Thursday, April 21, 2011

It's a question of lace?

Shary Boyle
I am fascinated with lace and lovely lace trimmed garments.

This is why I was so taken with the work of Shary Boyle who has created, in porcelain, some of the most amazing sculpted figures trimmed in lace.  In fact some of Shary's "people" are actually dressed in real lace that has been dipped in porcelain and applied to the figure.

Shary Boyle

The artist's figures at first resembled Royal Doulton figurines; but with more texture and detail. The hands, for example, all had six fingers. Then Shary moved away from the conventional to the more expressive.

Shary Boyle
I particularly like this last one. It's a modern take on knitting or something like that. It's perhaps a little difficult to tell from the picture; but the hands are tangled in fine yarn. I can identify with that!

Dream, create, sculpt, and live in lace!!


Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Here comes the BRIDE......

I just had to share with you a closet passion of mine (shhhhh - doll's clothes). OK there are people out there who like miniatures - really! Some people even have children because they are so cute and so little:) So what's wrong with some quick and easy projects that play with lovely stitches and knitting techniques.
Jaquie Yaxley

I think that doll's clothes have been given a bad rap - they've been lumped in with the toilet roll cover crowd and just never got out! Now if you were to size up some of these patterns to adult proportions, everyone would say, "Oh, wow, that's lovely!" Because, of course, one can envisage wearing it rather than having it sit on a shelf to collect dust.
So what's wrong with collecting dust? There is something time honoured about collecting Royal Doulton figures and the whimsical, if not slightly macabre, work of Shary Boyle is in demand. Oh, well, I guess I am doomed to be a voice crying in the wilderness about the grace of doll's clothes. 
Anyway, every once in a while there comes an opportunity to display doll's clothes in all their loveliness and the Royal wedding is one of those occasions.  Here are my patterns for knitted bridal gowns. (Penny would understand.)

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Lucky Day Diary April 15 - 16, 2011

Friday was a beautiful sunny day - almost warm and

1. I have started my next chapter of "getting things together" by buying an apple. I read in the paper that a study in bone density for woman accidently showed that woman who ate 75g of dried apple slices a day had a 23% drop in bad cholesterol and a 4% increase in good cholesterol.

These numbers are amazing, so I am planning to eat apples and get off drugs for cholesterol. Plus there are other added benefits to eating apples!!! This article was a lucky read!

2. My daughter arrived home safe and sound from university on Saturday, so we now have a full house - 3 cats, 3 children - 2 adults and a friend of the eldest who has been here since Wednesday - all making their own snacks at all hours of the day and night. Luckily I have been able to knit and sleep through it all!

3. Fortunately I had a lot of things to "do" on Saturday, because it rained all day, the computer decided NOT to turn on when I pressed the button and the youngest said that he had given his old laptop to a girlfriend two years ago.  The girlfriend is no longer around and neither is our back-up computer - off to Staples tomorrow to try and get the desk top repaired!!

4. Luckily, I could bring my laptop back from the office to use and it actually had picked up a nasty virus, so the youngest could redeem himself by spending two hours erasing the "bug" - That was fortunate :)

5. Dinner for both Friday & Saturday was bought in - Friday - Cannelloni from the supermarket and Saturday BBQ'd chicken Portuguese style from Churrasco's. Sadly I will have to cook on Sunday!

Hope you have a great weekend!!

Friday, April 15, 2011

How about lucky month

Well it is maybe time for a re-assessment of my lucky day diary.  I started my diary in January and the idea was to try it for a see how it might add a little luck...maybe I should say add a little more luck to my life. I was thinking Lottery win - several million and "good-bye"......
Pisces from Queen Anne's Lace

Well I haven't won the lottery - a few free tickets and some loose change - but this diary is in the process of changing my life!!!!!  I didn't take before pictures - but here are the after shots!!

1. I decided that I could save about $1,000.00 per month in rent, if I gave up 2 of the 5 rooms that Infiknit occupies on Mt. Pleasant.  It took a lot pushing and shoving; but I managed to squeeze 5 rooms into 3 and have the space look even better than before - how did that happen? The move wasn't easy because it involved moving and re-wiring machinery, moving shelving units, making decisions about this and that etc...etc...But I did something that I have been putting off for several years.  OK I am not really going to save $1000.00, because my landlady reduced the rent by 75%, so I couldn't say no - but I now have 2 rooms that I can re-configure - What luck and, yes, why hadn't I done this years ago!!

Infiknit after the move
2. I am on a design roll. A few years ago I decided to interpret the 12 signs of the Zodiac in lace shawls.  Well I hit some down time last year and Taurus and Sagittarius took ages to finish, but Pisces and Gemini are just zipping along and I have ideas for Virgo brewing.

These were two monumental changes, especial the move, so I have to say that two and a half months of keeping an almost daily positive diary has fuelled some pretty positive action.

Sooooo, I am not stopping, because I have to lose some weight, get back in shape and generally move forward. I also need a place to record all the neat things that happen in a day like:
800lb skeiner moved

1. The day I had to take the 18-year-old to emergency because his "diamond stud' got embedded in his ear, which had subsequently become infected and it just had to be dealt with.  Well he looked a little apprehensive and said, "Are they going to cut off my ear?" I said, "don't be silly - you're not that good an artist!"

2. I also had a chance to pass something forward.  We were buying parking tickets to park at the hospital from a machine which would only accept $4.00 in coin - go figure, one could die of heart failure for the lack of change, anyway I put in the wrong combination of coins and had to figure out how I was going to get my money back because I couldn't print a ticket.  Did you know that there is a little red dial that you turn and BINGO all the money comes out of the slot - it's like Los Vegas.  Well I got my money back and several other peoples' money as well.  It didn't end there.  The gentleman before me who also didn't have the right change had gone back to his car for more money and had just returned when I hit the Jack Pot. I gave him the rest of the change; but it still wasn't going to work for him, so he asked to buy my $2.00 coin for $5.00.  I gave him the coin and said - "Pass it forward" - remember someone had given me their ticket at another hospital, so I parked for free that day - well I parked for $6.00 not $4.00 this day - but for two bucks I had a great feeling all day!!!

3. I also wasn't suicidal when it snowed in early April - what luck!

Gemini - knitting on border
4. There were lots of other great things that happened as well, which I have forgotten so I have to start writing again, because, as I said, it makes a difference.

This blog post has been brought to you by Meredith and Jeremy and their gorgeous little dog, who came to visit because I hadn't been posting - thanks guys I needed that!
and Spring is here

Friday, April 08, 2011

The Materialistics

Gauguin Sweater
I have a book by Ruth Herring and Karen Manners, entitled Knitting Masterpieces, that has taken many of the great works of art and translated them into knitted sweaters.  I love this book. I'm not sure that it is in print anymore; it was published in 1987.  I have always wanted to "do" the Monet sweater. The cover of the book shows "Tahitian Women on the Beach" by Paul Gauguin. There is a total 20 sweaters in the book including the Mona Lisa, David and Cherubs by Raphael.

Well this book and its sweaters are not the only ones that have linked great art and knitting.

The Materialistics' version of Van Gogh's Sunflowers
The Materialistics are a group of knitters in the UK that decide every year to take a famous work of art and re-do it in knitting. Be amazed; be very amazed!

Art critics, of course scorn their attempts; but knitters love them. It's maybe more tasteful than yarn bombings - even the very high end yarn bombings. Their work shows the versatility of knitting and it does raise it closer to true Art then, let's say, toilet roll covers :)


Sunday, April 03, 2011

Capture Capucci....

Every once in a while you need a shot in the arm to get you back on a creative track - at least I do anyway.  Well into my lap this morning fell an article about Roberto Capucci.  Capucci says that he is more artist than dress designer, even though he has costumed some of the world's most beautiful women in his 80 odd years.
Roberto Capucci

This is what I had been waiting for - an appetiser tray of fabric and fibre creations like no other.

So let's say that you are looking for an idea for a sweater, perhaps and you take a look at Capucci's museum pieces (he's on display at and you say - "Wow, I had never really thought of adding ruffles here or pleats there or....or....

There are a few designers who have created the ruffles, but maybe not added them to a sweater or vest. Others have worked with layers or psuedo layers to create very delicate garments.

Ruffle Scarf from Vadis Designs
There was even a dress by Roberto that featured a bodice trimmed in what looked like eyelash yarn. Sorry the picture was in the globe; but not on-line.

Roberto Capucci

Ruched Pelerine from Le Tissier

To see more designs by Roberto Capucci, just google his name and you will be amazed.  Now take some of these ideas and apply them to knitting designs. It's that simple :)

Enjoy Carol

Saturday, April 02, 2011

Beyond April Fool's Day

OK it's the day after April Fool's Day and I'm a little late; but I have just spent the last 3 days writing a pattern for the lace shawl Scorpio and I just lost track of time. Anyway, I have to say that for years I have been the fool. (Does that mean that it will stop now?) I have somehow thought that April Fool's Day and the Lord of Mis-rule were one in the same!

Lollypop Scarf from Lucy Neatby
Well Wikipedia has set me straight - yes I believe in Wikipedia.  The Lord of Mis-rule is actually a person who is chosen to preside over festivities around Christmas possibly a remnant of  Saturnalia celebrations.  It is a time when things are turned upside down and masters wait on servants etc. and the Lord of Mis-rule may command anyone to do anything.  Well there is a lot of slapstick humour, joking, pranks and whatever at this time so I guess it just merged with April Fool's Day - actually a hangover - maybe literally - from pagan times when Spring was considered the beginning of the new year - makes sense when you think about it.

Chain d'Amour Scarf from Lucy Neatby
So what does April Fool's Day have to do with knitting.  Well no one wants to be "a fool" when it comes to techniques and every knitter would love to know all those little "tricks" that make knitting a lot easier, such as, correcting those little "slips" in knitting without taking the whole thing out. So let me present Lucy Neatby, the mistress of knitting tips and tricks.  Lucy has two books and 16 DVDs just loaded with everthing that you need, or would like, to know about knitting.  I highly recommend both her sock book - Cool Socks Warm Feet and her lastest book on finishing - Cool Knitters Finish in Style. These are motherloads of information in very readable formats for beginner to even the most experienced knitters.
Spindrift Scarf from Lucy Neatby

Lucy's DVDs offer visuals for even more information. The pictures are of Lucy's patterns that show some of her knitting tricks and of course her sense of humour. (PS. The slight price increase in Lucy's products on April 1 isn't a joke - it's just survival.) Anyway you'll want all of this fabulous collection at any price.