Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Unexpected Knitting

While reading Anne Hansen's blog a few weeks ago, I learned about Debbie New and her lovely perspective on knitting as art.
I found a reasonably priced copy of her book, Unexpected Knitting (Schoolhouse Press), and it arrived yesterday.
Wow. Better than 1960's drug culture, my mind was blown.
Long time readers may remember that I used to do a bit of art quilting, but switched to knitting when I could no longer sit up for long periods of time, and was unable to set up and put away my quilting area as I used to do. (I am working on a permanent sewing station for my reclining wheelchair, which will mean I can quilt again, for short periods. I have the table, just need to reorganize the studio a bit).
Knitting is great, and I love making up shawls on the needle, but there was an element of artistic serendipity (doo-dah) missing when compared to my art quilting. Until yesterday.
Just reading Meg Swanson's introduction and leafing through a few chapters showed me knitting has every bit the potential as my art quilting did for expressing myself. Perhaps more. I never did enjoy turning 2-dimensional woven fabrics into 3-dimensional items. I could DO it, but I didn't really enjoy the seaming and tucking and thick layers to sew through. But I love the increases and decreases involved in doing something similar with knitting.
Debbie New also has a very humorous slant on things, making the book a lovely reading experience as well. I hope the book is republished soon, so more people have a chance at it.
I am not sure where all this inspiration will take me, but I love being so excited and rejuvenated.
(Oscar is being patient, and has listened to me read aloud from the book most of the morning while taking his bath.)
I had thought I'd not encountered Debbie New's work before, but reading through more thoroughly today, I spied the lace coracle she made for Meg Swanson's 'A Gathering of Lace'.
Oh, THAT Debbie New! Cool.

(images above and below from my art quilting days)


Leslie said...

Wow is right. Good luck with your return to quilting..

Ria said...

wow! you really are an artist! can't wait to see where this inspiration takes you!

LynnM said...

They're stunning! Wish I could get a closer look.

Kym said...

Oh, Diana! Your quilts are gorgeous! Where do you keep them now? Oh, I'm just so in awe! :-) They are really wonderful.

Marietta said...

The first pic is the quilt you sent me, and it is still the thing I see whenever I settle down to cut out fabric. It is right above my cutting mat, and is still my fav. piece of yours. I treasure it, as it inspires me every time.

That bottom piece is stunning, and though I've seen pics of the other ones before, I've never seen that one! Is it very old or very new?

morewithles said...


洪筱婷 said...

不只BLOG內容很棒留言也很精采 XDDDD

AlisonH said...

I'm being reminded why I loved discovering Kaffe Fassett-the colorwork! I'm convinced the handpainted yarn market totally took off due to his influence--it's a whole lot easier to play with yarns that come in a continuous strand while retaining all the colorwork, even if it's not quite the same.

Your quilts are gorgeous!