Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Firsts of 2017

Here we are, the end of January, and I already have some milestones to share! If this month is any indication of the year to come, then I am in for a very wild ride.

The first thing is of course my art show, which was my first major installation and also the first (and hopefully not last) of the year. It comes down in a couple of days but the response was great and there is no where to go but up!

The next thing is my first finished oil painting of the year, which I started last Saturday (1/22) and finished this past Sunday.  I am moving in a slightly different direction with my knitted landscapes right now, having chosen to paint the forms floating in water with no real ground plain.  This first one is a new favorite, having chosen to play with blues and browns and I think I pulled it off!  The colors on the photo below are not quite accurate, but are very close.

Finally is my first pair of socks for the new year.  I discussed these last week, but the My Cup of Tea socks has been a KAL with my local group, although I finished them way early! The yarn knitted up fabulously and the pattern shows very well.  They fit well too, considering I haven't done top down with a gusset in what seems like ages.

I'm excited to announce that I plan on continuing with the sock craze and have already picked out my next yarn! I have several other things on the needles, but this last pair made me want more! I think I may even go for 12 in 12 (!!!). A friend of mine did it last year and it's been hugely inspiring.  Have you ever tried it?

I would also like to shout out to the amazing KAL group on Ravelry, MySistersKnitter, for enabling me to use stash yarn and join in the conversation with some amazing people. It always helps to have people to share and chat with :) 

I hope that the first month of the year is going good for all of you out there in blog-land. I truly cannot wait to see what February brings!


Monday, January 23, 2017

of Tea and Knitting

What a lovely week it has been down here in Texas.  With my show up and running I've finally been able to catch up on everything else that is happening in my life.  I've managed to get back on track with Knitting Guild affairs as well as teaching things.  And I even started a new painting!  

But the most significant is the amount of knitting I have managed to get done in the last few weeks.  Maybe too much? (is there really too much?).

The yarn of choice right now is this skein of Cascade Heritage Paints Fingering, perfect for socks with just enough nylon to make it nice and springy.  Given to me as a gift from my Secret Santa in the guild two years ago, it's knitting up very nicely into a pair of sock.

The socks are "My Cup of Tea" which is a knit-along my local yarn shop is hosting through the end of February.  What a fantastic way to spend the winter months! Knitting along with several of my other knitting ladies, I have already finished the first sock and am half way down the calf of the second.  The yarn itself is much more green then expected - in a skein it looked very very violet.  I'm really happy with how it's striping though, so no complaints here.

Knitting and tea seem to go hand-in-hand these days, so why not attend a "Mad Hatter Tea Party"?  My LYS hosted one this past weekend, where we got to sample three different teas that the local wool mill sells.  Along with pastries made by a fellow knitter and yummy sandwiches, there were no complaints! 

How have you spent your January so far? Between knitting and art, it seems to be flying by!

Monday, January 16, 2017

Image/in/Knits 2017

As many of you know, art is kinda my thing and this past weekend I was honored with ability to exhibit my work in a new gallery space in San Antonio.  Mantle Art Space opened its doors in November and, after applying to an open call, I was given an exhibition for the month of January.

Having begun to explore the idea of bringing my paintings off the wall, this past September I did a mural and installation project for a local space in Bryan.  After doing it once, I wanted to continue exploring and do it again.

Driving down on Friday, I spent four+ hours painting a full wall mural in the space.  While my last one - see here - included more of a solid ground with cliffs and trees, I knew that I wanted this one to be more open and airy.  I decided to continue the floating forms and played with brush strokes to create a water-field. 

With my last project I had balls hanging from the ceiling, but I don't believe that I fully achieved an immersive space.   Taking the mural off the wall and into the gallery floor is an important factor for me but after spending the last few weeks playing with liquid resins and glues to create transparent "Water" puddles, I gave up (for now).  I couldn't just set balls on the ground again though, that wouldn't work for this, so I decided to create puddle shapes out of illustration board and paint strokes similar to those on my mural.  By doing this I am bringing the loose, illustration like world within the wall into the gallery space.

For this show and space I believe it works, but moving forward I definitely want to play with resins and transparencies even more.  Silicone? Plaster? Molding? Fabric? Who knows but I am sure that an answer will present it self soon.

Until that day, I will spend the rest of my month basking in the glow of a show well done and brainstorming more imaginary worlds for my knits to inhabit.


Monday, January 9, 2017

In a Flash

This past month seems to have been a blur for me.  Here it is, January 9th already, and yet it seems like we just had Thanksgiving.  Am I the only one thinking this right now?

Maybe it's because of my two trips home for the holidays, barely a month apart.  Driving 12+ hours one way is no fun trip, and for some crazy reason I decided to do it for both Thanksgiving and Christmas this year.  Yes I am insane.

But if anything came from having the holidays, it was some much needed knitting and relaxation time.  Being able to see my family and friends and not stress out about work or life or art was really helpful.  And having some extra time to get some knitting done didn't hurt either, especially over Christmas.

My first holiday finished object was this beautiful bag for my secret santa in our local knitting guild. She really likes the color red, so I knitted her a Sock Baggie with some fluffy red wool.  The bag itself got loaded with lots of goodies.

The next item on my list was this beanie for a friend, Jordan, who just went abroad to the UK.  She commented that she wanted more beanies before she left and this seemed appropriate.  I even managed to find the time to publish the design on Ravelry (it's FREE!)

Third was my secret santa at work - one of our science teachers.  He said he liked tea, so I knitted him this cozy - Tea-N-A - and gave him some tea and goodies to go with it. Safe to say he loved the gifts!

Knitted while I was home over the Christmas, this cloud cowl is a design from my local yarn shop using a single skein of Bamboo Bloom to create a light and airy piece.  I made this for my boss at my second job because she tends to wear simple yet artsy things.  Despite the simple design, she was very impressed.

My last project at home was this messy bun hat for another one of my co-workers who usually has her hair up.  While I don't personally see the point of this craze, it seemed fitting.  And the trend continued when she loved it.

It's always such a thrill to knit for others, especially this time of the year! The happiness and joy that a handmade item can bring is something I truly cherish.  Did you make any gifts this year?


One last thing in terms of the title for this post.  While I was home over the Christmas holiday my younger sister cued me into a tv show - The Flash - based off of the DC comics.  While I have always been a Marvel fan, this show quickly became an addiction.  So much that I was able to whip out a whole project during my week and a half binging spree.

The rainbow yarn is a gift from my brother's fiance - she got bored one day and decided to try dying - and the white is from my stash.  I decided to do a diagonal slip-stitch stripe design, and the result is a nice heavy wool cowl.  I playfully am calling this "Unicorn Farts" simply because of the color.  Like I mentioned above, I started this right around episode 10 of Season 1 and finished it during the last half of season 2. What can I say, it's a good show.

 Thank you to all the people who may see this and take the time to read and review.  Starting next week I'll have more professional photos - I finally found the memory card for my good camera - as well as an update on my art show that opens Saturday.

Love Always <3 br="">~Lisa

(because I couldn't find any good flash themed Cat memes)

Monday, January 2, 2017

2017: [Another] New Start

I said this last year when I switched the layout and name of my blog to The Knitting Artist, but I want to start fresh. Blogging has always been an important way for me to share my feelings and ideas about art, knitting and life. It's just that there have been so many other means to do so lately that somehow the blog got pushed aside.

Hopefully this is no more, as I am going to try and update weekly with my thoughts and ideas, sharing with you what is on my needles and on my easel.

I wanted to start with a look back at the year that was.


This year I logged 20 FO's on Ravelry, and I am sure that I completed at least 5 or more that were not logged (yet).  Oddly enough, most of them were fast, 'instant gratification' projects, started and completed after I started my two new jobs.  That is also around the same time that I stopped painting for a bit. I definitely see a connection.

In case you're wandering, a few of my favorites were the "Purple Mountains Socks" and the "Texas Sea Glass".


I cannot believe I did not share on here the biggest thing to happen this year: My first actual gallery solo show!  Taking place at a space in Downtown Bryan, TX, "Lollipops & Gumdrops" featured a whole new body of work along with a mural and installation.  The whole thing went by without a hitch and gathered much praise.

The gallery space was a very long space, thus getting a full on photo was really hard. I was able to pull off this mural in approx 8 hours over two evenings. I am very pleased with it and have sense booked a second show with the same idea for this coming month.

Above are all of the paintings featured in the show, so maybe that explains the title?  If you are curious to see more, check out my artist website, which was recently completely revamped!


Many other things are happening in my life right now, including the completion of my first semester teaching High School Art at our local Catholic school. It's been whirlwind, but in a good way. I think I have found my path for awhile.  Not saying that art making won't still be happening.

At the same time as my show last September I also self-published a book with most of my paintings paired with their poems. I am really proud that I was able to pull it off and have received a lot of good feedback.  Interested in a copy? Stitch Stories on Amazon

I also have a new show opening in less than two weeks, at a new space in San Antonio - Mantle Art Space. If you are in the area, you should come by on Saturday, Jan 14th from 7-10. I always love meeting fellow knitters.

I have four different WIPS right now, two of which are pretty much on hiatus due to lazy-ness. The other two I have been bouncing back and forth between. I'm sure I am not the only one to do that.  Factor in the rarely worked on wrap for my mom and my laceweight sweater and that's technically six WIPS. Wow oh wow.

As always, I will leave you with a nice little LOLcat :)