Want the backstory? The Denver Art Museum was recently awarded a massive grant to expand their permanent textile exhibit, and at the same time they embarked upon the creation of a temporary textile exhibit, called Spun.
The entire Denver area textile community is going bonkers over this exhibit- as well we should. Not only is the eye candy ah-may-zing, multiple parts of the exhibit allow for community participation.
Like the Denver Satellite Reef, being created by area crochet artists in conjunction with the exhibit. A few months back, the DAM put out a call for crocheters. They invited us to a private workshop with Christine Wertheim of the Institute for Figuring, the creators of the original Crochet Coral Reef project back in 2005. There we learned about hyperbolic crochet, and the history of the Crochet Coral Reef, including the many “people’s reefs” around the world. And the DAM invited us to help create their Satellite Reef, to be displayed in the museum itself!
So I finished up some stuff I was already working on, and then busted out my leftover bits of wool and acrylic, as well as the random novelty yarns I bought way back when I started knitting, and got to work. Thus far I’ve only finished the 4 pieces you see above (said pieces are currently in the freezer at the DAM, completing their 2 week quarantine to ensure they don’t bring any pests in with them), but I have big plans to keep on going. This stuff is very addictive. The DAM will continue adding pieces to the reef all summer long. If you’re local, you can drop in and crochet in the reef itself every saturday and sunday- and if you want more info, leave me a comment below.
Here is what the reef looked like as of Thursday.
We got a sneak preview, got to enjoy the fabulous food and drink, and the yarn-y decor contributed by, of course, Fancy Tiger.
And, in what seems like the most brilliant visual joke ever, because I am punny and have a silly sense of humor, they greeted everyone at the entrance with: cotton candy! For a textile exhibit! Whee!
And then I went right back to the museum on Thursday, to attend the Insider Moment with Margaret and Christine Wertheim. I took my current piece of coral along with me, and worked on it during the talk. At one point, Christine used it as an example for the entire group. So.much.fun! She even graciously posed for a photo with me and my pseudosphere.
But the best part of the entire thing? After going to see the exhibit on Wednesday night, Annie was so into the reef that she wants to learn how to crochet her own pieces. Time for some mother-daugther yarning!
My May Sugar Block Club blocks are already done- that’s pretty darn speedy for me! This one was lovely, and fast. As always, you can see just how much work my piecing needs if you choose to examine my points closely. So, maybe, don’t do that…please?
I made my mom’s block first.
She popped over unexpectedly while I was working, but I managed to pull the blocks off the design wall in the nick of time.
This was the first month where I have repeated any of the fabrics from a previous month (the batik).
Can you see where I used it before?
I’d like to incorporate more green and purple into the next few months..
Speaking of purple, there’s no shortage in my OTHER set of sugar blocks!
I am very happy with how the fabrics worked in this block! The flowers on the “envelope” portion make me smile. And a giant center of polka dots- well, what could be happier? Again, this block contains my first repeat fabric- the turquoise.
I’m looking forward to next month…
(I’ll be linking up to Lee’s WIP Wednesday later this week…)
Colorado is officially in a drought, so I shouldn’t be whiny that we’re getting an absolutely nutty amount of spring snow. But I am. Driving to work in the snow is one of my least favorite tasks. Scraping the car off? I’d rather do nearly anything… And it’s even worse now, as I broke my good scraper during the storm that accompanied the meet & greet with Amy Butler 2 weeks ago.
It was 80 degrees this weekend, which made Annie’s birthday trip to the zoo truly awesome. I broke out my flip flops. That made me happy. But the temperature is supposed to drop 50 degrees from that high and be in the 30s tomorrow- and the weather folks, who have been very very wrong this season, are still saying that we’re going to get actual snow tomorrow. Maybe even 7 inches worth.
My only consolation is that if it is indeed cold and nasty, I’ll have a reason to wear this.
This gorgeous new shawl just finished blocking tonight, and since the yarn is a 95% wool/5% silk blend, it’s not a light piece. Frankly, I wasn’t sure I’d get much use out of it before fall came around.
Pattern: Glacier Sweep by Stephen West/ Westknits, part of the ChoreoKal series.
Mods: I used size 5s instead of the called for size, and the yarn itself was worsted rather than fingering or heavy worsted, as called for in the pattern. I followed the fingering weight directions.
Yarn: Plymouth Mushishi, used 1.75 skeins, as well as a tiny bit of leftover Lamb’s Pride worsted in a hot pink for the i-cord bind off. Purchased 2+ years ago at the Lamb Shoppe, with a gift certificate and on sale, so it ended up coasting me next to nothing- the best kind 0f yarn!
I love this shawl. I love the color, the texture, the stitch pattern, the size, the contrasting i-cord bind off. All of it. But you know what I love the most? That Stephen West himself was at Fancy Tiger when I stopped in to buy some yarn a few weeks back, and I happened to have this particular WIP in my car, and he kindly posed for a photo with the shawl, and Annie and me!
I love his shawls the way I love Cookie A’s socks. I love to follow his patterns. And he himself is just a fabulous guy. In fact, this wasn’t even the first time I got to meet him- at Fancy Tiger no less. He was in town for the first time ever back in September 2012, but, it was while we were at the beach. Our only annual vacation, planned nearly a year in advance, no way to switch it up. I was so sad. And then, he loved Denver and FT so much that he hung around for an extra week, including craft night, where I totally got to meet him after all! And that time as well, he was super gracious, and posed for a photo with me and my most recent Westknits finish, which I just happened to be wearing…
So, if it really is cold and snowy tomorrow, May Day, at least I can bundle myself up in my latest creation, while I wait to bring the flip flops back out…
On Tuesday, my firstborn turned 12!
Colorado weather treated her to a super snowy morning to celebrate, but no school delay
Our family tradition dictates that the birthday person gets to pick anywhere they want for their birthday dinner. (Within reason- we have to be able to realistically drive there, which can be a challenge on a school night, and it can’t be crazy crazy expensive, and it can never, ever be Chuck E Cheese.)
Annie went back and forth on her choices, and ended up wanting something “chill”. Apparently in tween speak, this meant “casual”. It was very nearly burgers, but then she picked her favorite ramen joint- it’s a total dive, with sticky tables and this time, no wait staff, just the chef himself filling all roles- and that’s where we went.
Since my mom now lives nearby, we got her to join us for the big night out. (She gave Annie that cute little dog she’s holding, FYI.)
So mom could take part, we opened presents at the restaurant. There were only a few, as this year Annie chose to raise funds for Freedom Service Dogs, a nonprofit agency, in lieu of asking for gifts. (You can check out her page here- she raised nearly $400!) But what few gifts there were were awesome. Recently, Annie has rediscovered My Little Pony in a semi-ironic way, and she also has a newfound love of Dr. Who. When she learned that there is a Dr. Who inspired MLP, Dr. Whooves, her head nearly exploded. And we found her a T-Shirt of the character, complete with his own Tardis… I think she likes it.
For the last few years, Annie’s favorite treat has been fro-yo. She begs for it weekly. So we ended the evening at a favorite local joint, Yogurtini. There was no candle in the yogurt, but, it worked!
Happy birthday, Annie! Here’s hoping 12 is great, for all of us!
Tonight I had a wonderful treat! Amy Butler, the one and only, was in Denver and meeting and greeting her fans and signing her books, all at my favorite local craft mecca, Fancy Tiger. (She’s teaching at The Makerie this weekend, so she was going to be in town anyway…)
Tonight was a nasty, horrible, icy cold and snowy night here in Denver. Which was awesome in some ways, because the event was nowhere near as crowded as I would have expected. And that meant that everyone in attendance got the chance to truly chat with Amy, not just get books signed and move on. Amy was lovely- that is truly the best word to describe her. She was gracious and kind- she even travels with thank you cards thanking YOU for taking the time to meet her. Really! (And the cards contain a coupon code for her website, too…)
Amy took the time to notice something nice about everyone she met, and to comment on it. She made MY night by admiring my modern quilt wrap- yes, I am a big enough nerd that I deliberately wore a knitted quilt when I met her- and even to call Annie and Henry adorable when she saw them as my screensaver on my phone. She admired my friend Kristin’s earrings, and her stunning crocheted scarf… And on and on.
She didn’t just sign our books; she personalized them with special messages. And see that charm pack of Cameo? Happy happy me won it by knowing that Amy’s husband David has a fabric line, Parson Gray. Fancy Tiger had some wonderful prizes that we could win by answering Amy Butler trivia questions… Happily, my friend and date for the evening also won a charm pack (Amy’s new magazine is called Blossom.)
Here’s a photo that Fancy Tiger shared via Facebook of many of us with Amy. That lucky lady in the middle won an entire Cameo fat quarter set!
Even with the foul weather, we had to hit Sputnik after the event. Fried pickles, a baked avocado, and mac n cheese. But, I think for the first time ever at Sputnik, no booze- the roads were to awful to chance it…
Doesn’t my favorite dive bar look lovely in the snow?
And here’s what my house looked like when I got home. April 17? Yikes! I’ve used my ice scraper more this week than all winter… But being out in it was totally worth it to have met Amy Butler- and I would have even said that if I hadn’t won a charm pack!
I’ve had two weeks with no sewing- which sounds like a long time, but for last year, it would have been more like a blink! I think that it’s a good sign that I was twitchy and anxious about not having had a chance to sew lately. I MUST be getting back into the groove…
Today in Denver we were treated to a “blizzard”- I use quotes because, after basically the entire city shut down, including my kids’ school district, I think we got about 3 inches of snow. The defensive meteorologists are busy reminding us that “blizzard” is defined by wind, not snow, and we DID have blizzard-level wind gusts. What they’re not mentioning is the foot of snow they predicted… I shouldn’t mock them, though, because their dire predictions meant that I got an unexpected day at home- a day to sew! (I might have let the kids enjoy too much electronics so I could play in the sewing room, but hey, it’s their first and most likely last snow day of the school year.)
I’m still mulling over the future of the feather blocks, so, while they percolate, I had time to complete the April block for the Sugar Block Club BOM. April is another foundation pieced block- which made me antsy at first. I didn’t do so well with the last one, in February. You know what I just remembered today? I taught myself how to foundation piece many years ago, last century, technically, before there were millions of amazing internet based tutorials. Turns out I could have used some help back then. Amy gave wonderful, detailed photographic instructions in this month’s pattern, and I don’t think I’ve ever had such an easy time paper piecing! No, my points still aren’t perfect, but oh my goodness, they’re so much better.
Don’t you think?
(Remember, I’m making 2 Sugar Blocks- purple is for- duh- me- and brown/orange for my mom- shhh, it’s a secret.)
When I first saw this block, Sunny Days, I wasn’t sure how I felt about it. In fact, I’m still not sure about my orange version. It’s so much brighter than the other 3 blocks.
But I have 8 blocks left to brighten up the quilt, and several more shades of yellow and orange in the pile waiting to go…
Meanwhile, I am absolutely in love with my purple version. Modest much? I love love love how the Kaffe print pops against the purple backgrounds, and also how the directionality of the print works to add motion to the points.
Sadly, there is a downside to my new understanding of foundation piecing. I want to go back and redo at least one (the brown), and maybe even both, of my February blocks. I could make them so much better now… and it will frustrate me to no end to see them wonky and with errors, knowing I could have improved them.
Think I’ll get another April “blizzard” day to spend sewing anytime soon?
Linking up with WIP Wednesday over at Freshly Pieced…
Apparently Easter at our house will be all about Pinterest… The cookies earlier this week, and now the cutest crochet bunnies, ever. I found this WONDERFUL tutorial on Pinterest last week, and set right to work cranking out some crocheted granny square inspired bunnies for my own little people. Later tonight, there will be a glow in the dark Easter egg hunt with our wonderful neighbors- found on Pinterest last year, tried with some success, and hopefully to be improved upon this year.
Henry’s bunny is in his favorite color- green- spiced up with some yellow and orange. I realized after it was done that I had inadvertently replicated the colors of a 1970s kitchen.
I think he likes it.
Annie’s bunny is in her favorite color- blue- spiced up with my fave, purple. My favorite part is the flower shaped buttons for eyes.
I know she likes it!