Category Archives: Art

Episode 22 – Art for Fiber’s Sake

Somehow this episode became all about art inspired knitting or the other way around.

I talked about my current sweater projects and knitting a new skirt for myself. I also share about my first attempt at freeform crochet.

We’re available on both iTunes and Podcast Alley. Just check for “Cloudy with a chance of Fiber.”

Episode 22

My first attempt at freeform crochet

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Filed under Art, Challenge, Craft, Creativity, Crochet, Knitting, Podcast, Stash, Stuff I made, Sweater, Techniques

Meaning of Life? Nah… Just a Reminder of What’s Truly Important.

We popped into see this film, $9.99 last night and I was quite charmed by the whole experience. The animation was wonderful, the shading and textures on the characters was a refreshing sight from all the clean lines we see here in America with all the MacAnimation we get from the big animation houses.  Plus there was a lot of knitting to oggle and wonder at. I really adored the story about the little boy who became attached to his piggy bank.  I have to admit, if you are the kind of person that likes explicit explantation or plot lines that are spelled out for you…  or if you think there must always be a point to a story…this isn’t the movie for you. This film may not be for those who crave the explicit or a traditional, clear moral ending, but even without lines clearly drawn, I walked away pleasantly surprised and feeling good.

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I’m full. I can’t possibly knit anymore

No, not really. I could actually keep knitting.

Yesterday I hosted a Yarntasting party in Overlook Park.

At least over twenty people showed up from the invitee list. It was such great fun!!!! Surprisingly, it was a bit chilly and windy early when we started but the sun eventually came out. Many people brought food and drink to snack on while we were knitting.  There was a bit of a mix up with the parks area because they double booked the spot.  A poor woman showed up around 12:00 puzzled because she’d booked the site from 9:00 to the end of the day.  The last hour of the Yarntasting was a bit rushed, but all in all it was great! And I got to meet a lot of wonderful Portland Knitters.

A few people did try to crochet their samples. Others like Puppydog knits created a sample mini scarf from their swatches.

Artfibers Swatch Scarf

Artfibers Swatch Scarf by Puppydog Knits

Located outside of San Francisco in Pinole, California, Artfibers has been producing their uniquely gorgeous artisan yarns for over 15 years. At our Yarntasting there were about 180 different gorgeous fiber samples of 38 different yarn lines to choose from ranging from blends made from alpaca to yak. You can see all of the yarns (and more) we tried at this event on the Artfibers yarn page.

I’m going to try to keep a log of fibers I both tried and took smaller samples from. It was virtually impossible to try all of the them but my favorites on the spot were (I will post photos as soon as my camera battery is charged up and I can find my blasted USB cord for my camera):

  • Cassanova (Tussah Silk/ Mulberry Silk) – So beautiful I made swatches of two colors. Gorgeously soft with just the amount of sheen from the silk. It doesn’t hurt that the colors are absolutely gorgeous from a deep velvety teal to a pink and plum multi-color shown here.
  • Casanova 18 & Safa 12

    Casanova 18 & Safa 12

  • Bunnuit (53% Tussah Silk/40% Angora/7% Mulberry Silk) – I normally don’t like angora in such a large percentage in a yarn, but married with the silk it seems to work for me. The black angora bathes the rich multi-colored variation in this yarn in a halo of dark softness. The result is an amazingly rich texture and colorway. Did I mention that it’s super baby soft too?
  • Bunnuit 03

    Bunnuit 03

  • Chutney (100% Wild harvested silk bourette) – While Chutney isn’t as soft as the previous two yarns, I still love it because of how it shows off beautiful hand painted colorways.  Lately, I’ve learned to love the rawer silks because they produce lovely summer garments with a good deal of breathability and drape without skimping on the warmth coverage when you need it on those cool summer nights. I actually crocheted the swatch you see in the photo below. (Still need to take a photo).

Almost all the favorites I picked have silk in them. I suddenly realized that this was because Artfibers has mastered the secret of making truly fantastic soft and luxurious yarns using silk and silk blends.

Other yarntastees are posting their photos and pictures. I’ll be posting these up here as I find them.

Me forgetting how many inches were in a yard... Doh! Excitement gets to you.

Me forgetting how many inches were in a yard... Doh! Excitement gets to you.

Yarn1

The yarn samples

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Filed under Art, Colors, Community, Creativity, Dye, Knit, Knitters, Knitting, Portland, Portland Crocheters, Portland Knitters, Yarn

Where’s your grandmother?

I’m sharing my husband’s video here. My apologies for the duplicate sharing via my other blog for you’s that follow. The video was done for the Bran Flakes song, “I wonder where my grandmother is.”

[Youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ms8nrbWk0e0&feature=player_embedded]

A lot of work went into this short which is all in all not even a minute and a half long.  Amazing stuff, and yes, I am married to this man 🙂

The story behind the short is based on  The Electric Grandmother television show/special.  It felt like one of those “Afterschool Specials,” but apparently it was based off of the short story by Ray Bradbury titled “I Sing the Body  Electric.”

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X-mas shopping complete

dragonfly.jpgI know Thanksgiving means hanging around with family… so that means you cannot knit anything for them in front of them. I just knit for those not present at the gathering (I’m not publishing a list here because I’m not sure who in my family reads my blog)… In addition to the gifts I’m knitting, I bought a ton of very nice soap. Well, not literally a ton. I also got a few other things…maybe, for myself.

You can read more about the Soap Opera store here.

psunset.jpglilbitol.jpg

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Filed under Art, Gifts, Knit

In Honor of Mako

This has nothing to do with knitting.

I always find out that people have passed away a year after they’re gone. Where was I? Most likely absorbed somewhere in the great electronic ether. I just found out yesterday that the actor Mako (Mako Iwamatsu) passed away last year. I was deeply saddened when I heard this because he has been one of my favorite character and Asian American actors of all time. How many times had I heard his distinct and rumbling voice in an animated feature…. or recognized him in a television or movie role and felt absolutely thrilled. He was to me one of the first Asian American faces in American Entertainment that I could recognize. He spent a great deal of his career promoting Asian Americans in the entertainment arts and standing up against stereotypical roles for Asians. I remember (very briefly mind you) once thinking about going into the theater. However, to the relief of my thoroughly Asian father I opted for another calling, which was slightly better than acting or anything involving the arts. But you have to understand, that he’s of a different generation with a different mindset. Even in the 90’s I realized that I didn’t want to do this because it was hard enough for actors, I must have been ten times harder for an American Asian actors. Also, even then I felt that most Asian American women in roles played either concubines or bond-type girls. The real roles and multifaceted characters were reserved for Caucasians. Also, too, I loved the theater and performance arts, my heart just simply wasn’t into it. I had to find something else I loved to do.

I was not aware that Mako co-founded the first Asian American theater organizations, The East West Players. His work and efforts really did help other A.A. actors take roles not as cultural caricatures but as human beings with as rich and diverse a range of experiences and personalities. I believe that the wider the spectrum of experience and perspective you have in any art the richer we all become.

Thank you, Mako.

mako.jpgmako2.jpg

If you haven’t checked out the Series Avatar, please do. Mako has one of his last roles as General Iroh in the series. I know it’s a cartoon, but really, it’s not just for children. Though I have to say America and Japan sometimes seem to be the only cultures that have this blurring line between what’s to be appreciated by both children and adults. The story has all the classic elements of an epic, heroic character who must battle in a spectacular battle in the end… but who must learn all the hard knocks in life along the way. Strange, though it was produced in America… it has a lot of that Eastern meter and rhythm present in the storytelling.

[Youtube=http://youtube.com/watch?v=z-iRaVxw4w8]
Tribute to Mako from the Avatar Series
In this clip the character Iroh mourns his son who was lost to him in a battle of one of his great military campaigns.
You can view the complete tale of Iroh here:
[Youtube=http://youtube.com/watch?v=mouf6baN5iU]

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