Archive for the ‘Knitting’ Category

Crochet Flower Art

Monday, February 27th, 2017

 TextileFusion wall hanging, Winterling, by Suzann Thompson

It’s great to have a stash of ready-crocheted flowers, because you may need them for a wall hanging, like this one.

It’s called Winterling and I’ll soon be adding a link to Suzann’s TextileFusion so you can see how I made it. While we wait for that post, here’s a rundown of the crocheted flowers in Winterling.

Flower Number 1: In the summer of 2006, I pitched a book idea to Lark Crafts, a subsidiary of Sterling Publishing. That book idea became Crochet Bouquet: Easy Designs for Dozens of Flowers. Flower number 1, the buttony sunflower, was one of the sample flowers included in my proposal.

Crochet Bouquet and Crochet Garden readers will recognize all of these flowers:

From Crochet Bouquet:

2 These deep purple leaves and their antique gold partners are “Small One-Row Leaves” from pp. 120-121.

3 The yellow flowers with black button centers are “Small Petals Around,” p. 36.

4 “Circles within Circles,” pp. 22-23. Find a step-by-step photo-tutorial at http://www.textilefusion.com/bookblog/?p=450.

5 The medium sized “Primrose Layers,” pp. 90-91, with some hints and photos of an in-progress primrose at http://www.textilefusion.com/bookblog/?p=185.

6 You can make several versions of “Five Point,” pp. 85-86. This is Rnds 1-2 only. There’s a tutorial here: http://www.textilefusion.com/bookblog/?p=797.

From Crochet Garden:

7 Rafflesita, pp. 122-123. The step-by-step photo-tutorial at http://www.textilefusion.com/bookblog/?p=970 will help. The Rafflesita in the middle of the bouquet is an original flower from the book.

8 “Samarkand Sunflower,” in all its sizes, pp. 60-61. The yellow beads really brighten these flowers.

 TextileFusion wall hanging, Winterling, by Suzann Thompson

9 “Forget Me Not,” pp. 86-87. Tutorial at http://www.textilefusion.com/bookblog/?p=922.

10 “Twirl Center Rose,” pp. 116-117.

11 “Any Color Pinks,” bud and full flower, pp. 96-97. Bud and flower are designer originals.

12 “Anatolian King Flower,” pp. 104-105. The bright King Flower is a designer original.

13 “Russian Spoke Flower,” pp. 100-101, another original from the book. Learn how to do the Russian spoke stitch here: http://www.textilefusion.com/bookblog/?p=588.

14 “Turkestani Star,” p. 70, another designer original.

15 “Perspective Daisy,” pp. 56-57, inspired by the Winterling china factory’s Zwiebelmuster.

And finally, a motif I made for Crochet Garden, but it didn’t make it into the book:

16 “Leaf Spray with Berries,” which you can make from a free pattern.

Winterling will be among the doily-themed quilts at the Celebrate Doilies exhibition, opening July 1, 2017 at the Cross Timbers Fine Arts Council in Stephenville, TX. More information, please visit the exhibition schedule or the Doily Heritage Project page.

close up of vase in the TextileFusion wall hanging, Winterling, by Suzann Thompson

Red Vases with Crocheted Flowers

Saturday, August 6th, 2016

This is Red Vases, my latest crocheted flower wall hanging.

step by step TextileFusion wall hanging, Red Vases

How many flowers and leaves from Crochet Bouquet and Crochet Garden can you spot? Many are the samples that appeared in the books. I’m glad to finally find a place for them.

My friend Peggy suggested adding beads to the Bluebells from Crochet Garden. What a great idea!

step by step TextileFusion wall hanging, Red Vases

Read more about the making of Red Vases at Suzann’s TextileFusion, beginning, middle, and finished.

What are you doing with your crocheted flowers?

On the Map at the International Quilt Festival

Friday, November 6th, 2015

Knitted, embellished quilts at the International Quilt Festival, 2015

“I’m here with my sister, who quilts, but I knit!” exclaimed a smiling lady. She had wandered into my TextileFusion exhibit at the International Quilt Festival in Houston last week. All thirteen pieces in the exhibit were knitted and quilted, then embellished with crochet, embroidery, buttons, and beads.

Knitted, embellished quilts at the International Quilt Festival, 2015

Knitted, embellished quilts at the International Quilt Festival, 2015

Thanks to the exhibit’s sponsor, Lion Brand Yarns, knitters and crocheters felt they had found a home at the Festival.

Knitted, embellished quilts at the International Quilt Festival, 2015

I was able to stay with my exhibit and so I got to talk with friendly and interested people all through the show (with a couple of breaks for shopping). As we talked, I worked on a new wall hanging, which illustrated my spiel about knitted quilts. It was undoubtedly the only quilt in the enormous exhibit hall that people were allowed to touch.

Knitted, embellished quilts at the International Quilt Festival, 2015

To help me visualize the flower arrangement on the wall hanging, I photographed it with my phone. My work table was too high, so I put the quilt on the floor to take the photo.

A quilter walked by, and I’m afraid she suffered heart palpitations when she saw me place a quilt on the floor. Clueless at first, I told her what I was doing, explaining that I can get a much better perspective on the wall hanging from a photo than I can by looking at it straight-on with my own eyeballs.

When she realized it was my own quilt, the relief on her face was obvious. Oh, I get it! I’m sorry, dear lady.

Knitted, embellished quilts at the International Quilt Festival, 2015

In another exciting development at the Festival, one of my wall hangings sold! Mama Lion will be going home with a family that is active in the effort to conserve our world heritage of lions and other wild animals. (The orange circle says “Sold.”)

It’s great finally to be on the map! Literally.

Knitted, embellished quilts at the International Quilt Festival, 2015

Thank You, Lion Brand!

Monday, July 13th, 2015

Mama Lion knitted, quilted wall hanging

This is Mama Lion, one of the baker’s dozen of art quilts in my TextileFusion exhibit at the Quilt! Knit! Stitch! show in Portland, Oregon, next month.

Mama Lion was made specifically to show my appreciation of Lion Brand Yarns, the sponsor of the exhibit.

In the early days of my design career in the 1990s, Lion Brand purchased crocheted and knitted designs from me. More recently, Lion Brand Yarn Studio in New York displayed my art quilt, Passionate Heart. I have also had the privilege of signing books and giving talks at the Studio.

I am pleased and honored that Lion Brand Yarns supports my textile art. Thank you again, Lion Brand!

April 18th—Create a Piece of TextileFusion All Your Own!

Thursday, April 2nd, 2015

First I have to tell you this story. When Lark Books contracted with me in 2006 to write Crochet Bouquet, my editor sent me a stack of pictures of crocheted flowers from the internet. “Here’s some inspiration,” she said, more or less.

I looked through the pictures she sent, and saw my very own wall hanging–Shards 2: Sometimes, the one you see in the photo above! One of my mixed-media quilts had crossed over into the realm of inspiration. It was a good day!

And now, back to the present. Since I use lots of fiber techniques in my wall hangings, I call them “TextileFusion,” which combines knitting, crochet, quilting, and embellishment.

Join me on Saturday, April 18, 2015, to learn how the TextileFusion technique has developed over the years. Then make a small piece of TextileFusion of your very own!

The San Jose Museum of Quilts and Textiles (520 South First Street, San Jose, CA) will host the workshop from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on the 18th of this month.

Read more about the TextileFusion workshop and register soon at: https://secure.acceptiva.com/?cst=4c411e

San Jose Museum of Quilts and Textiles

Sign Up Soon for Taos Wool Festival Workshops in October

Monday, August 25th, 2014

Polymer clay buttons

The Taos Wool Festival is always the first full weekend of October, with workshops starting a couple of days ahead. This is a great time to be in the mountains of New Mexico. The autumn colors and crisp weather are just wonderful.

This year I’m offering three classes at Taos:

Polymer Clay Button Boutique, all day Friday, October 3. You’ll go home with lots of colorful, pretty buttons, ready to use. They’re machine washable and dryable.

See the blue and orange buttons in the lower right corner of the photo above? We’ll make those as a group project. So fun!

Mosaic knit saguaro cactus

How to Knit Mosaic Patterns and Design Your Own, Saturday afternoon, October 4. After this class, you’ll be able to knit any of Barbara Walker’s many mosaic patterns, and you can design your own! Read more about the workshop here.

This mosaic cactus motif is one of my earliest original mosaic designs. I still like it a lot!

Knit Cables, Bobbles, and Braids workshop

Cables, Bobbles, and Braids, Sunday morning, October 5. You’ll learn how to do these stunning knitting techniques, but more importantly, you’ll develop a deeper understanding of these textural wonders. You’ll go away ready to twist and shout!

Please sign up for classes before September 1, 2014, at www.taoswoolfestival.org/workshops.

This notice is also on my other blog, but with different pictures. Enjoy!

Book Signing at Lion Brand Yarn Studio in New York!

Saturday, July 21st, 2012

Crochet Garden by Suzann Thompson

I can hardly wait to go to New York to visit the Lion Brand Yarn Studio, talk with fellow crocheters, and sign copies of Crochet Bouquet and Crochet Garden!

I craft with Lion Brand

The booksigning is at 6:00 p.m., August 6th, with seating starting at 5:30 p.m. If you would like to attend, please go to the Lion Brand Yarn Studio website to RSVP and for more information.

It will be a kind of homecoming for me. In the early 1990s I designed some afghans and sweaters for Lion Brand. I visited Lion Brand headquarters in New York and showed the Blumethals some design swatches. They commissioned a couple of designs–I was so excited!

Kitty Dreams blanket by Suzann

Aside from the lovely crocheted flowers in Crochet Garden, these are my favorite Lion Brand yarn designs. I designed the Kitty Dreams Blanket, made with Lion Brand Jiffy, for the Monsanto Designs for America program in the mid-1990s. The pattern is in a book called Cat Crafts: More than 50 Purrfect Projects, by Dawn Cusick. The book is available from used booksellers online, starting at around $1.00 plus shipping.

Mosaic Fish Rug by Suzann

My daughter Eva (then about 7 years old) drew a beautiful blue fish. I just had to see if I could interpret it in knitting. Mosaic knitting seemed the best way to capture the detail in her drawing. The result: this Fish Rug made from a double strand of Lion Cotton. What is it with all these fish, anyway?

That reminds me—I’m teaching how to Knit Mosaic Designs and Chart Your Own at Interweave Knitting Lab New England in October. See sidebar for link.

To Button or Not To Button?

Friday, April 13th, 2012

I had to smile when I read this comment from an Amazon.com reviewer, about Crochet Bouquet.

And why are so many decorated with buttons? No, no, no, no, no.

Truth be told, we are fortunate that there were so relatively few buttons in Crochet Bouquet. I held back on the buttons. I restrained myself. It wasn’t easy. Like I said, we’re lucky there weren’t more.

Why?

Because I love, love, love, love, LOVE buttons! They make me feel rich! They add interest and weight to my designs! They are cool to the touch when you run your fingers through them, and they make a nice, soft, clicking-clattering noise when you pour them out of the button jar. They come in so many varieties, it seems one will never run out of buttony options.

Newspaper Valentine by Suzann Thompson

You can see for yourself the buttons that embellish some of the flowers in Crochet Bouquet. (There will be a few button embellishments in my new book, Crochet Garden, too.) Let me show you some of my other buttony creations.

The heart wall hanging above is my “Newspaper Valentine.” (Three guesses as to why it’s called that!—think back to your childhood.) In addition to the many buttons used as trim and hidden in the background, I created stylized flowers on the heart using black and white buttons. (Thank you Sharon, for the buttons!) Bandanna designs inspired these button flowers. If I remember correctly, “Newspaper Valentine” has over 200 buttons on it.

Money Tree, by Suzann Thompson

My friend Kipling McFarland and I are working on a project together, and this is one of the designs I made for it. It’s called “Money Tree.” Remember how I said that buttons make me feel rich?

The black buttons on the ladybug wall hanging were meant to echo the spots on a ladybug’s carapace. I think there are nearly 90 buttons on this wall hanging, and I was very disappointed at the time that the level of buttons in our button jar didn’t seem to be affected by the loss.

Polymer clay buttoncloth, by Suzann

I make buttons, too. This is the button cloth I created to take to my button workshops. It is knitted on my trusty Ultimate Sweater Machine, added to batting and a fabric backing, and machine-quilted. I sewed a sample of each different kind of polymer clay button I have made onto the button cloth.

There’s oh, so much more. If you are interested, you can find more buttony projects on my blogs and website.

I’ll close with this happy thought: I can love buttons and use them on everything, and you can choose

  1. to cover everything with buttons, like me (yes, yes, yes, yes, yes),
  2. to use a moderate number of buttons (yes, yes, maybe, no, no),
  3. to use buttons sparingly (yes, maybe, no, no, no),
  4. or never to use buttons at all (no, no, no, no, no).

It’s a win-win situation!

Crazy Polymer Clay Patchwork Buttons, by Suzann

Book Signing in Estes Park, Colorado!

Sunday, May 17th, 2009

In less than a month, the Estes Park Wool Market will be in full swing with two days of workshops and two days of shopping. It’s a beautiful venue, with the Rocky Mountains in the distance. The weather is perfect for wearing sweaters.

During the market, I will be signing copies of Crochet Bouquet in Suzanne Correira’s Fire Ant Ranch booth. Look for the flower ponchos, as in the photo above.

I’ll be teaching workshops there, too. There’s still time to sign up for classes! If you mail your registration form before Friday, May 22, you will avoid the late fee. So send in your registrations today! Here is the brochure and registration form.

May I recommend my workshop? It is called “Style and Shape Knitting with Pleats and Darts.” We’ll make at least three different kinds of pleats, including these pleats which look great on sleeves. You can use them to enhance other parts of your garments, too. We’ll talk about this and brainstorm together to come up with great ideas for how to use pleats.

We’ll also discuss how to incorporate knitted pleats into garments, as design details or as major garment shaping. We’ll discuss how to deal with the extra weight. We’ll practice ways to figure out the number of sts you need for a pleated item.

Darts make sweaters fit better, and lucky us! We can knit darts right into our sweaters. I’ll show you how to measure and calculate darts, and how to knit them using short rows.

Every now and then you don’t know you need a dart until you’ve already finished the sweater. Never fear! You can cut a dart into your sweater. To see a cut-out dart in progress, have a look at this post.

There is homework, so be sure and read the brochure closely. Hope to see you there!