving a comment!

Updated: Turns out the bike is a piece by Olek, a Brooklyn-based crochet artist who works in colorful crochet, creating arresting moments of pop colors in the urban landscape!


A (Giant) Touch of Cables for the Home

April 6th, 2010

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Recently I saw this photo of artist Christien Meindertsma‘s giant knit Aran Rug. It struck me as a beautiful and unique way to incorporate yarncrafts into your home — and I hope you find it as inspirational as I do.

I’m not sure that I have needles quite big enough for a rug, but I bet you that with Speed Stix and three strands of Wool-Ease Thick & Quick, I could make a small rug or a throw. If you’re also inspired by Christien’s piece, take a look at the Diamonds and Pearls cable pattern or the Hourglass cable pattern in our StitchFinder for similar cable patterns to try out.

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Cozy Up to Fun Fur Art

March 29th, 2010

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Artist Amy Caterina is at it again.  We first blogged about the mixed media artist here when we heard about her Pseudo-Sod, grassy looking material knit from Fun Fur.  She has used the material to create topiary animals and even a car cover! Her most recent exhibit, part of Actions, Conversations, and Intersections at the Los Angeles Municipal Art Gallery, extended the concept by creating an inviting forest scene, complete with deer and grass against forest images. Amy uses different colors of Fun Fur to represent different stages of grass life, but unlike real grass the “faux” Pseudo-Sod won’t be itchy.

Laying in a fuzzy field of “grass” sounds like a wonderful way to spend a little time!  Click here to see a video of Amy lounging in her Pseudo-Sod Forest.  The exhibit has ended, and I can’t wait to see (and maybe experience) what she comes up with next.  This summer she has a residency scheduled at the Montalvo Arts Center in Saratoga, CA.

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Photos from Yarn Theory Exhibit

March 2nd, 2010

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Last year, we were happy to sponsor the Yarn Theory exhibit of fiber artists over at New York City art space, PS 122. Some of you may even remember reading about it here on the blog or visiting the exhibit.

From Yarn Theory’s press release:

Yarn Theory highlights the vibrant and deep interrelationship between the sciences, mathematics, crocheting and knitting. From mathematicians looking for clear and visual ways to model their theorem to home-knitters and artists looking to create unique sculptural objects, the world of contemporary yarn work is rife with cross-pollination between the disciplines. The explosion in the popularity of knitting and crochet has yielded an interest in using the medium to go far beyond sweaters, socks, and wearables, moving into the worlds of geometry, biology, natural sciences, pushing the medium’s sculptural boundaries.

Yarn Theory included works by artists such as Ted Ashton, Emily Barletta (whose work has also been shown at the Lion Brand Yarn Studio), Sarah-Marie Belcastro, Nancy Cohen, Rita Cohen and Anschel Schaffer-Cohen, Christine Domanic, Kate Fenker, Amanda Gale, Miyuki Kawamura, Martha Lewis, Margaret Oomen, Gail Rothschild, Daina Taimina, and Daniel Yuhas. The exhibit was curated by Martha Lewis and events were organized by Karen Eubel.

Karen was kind enough to send us photos from the show, which not only included art pieces inside the exhibition space, but also these incredible creations all along the outside of the building, which is in and of Greenwich Village in New York City. The juxtaposition of these crocheted and knitted pieces against the graffiti and grime of the city make them even more interesting. The outdoor pieces made New Yorkers stop and smile, and take in the yarn art, right in their neighborhood.

Are there interesting fiber arts exhibits going on in your neck of the woods? Leave a comment and let us know about them!

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