Sunday, March 3, 2019

Springtime Cowl and Beanie

The winter of 2019 seems to be just as endless in Chicago Land as last year's - so I thought that my friend Barb might welcome the warmth of a cowl - doubling as a beanie for the really Chicago-windy days - and in the spring color of green, with a few red, blue and yellow beads thrown in for good measure as a stand-in for spring flowers!

 Springtime Cowl and Beanie

The pattern is called: Barb’s Springtime Cowl and Beanie!

First: It is a cowl. Secondly: It is a beanie. Thirdly: You can wear it with the greener part at the top or at the bottom, upside down, inside out. And finally: The I-cord is removable and can be woven through the holes between the stitches either at the top or at the bottom. I crocheted the last two rows and the elastic bind-off to make an even hole-spacing for the I-cord.

 Springtime Cowl and Beanie
 Springtime Cowl and Beanie
After weaving the I-cord through the spaces between the stitches, pull it tight, make a bow and there you go, take a bow! Wear your beanie upside down whichever way you please. Oh yes, lest I forget, if you don't want the I-cord to show you can gather the cowl together at the top with the I-cord, make a bow, turn the cowl - now a beanie - inside out and there you go. How versatile is that!

Springtime Cowl and Beanie - I-Cord
Springtime Cowl and Beanie

Of course there is the option to wear it inside out and upside down, but that is totally up to the wearer-ess. The spiral-like green beads on the one end I bought in Shanghai in 2008. The colourful Rocailles (beads) I bought in Vienna in an incredibly well-stocked bead shop sometime at the beginning of this century. And the various yarns were bought during the past 6 decades of picking up so-called orphan yarns, i.e. where only one or two skeins are left in an orphan basket in yarn stores of every country we visited. Now they are orphans no longer but united in a hopefully useful accessory. They are in the colors of spring flowers. 
So there you go! An international Barb Beanie and Cowl!

Succulent - not a cowl or beanie, but green!

Saturday, February 3, 2018

Give your heart away

A few years back: On a whim I crocheted a heart and then added some embroidery. An idea for you: A variety of different hearts would make a nice Valentine’s Day table decoration! (Valentine's Day)

Valentine's Heart - Crochet and Embroidery (front)
Valentine's Heart - Crochet and Embroidery (back)
And a tiny heart for my daughter Valerie !

Monday, June 5, 2017

Textile Designers, Yarnies, Ravellers: Textile Art 2017 in Berlin

An absolute MUST for Yarnies, Ravellers, Textilers - The Textile Art exhibition in Berlin. The two days - 24 and 25 June - are chock-full with events and workshops (register now!). It is a showcase for everybody appreciating or involved in textile art - and for all people loving to knit, crochet, weave, spin, do sprang or tatting or felting, beading, embroidery or....

This year's motto is   

"In quest of Beauty" Inspiration - Creation - Sensation!  

The TEXTILE ART BERLIN is under the patronage of Professor Dr. Elisabeth Tietmeyer, Direktorin des MEK, Museum Europäischer Kulturen – Staatliche Museen zu Berlin.

For information in English click here and for the German link click here.
The picture is Copyright Textile Art Berlin.

Sunday, May 21, 2017

Do you prefer cake ?

Kindling your imagination: A small road in the countryside - leading your vision beyond the horizon.
Buying yarn has something to do with having a vision. It is an exciting and rewarding experience, mind-stretching and nerve-racking at the same time. One visualizes the existing stash, colors, textures, quantity, suitability... The very probability of actual use takes second place to desire for more. We split our personality into two, one on the outside, giving us as much positive feed as we want, and one on the inside, the reality person, reasoning, weighing the pros and cons of the potential purchase, but also soberly searching for excuses to add to a vast existing stash and so forth.
 Doesn't this wrap's shape and strong neon-line colors set your fantasy in motion?

Then there is the lure of the yarn's presentation! We perceive not just skeins, cones or hard core balls, we visually caress Hankenskeins, and yes! CAKES and donut balls! See these and more in this illustration (Interweave). Various known and unknown gadgets cast their spell on us and our credit card. A Nostepinne (Wickeldorn, Ball Winder)
in various new versions, incredibly easy-to-handle Bamboo Curved Needle Sets for socks, hats and loops, a true must-have for a dedicated sock or cowl knitter... Dream on, knitters and yarn fanatics!

This wrap created itself in my hands last winter (2016-2017). The meanderings are the opposite to straight lines, back and forth they rise and fall and add peaks and valleys to the structure. Smaller glossy beads and heart-shaped buttons in green, black and purple will catch the eye when the wrap is worn and thus becoming alive. It is a gift for Hélène, our Parisian family member, and - true to proverbial expectations - a très chique and beautiful Parisienne, wearing the wrap with great aplomb (Glitzy freeform wrap / scarf for Hélène)

Northern Lights / Aurora Borealis

Photographs copyright Valerie Mader + Ute Mader

Friday, March 3, 2017

Illumination Series - sparking new ideas

Spring returns with longer hours of light - the golden wings in the beautiful leather panel by Jorge Centofanti seem to take flight again, sparking new ideas and awakening tangible ones after a long hibernation ....
Illumination Series - Tapis Lumière - Light Rug (Guadameci)
This panel within the Centofanti Illumination series encourages and inspires to resume work on my project Timbuctoo (also see: Tahir Shah) which I started the day I bought the panel in August 2010. Some things just take time.

If Guadameci is an art you are not familiar with please read about it in this article on The Art of Leather. You might be as thrilled as I was - to discover an ancient art and some of the very few artists who are still engaged in creating leather art - how lucky can one get.

Tapis Lumière

Signs of Spring

Sunday, February 26, 2017

For a Friend Across the Ocean

No other words needed - this is for a Friend living in Taos, Faith Welsh.
She is a caring human being, a most creative artist of many talents, a cat person, a designer, spinner, knitter, painter, appreciates nature and glorious landscapes, mountains, rocks and trees and plants, the skies and seas, far-away places, foreign cultures - with her posts and her work she has helped me to overcome my homesickness for our former home in the country. This friendship circle is for her. I made it in October 2014.

Hopefully, I will one day be able to meet my friend in person:
Hope is the thing with feathers—
That perches in the soul—
And sings the tune without the words—
And never stops—at all.
~ Emily Dickinson

Thursday, June 30, 2016

Laden with Texture and Color

All colors are my favorite. Is the singular of favorite correct grammatically, visually, perceptively, sensitively? Hard to decide, but the essence of all colors certainly is. I've been gathering yarn for decades, like this lovely Austermann Fancy Mix bought many years ago. 
Count the colors !
The first Breeze wrap I made I gave to a dear friend in France, using some of my many socalled orphan yarns (only one skein available for purchase) but Jane Thornley's Breeze pattern is so versatile that I could not resist drawing on the Breeze system again, this time using my long-treasured Austermann Fancy Mix. I combined it with some dramatic black and a golden cord I bought at the Berlin Textile Art exhibition last week  - adding volume, glamor and ritzy chic. After all, this is a gift for a special lady who is a goldsmith. What a wonderful and truly precious profession!

Golden Wrap
This time I wove a golden cord - twinned with a smooth black leather thread - through the smaller CO-edge as a draw-string. Gathered into undulating waves, it turns into a lovely shoulder-hugging cowl, framing the neck in precious colors like in a Klimt painting, or Egon Schiele's Crescent of Houses (1915, Der Häuserbogen II, Leopold Museum, Vienna).
Please see the wrap "Winter Breeze" posted earlier in this blog to get an idea of the shape (triangular) and size (always depending on the person who will receive the wrap).

Please visit ARTSY if you wish to know more about  Egon Schiele or Gustav Klimt. ARTSY is an association with the mission to make works of art available for viewing and buying on the Internet.
 Egon Schiele: Crescent of Houses

Happiness is the sum of many small things

Texture plus color are difficult to describe - that is why it is a haptic and visual sensation at once. It is easy to equal such sensations to those being in a garden with a bounty of bright flowers in summer and muted ones in winter. Since I moved to Berlin, I came to appreciate even more Peter Joseph Lenné's astounding capabilities as a garden designer and architect, a master landscaper.
Sanssouci - castle and vineyards
Amonst many prestigeous positions he was a founding member of the Prussian Society for the Promotion of Horticulture in 1822, and accepted the position of Manager of the Parks Division and the Orchard Cultivation. What is so utterly amazing is the fact that he, with no help of airplanes or hot-air balloons, was able to visualize an overall parc concept, incorporating many lakes, the river Havel, a number of existing castles such as Sanssouci (the above picture is by in Potsdam, and castles to be yet designed and built. The overall concept included the Pfaueninsel (Peacock Island) - the ensemble part of the Palaces and Parks of Potsdam and Berlin (UNESCO World Heritage Site). Truly a man with a lot of foresight, patience, know-how, experience, vision and imagination, such as all great gardeners must possess.