Saturday, November 26, 2011


It being Thanksgiving weekend I fell behind my weekly schedule. A shame, since I had intended to thank Pia publicly Thursday for repairing the sleeves of my sweater. Well, I'm sure she has been too busy using her French cooking skills to prepare Thanksgivings dinner, so here are my delayed thanks.
Let me explain why Pia's good deed is of special significance.
The sweater is a work of art - in my opinion - by my sister Esther. She died in 2003 and I was given the sweater by her husband.
I wear it every winter, as soon as it starts to get cold, hence the red border on the edges of the sleeves began to 'undo' themselves.
My knitting skills are next to nothing, so who else to turn to than  my neighbor and friend, fiber artist, weaver, sheep farmer, and fellow Scandinavian. And she was so pleased that she had the correct color yarn, and she had it done in no time and I got the sweater back almost as new.
But this is not the end of the story, because I began to wonder if 'knitting' should even have a place on this blog, for it's not a fabric, or is it?
Wikipedia says:
"Knitting is a method by which thread or yarn may be turned into cloth"
and "Knit, knitted or knitting may also refer to knitted fabric"
So there you have it, but no, my sweater is definitely not made of a fabric. Maybe the distinction is between machine knitted and hand knitted?
 Reading on I became aware of a very interesting fact and I quote: " Within the 1940's  English knitting rose in popularity while Continental knitting fell. This is due to the fact that Continental knitting originated within Germany and was spread by immigrants, During WW II Continental knitting fell out of style due to its relationship with Germany." Here is definitely a subject for a Ph.D. thesis for  a graduate student of textile arts. By the way it reminds me of something during a former crisis, oh, not eating French fries. When was that and why?? I've forgotten.
The brit Elizabeth Zimmerman reintroduced Continental style into this country, and her motto was: 
"Knit on with confidence and hope through all crises"

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

A Common Thread?

A program called "Common Thread" linked the quilters from Gees Bend, a West Alabama community,
to African mud painters from the West African country Mali, was held this entire week at the Alys B.Stephens Center, at UAB.
The black color is created, when the mud painted cotton fabric is washed in rivers containing large amount of iron. The iron acts as a mordant.

 Laverne from the guild volunteering with the community  quilt.

 Inspired by the plant and mud dyers, I went home and dug up some plant died cotton fabric from my stash.The green is parsley, the brown and dark yellow onion, the bright yellow goldenrod, and the beige, I believe is pokeweed berries, which strangely enough doesn't yield much color.
 Something local for the community quilt. They are still looking for more 10 x10  blocks.

The previous day, last Tuesday to be correct, in another part of town, 15 women from the guild, lead by Kathy created 15 very different purses, all from the same pattern. Mine, by sheer coincidence, took up the African theme of my week.

Last Tuesday I made a bag in a class taught by a fellow guildmember, Kathy.
 We were 15 ladies all making very diffrent purses.
 Wednesday I went to see and listen to two Afrcan Painter from Mali, mudpainters.
 They spoke French and the little French i once was able to utter has completely disappeared,
 but their language - mud art- was beautiful.   The balck color appears when washing
 the woven cotton in river water. The iron in the water acts as mordant.
 The gees bend Quilters and several fellow quilters were there.
The program
was called Common Thread and sponsored by ArtPlay and UAB et al.
Lillis said they would still take squares for the community quilt so I huried home and found my samples of plant dies cotton, to make my contribution  from local plants, goldenrod predominant among the colors, but also parsley and onion using different mordants.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Vintage Aprons

The reproduction print of a small dog was chosen especially for Malinda,
my daughter in law and loving owner of a new tiny dog, Ruby.
I'm glad she liked her vintage apron, the fabrics were reproduction prints.

One of Gwen's original 40's prints was used on a second apron,
now available at PrimeTime Treasures, Homewood.