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Thankful

There’s a lot to be thankful for on any given day, but this is the time of year we sit and really think about it.

The list of things I am personally and professionally thankful for is miles long – a wonderful family who makes each day an absolute joy, the baby growing in my belly, the roof over our heads, the chance to teach a friend to knit on a quiet afternoon, to read a book in the sunshine, take a walk, eat a good meal, spend time with my amazing students, work on my new book, hang Christmas lights outside… the list goes on. I often find that the simple things make life worth living, so whether or not we as a country can agree on policy and politics, you’re going through a difficult time, or you can’t wait for the year to end, I encourage you to focus on the good and give thanks. We’re all in this together.

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I am especially grateful to you, dear readers. Friends, students, fans, fellow knitters – whomever you are, I am grateful to you and for you. I am delighted to be part of this knitted tapestry of life we find ourselves all in together. Thank you for knitting my patterns, reading my books and my blog, taking my classes both in person and at Craftsy, sending me emails with your finished projects, your tweets, Instagram comments and the outpouring of creativity each and every one of you shares with me. It makes my day, truly.

In honor of Thanksgiving and giving thanks, I’m doing something I haven’t done before. Please enjoy 25% off all hand sewn (by me while you’re all sleeping) TanisKnits project bags in my Etsy shop with the coupon code TANISKNITS25 at checkout now through Saturday, November 26th. Why are my knitting and crochet project bags better than the rest? Made with 100% designer cotton fabrics, my bags are fully lined with coordinating fabric, are machine-washable, roomy enough for a big project, and one-of-a-kind. Unlike other bags, I use fabric drawstrings instead of cheap nylon cording. There are no plastic toggles or zippers for your yarn to get stuck or snagged in. Please enjoy.

Happy thankgiving!

 

Embroidered Portraits

While things have been quiet on the blog, I assure you, they have not been quiet in my studio! I continue to work on my new book and cross freelance projects off my list. So many exciting things are happening that are still under wraps and I’m trying to squeeze in teacher appreciate holiday gifts, something for our amazing school crossing guard, various friends and family. ‘Tis the season to knit like the wind!

As always, dear readers, when I see something interesting happening in our small crafting world, I love to share it with you. I’ve gotten back into embroidery lately and when I saw these I was struck by the colors, detail, and how it felt like these people were so realistic they were about to walk out of the cloth. Check out the below work by the incredibly talented Cape Town-based artist Danielle Clough. Original article found here.


Intimate Embroidered Portraits by Danielle Clough

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Cape Town-based artist Danielle Clough embroiders portraits of friends and loved ones, adapting black and white images of subjects into multi-colored works. By working from black and white images the resulting works are not tied to the colors present in the original images, creating vibrant pieces that feature bright oranges, purples, and blues.

The portraits featured here were produced by Clough for the upcoming book Queer Africa II, a collection of new stories about love on the continent of Africa. The editors, Makhosazana Xaba and Karen Martin, were drawn to Clough’s work for the publication because of the conceptual linkage of her layered yarn to the personal narratives told in the book, which Zaba explained “adds meaning and speaks to the zigzagging nature of our lives.”

Queer Africa II will be published next month through MaThoko’s Books and be available online through both Amazon and African Books Collective. You can see more portraits by Clough on her Instagram, and take a look into the artist’s process on her blog.

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Discounts!

Who doesn’t love a good discount?

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I’m happy to share a discount link for you all for my Craftsy class, Fair Isle Fundamentals. Save 50% off the full retail price of my class (cannot be combined with other coupons or discounts) from November 1st through January 15th. Follow the link here to download!

If you’ve taken my class, I’d really love if you could share your experience and write a review on Craftsy.

Get that holiday knitting started!

Unraveled

This is one of the coolest things I have seen.  It looks like my yarn stash when it begins to take over the house! Original article found here.


A Mass of Tangled Red Yarn Unravels from a Loom to Overtake a Brazilian Chapel 

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Tatiana Blass, “Penelope” (2011), carpet loom, wool yarn, chenille at the Chapel of Morumbi. Photos by Everton Ballardin

In 2011, Brazilian artist Tatiana Blass pierced the walls of a Sao Paulo chapel with large masses of red yarn, letting the bright material trail into the surrounding grasses, landscape, and trees. The installation, titled Penelope, was named after Odysseus’s wife in Homer’s Odyssey, a character who kept herself away from suitors while he was at war by weaving a burial shroud by day, and secretly taking pieces of it apart at night.

Inside the chapel the work continued with a 45-foot-long carpet leading to a loom into which it was stuck. Immaculate on one side of the loom and in pieces on the other, strings of the dismantled rug traveled outside of the chapel through preexisting holes that made their way into the yard. The piece, just like the epic poem, leaves us to wonder whether the work is in a state of construction or unraveling, if the carpet is being built, or slowly torn apart.

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Penelope, before and after 6 months

Felted Wool Sculptures

I’ve never been a huge fan of felting, except when it’s done right. Check out the whimsical and amazing felted wool sculptures by Ukranian artist, Hanna Dovhan below! Talk about getting it right! Original article found here.


Egg Love and Other Felted Wool Sculptures By Ukrainian Artist Hanna Dovhan

If there’s anyone who can make food look absolutely adorable – it’s Hanna Dovhan.

The Ukraine-based creative artist is known for making adorable felted food dolls. We previously showed you her ‘Avocado Love’ dolls, but now ‘Egg Love’ caught our eye. Featuring two perfectly made egg halves, the dolls can be displayed apart or together, forming the cutest hug.

You can find ‘Egg Love’ and other felted friends by Dovhan on Etsy.

Cross-Stitch Street Art

I’ve been on a major cross-stitch binge lately. I’m working on a top-secret Christmas present for someone who reads my blog (so I won’t say anything further) and have a few smaller pieces in my queue for the baby’s room. I am a major puzzler – give me a 5,000 piece puzzle, a mug of peppermint tea and leave me alone for hours. I find cross-stitch comes from the same vein since you work one color and it looks like nothing, then add in another and you start to see shapes taking place, add in a few more and before you know it you have a beautiful piece that comes together in the end like magic.

I came across this article recently about cross-stitch as street art in Spain by artist Raquel Rodrigo. I’d love one of these climbing across the front of my house! Original article found here.


Cross-Stitch Street Art In Spain by Raquel Rodrigo

We’d like to introduce you to Raquel Rodrigo, a Spanish artist and set designer who is also adding her own colorful touch to Spain’s streets by turning them into beautiful floral cross-stitch installations.

The Valencia-born artist makes her pieces by wrapping thick rolls of string around wire mesh. She prepares them in advance and then unrolls them at her chosen location to bring a dash of color and creativity to the surrounding area. As cross-stitch patterns are generally found on things inside the home, her public installations create an eye-catching contrast to the urban landscapes in which they exist.

More info: Raquel Rodrigo

People Knitting, A Century of Photographs

I’m always on the lookout for good gifts for knitters. Buying yarn, needles or notions for someone else unless you know exactly what they want is tricky. Pattern books can also be a wild card since everyone has different taste. I’m a huge fan of historical knitting books and always think they make great gifts.

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I was recently sent a copy of Barbara Levine’s People Knitting, A Century of Photographs. This 144-paged book published by Princeton Architectural Press with 100 historic photos of knitters is a wonderful collection of vintage pictures paying tribute to the craft of knitting. Showing off wonderful images from 1860-1960, there are soldiers, nurses, children, actresses, mothers, people knitting for the war effort, people knitting for pleasure, people knitting alone or in large groups. What struck me about this book is while the fashions and hairstyles may have changed, the way people sat around and knit together back then is so similar to how we knit together today. Put me in a long gown and give me a Gibson girl hairstyle and one of those women could be me. I felt a connection to everyone in these pictures.

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I’ve had this book on my nightstand and I find myself paging through it often. The simple fact is I love this craft. Knitting is my history – it ties me together with women from my family that came long before me and I never had the chance to meet. It binds us all like stitches in a row. Books like this make me think about all the women throughout the ages who have sat down with some sticks and string and made something beautiful, utilitarian, for someone else or for themselves. Other than a much larger fiber selection and choice of tools we work with, knitting hasn’t changed that much. There’s something comforting about that. Our craft has survived and thrived because of the women and men who came before us and passed it down and made sure knitting would life a long, healthy life.

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If you have a knitter in your life, this is a fantastic little book and a perfect gift. I’ll be buying a few copies for the knitters in my circle! Check out the book here.

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