Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Full STEAM ahead

On a lark, I signed up for a class at Kendall College of Art and Design in Grand Rapids.  The class meets on a weeknight, so it is a stretch for me to drive across the state to attend and then back again for work the next day, but so far, I am managing it. 

The title of the class is "Inside the Studio" and the subject matter is a peek into the studios and lives of artists who exhibited at the FED gallery at KCAD during the recent exhibition of The land of Here and Now.

When I first walked into the gallery, I was amazed to see a giant beach blanket that I knew at first glance just had to have been machine-knit, so I felt right at home.

The instructor, Eliza Fernand, was the host of the artist residency program which was the subject of the exhibition.  She was the co-curator of the exhibition.  She is fellow textile artist, a quiltmaker, and is amazing.  

Last night she shared some local events with us that are directly related to machine knitting: Knit It, in Grand Rapids, and a maker pop-up event in Detroit.

If I get anything out of this class, it is going to be that I have the RIGHT to call myself a fiber artist, there is no exam to pass or portfolio to amass.   

Our assignment this week is to find inspirations to post on our vision boards in the classroom.
I've posted my 1-hour prayer shawl and my pink-and-purple sweater and swatches for it, so far.  I want to post the following:
  1. TKGA Machine Master's Program
  2. Fashion Illustration course
  3. Fashion sketches - plus-size
  4. Pattern from Sewing expo
  5. Zaragoza photos
  6. Woodland Native American quillwork inspirations for shawl
    1. swatch - felt
    2. swatch - applique of fine knit a la Mariette
    3. swatch - couched design
  7. Create Pattern designs for publication
  8. Write magazine article
  9. Publish this blog!
  10. Inspirations - slow versus fast
  11. Inspirations - industrial versus domestic
  12. Inspirations - tension between present and the past
  13. Inspirations - physical versus virtual
  14. STEAM education (Science Technology Engineering Art Math)

Sunday, July 31, 2016

maker Fair

Ed and I went to Maker Faire at Henry Ford Museum today.  I was hoping to find other machine knitters and did not.  However I did find TNNA giving away drop spindles.  Laura, who was sight-impaired, helped me with my drop-spindle spinning.  I think she helped quite a bit.  I probably will never be proficient at drop-spindle spinning, however.

When we got home I tried to do a tuck-stitch version of the one-hour prayer shawl with ladder yarn.  It is not working so I am giving up for today.
At the Monroe seminar, Diana Berns demonstrated the 1-hour prayer shawl technique.  Basically, this:

Set two needles at left of bed to working position and one needle a distance away (for fringe).  E-wrap cast on and hang weights.  Knit, increasing one stitch on right every two rows. When you reach the width the shawl should be, set the carriage for hold and hold one stitch on the right every two rows.  When you are back down to one stitch, start putting one needle back into work every two rows.  When you reach the end, start decreasing one stitch on right every two rows.  When back down to one, cast off one stitch.  Block before or after "unworking" the fringe.

I did this with a cone of my all-natural yarn.  Decide the angle was too narrow on a stockinette stitch.  Thinking about embellishments, perhaps an Iriquois-insprired woodland theme? Or perhaps a Spanish Mantilla?   

Monroe Machine Knitting Seminar

As always, a fantastic time at Monroe Machine Knitters' Seminar in July.   Cathy reports that due to the temporary relocation to another building at Monroe Community College, she was able to accept more registrations this year, and there were 100 machine knitters there this year.  Several were new.

Demonstrators were:
I learned something from each demonstrator.  I did not walk away empty-handed, either.  I won a door prize both days and purchased either a pattern, yarn, or a tool from each demonstrator.

An announcement was made at lunch concerning TKGA's management company deciding to stop the relationship, and the subsequent conversion of TKGA to an all-volunteer organization.  Due to lack of machine-knitting volunteers, machine knitting certification program will be dropped as of the current time.  We were encouraged to join the conversation on Ravelry to offer our support to perhaps influence a differernt decision.



Saturday, May 21, 2016

Knitting machine users are "makers"

This team of young people has put together an excellent video to demonstrate how the millennials are using knitting machines. 

See it here.

More work in the queue

I have been buying knitting machines from Craigslist again.  I added some more to my "inventory" a few weeks ago.  All these machines are awaiting my tender loving care to check them out, put new sponge bars in them, and try knitting on them. 

One of the last ones started shedding gate pegs while it was still in my car. It is a Singer ribber, and the gate pages are apparently held on by a rail, and all the nuts were missing from the little tiny bolts that held the rail on.   I think I gathered them all up, and put them in a plastic bag,  but not sure, so it may end up being used as a parts machine.   

Saturday, April 30, 2016