Fiber Art Exhibit + Community Art Project

The art center is doing something wonderful. It’s captured quite a bit of attention lately, and I want to share a few photos with my fiber-loving friends:

Fiber Exhibit

Fiber Art

Fiber Sculpture

I am completely in awe of this exhibit. I’ve yet to explore all of it, but what I’ve seen is incredibly inspiring. One of the best parts, for me, is that it encourages others to try knitting and crocheting. Take an instruction card, learn a skill.

Take One

Fiber

Doesn’t it just make you happy to imagine that someone who has always wanted to learn to knit or crochet might take a card home, give it a try, and discover a new passion?

And there’s another way that this exhibit encourages community involvement: They’re asking local knitters/crocheters to submit swatches, which they’ll assemble into a giant tapestry. This tapestry will capture the spirit of Georgia O’Keeffe’s From the Lake No. 1.

From the Lake

The art center even provided the fiber – I received a skein of navy blue yarn. Since Georgia O’Keeffe is known for painting floral subjects, I decided to pick a pattern with a flower motif: The Crocodile Flower. It’s a gorgeous, heavily textured crocheted square pattern. I used almost an entire skein of Vanna’s Choice to make my 12″ square! (Your mileage may vary, of course.)

Crocodile Stitch Square

I hope to get pictures to share once the tapestry is complete. What a great way to connect the community!

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Gilmore Girls Crocheted Scarf

I’ve been binge-watching Gilmore Girls on Netflix lately – it’s just such a perfect show to “watch” while crafting. I’ve already seen all of the episodes anyway, plus there’s definitely enough dialogue to keep you informed of what’s happening by just listening. I’ve found Aaron Sorkin’s dialogue-heavy shows (West Wing, Sports Night) to be good for this, too. 😉

Repeat viewings do reward you, though – there are so many awesome details in the sets! The Hooked on Houses blog has a photo tour of Lorelai’s house and the Gilmore mansion, as well as the Dragonfly Inn (and the town of Stars Hollow). For super fans, there’s also a thorough guide to filming locations for the show on the Filming Locations of Chicago and Los Angeles blog.

Needless to say, the knit and crocheted items on the show catch my attention – and there are a lot of them! One piece that I’d particularly like to recreate appears in at least a couple of episodes: Rory’s crocheted scarf.

Rory's Scarf

It appears prominently in Season 5 Episode 14: “Say Something.” This is the episode in which Rory borrows Logan’s limo service so she can comfort Lorelai in Stars Hollow. The limo causes a commotion in town, and Rory responds by poking out of the top and explaining that she’s “not usually in a limo.”

And good news for those who like the scarf as much as I do – there’s already a pattern that was inspired by this piece! It’s called, appropriately, “I’m Not Usually in a Limo,” and was designed by Maria Keays. (Available for free as of this writing.)

Rory Crocheted Scarf

In the closeups, you can see some of the details of this lacy crocheted pattern.

Rory Crocheted Scarf Gilmore Girls

The scarf made an appearance in at least one other episode. Here, Rory layered it with other cold-weather wear. I think this was from Season 4, Episode 17.

Rory Crocheted Scarf Gilmore Girls

Bonus: Here’s another scarf that’s similar in appearance but clearly isn’t the same one. This one might be knit? It’s hard to tell, but it’s pretty.

Rory Scarf Gilmore Girls

Ready or not…

…it’s almost time to enter my knitting and crochet projects into this year’s fair contest. It looks like I’ll have 16 entries this year – down from last year’s 20, but still not too bad. 🙂 Here’s a peek at a few of my projects:

Victorian Romantic Pineapples 5

glitzshawl7

Circular Motif Shawl by Babycakes Creates

Nennir Scarf

Donna Spiral Doily

And now that I’ve cut myself off from making contest projects before this year’s deadline, I’m spending time on some fun projects with no pressure. I’m finally using my Blue Heron Rayon Metallic to make a shawl, and it… is… amazing. It just knits up beautifully. More on that project later!

Woodland Sage Chalice Baby Blanket

Time for more show and tell. This baby blanket is my first knit lace project. Well, technically my second – I made two of these in a row. The first one didn’t get photographed – I gave it away as a baby gift before I started documenting my projects. How lovely is the Chalice Baby Blanket pattern? 

Woodland Sage Chalice Baby Blanket

I really like the soft gray-green color of Caron Simply Soft I used for this blanket. Alas, it’s no longer available. (Story of our lives, amiright?) The other one of these I made was in white – really lovely for a baptism gift. It’s nice to have photographed my older projects like this one, so I can see some progress. My stitches are more even now than they were on this project!

Woodland Sage Chalice Baby Blanket

A Study in Contrasts

My most recent projects are on opposite ends of my fiber-crafting ability spectrum. He’s a little bit bulky-weight and knit, she’s a little bit cotton thread and crocheted.

Crochet and Knitting Projects

I ran out of thread while in the middle of one project, and had to wait until my order for more arrived. (Booooo. Hisssss.) In the midst of the waiting, I started the other. This is rare for me – I prefer to work on my projects one at a time. I usually work until completion, even when the project gets mind-numbingly boring and I reach what I like to refer to as my “point of despair.” As in, “Will this project EVER be done? I cannot make one. More. Stitch.” But then I do, and eventually it gets finished.

Crocheting and Knitting Projects

The thread crochet project is the Wild Rose table runner by Elizabeth Hiddleson, which I waxed poetic about in a previous post. I’m making it with Curio thread in Comfrey. I bought the thread without a project in mind – you’ll definitely need two balls of it for this table runner.

Crocheting Project

My “killing time” project is a GAP-tastic cowl made with Brava yarn in bulky. (Noticing a theme? Both this and the thread are from my amazing box of yarn.)

Knitting Project

It seems that many knitters/crocheters work on several projects at the same time, so I’m curious – am I alone in only working on one project at a time (most of the time)? Which do you prefer – working on several projects or just one, and why?

OttLite Flex and Store

PSA: I just scored a new OttLite from Michaels for $24! I had been eyeing these awesome lamps for a while, and this deal was too good to resist.

OttLite Flex and Store

The Flex and Store lamp was originally priced at about $80 – but it’s worth noting that it can be had for much cheaper elsewhere. (This same model is on sale right now, along with other models, at Jo-Ann’s infamous periodic lighting sale.) In any case, I already had a Michaels gift card from Christmas, so it was priced just right for me. 🙂

OttLite Flex and Store

Note the small built-in caddy – perhaps now I’ll be able to keep track of my cable needle. Doubtful.

OttLite Flex and Store

I just got this and have already been using it a TON. I don’t know how I managed without it, really – I have such bad eyesight anyway, and I wasn’t doing myself any favors by going without a decent task light.

OttLite Flex and Store

It’s set up on my coffee table right now, in fact, casting light over my otherwise eye-straining thread crochet project. Anybody else loving their OttLite (or another type of task light)?

Hope everyone is enjoying the weekend – I’m getting ready to settle in for a night of PBS. Downton Abbey + Sherlock? Can’t think of a better lineup. The cup that the husband got me for Christmas has been coming in handy. 🙂  (It’s from Etsy, but it doesn’t seem to be available now.)

Downton Abbey Mug

The Power of Making Things by Hand

Today was a difficult day. It’s tough trying to get back to “business as usual” after saying goodbye to a loved one. The experience is one that everyone faces, but it feels so raw and unfamiliar when it happens to you.

Rose doily

I learned a lot of things from my grandfather, things that I can see have trickled down through generations and that I know will have an unseen impact for generations to come. Things too numerous and too personal to explain here and now. I can tell you that he was a man who appreciated the value of hard work, and of doing things right. Often, this meant making things with his own hands. I’m happy to know that, in some small way, the things I love to do reflect his values.