Wednesday, January 30, 2013

WIP Wednesday: Not Your Grandma's Afghan

Sometimes I wonder if I share too much about my art on this blog, for fear of my ideas being 'stolen', but then I remember how much I love sharing my art with the world and that fear disappears.  Today was one of those days.

The first week back to classes we had an 'introduce yourself and your work' day in my adv. painting/drawing class and then a mini-crit.  Normally, I hate critiques and usually come out of them discouraged, but this time I left it with many many ideas for my upcoming Drawing BFA Show.  One common consensus among my peers? I need to include my knitting in my drawings somehow. And thus this idea was born.

Using a skein of Plymouth Yarn Naturespun Sport weight and my size 5 aluminum needles I set a time and started dipping. Huh? I choose my time intervals and than after that time is up I dip my needles in ink. The ink then runs onto the yarn as I knit, leaving a 'mark' behind.  Sometimes the ink on the tip lasts a few stitches, sometimes only one. That's the magic of it all!

I originally had the idea to knit a garment, like a hat or scarf or something. But then I woke up one morning and thought it would be cool to make an afghan of squares.  Each square in a different color and different time interval.  Color was a bit difficult; I didn't want to go buy colored inks, but watercolor didn't work out so well. Acrylics are working much better! The three squares above are all 30 second intervals, 5x5 inch squares.

My goal is to get 25 of these so I can have 5 rows of 5. 5 of each color and each color will have each square a different time limit/parameter.  So far I have only tried aluminum needles, but I would like to see if bamboo/wood/acrylic react differently. Now if only I could bare dipping my good needles in paint! As you can see above, it doesn't end well. I'm thinking about not ever cleaning these off and displaying them with the final product in my show. 

The best part of this project? I can log drawing time and also watch my shows online.  The worst part? Getting my hands covered in ink/paint.  It's not fun, believe me. Especially with the paint, because the fuzzies from the yarn also get stuck on there. And gloves just make it worse, not better. I guess I will just have to settle with blue hands for a semester!

Happy Wednesday everyone, I can't wait for the week to be over, just because it's already been so long. It's looking like I am going to be in full out art mode for a very long time! It's a good think I enjoy it so much.


And don't forget Tami's Amis :)


  1. Love the idea and can see its going to be so interesting to look at the afghan, will the afghan be just for show or how will it work to use it daily say and for washing or blocking..just wondering is all.

    1. I hadn't really thought about it. I think it's going to just be for show, I have no idea what will happen when I wash it, since the yarn is wool and the paint is acrylic (water based) but maybe I will try washing a square to find out.

  2. Wow, this concept is fascinating!! Looking forward to seeing how you progress.

  3. That's a great idea! I love the way your squares look. Your afghan is going to be so unique:)

  4. What an awesome idea! Lisa, I wish I had just a little of your limitless creativity. :) I can't wait to see the finished afghan!

  5. Your hands may never recover from this crazy art adventure : )

  6. What an awesome idea, however I think just stick with the needles you have already painted - eeep! lol

  7. I can't wait to see this when it's done! What a creative idea.

  8. Congratulations for coming up with a truly original idea. I love the way it's coming out. Will it be washable?

  9. So cool! But yes - will it be washable?? If not - how about a fabulous wall hanging!


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