Thursday, February 7, 2008

Assorted Projectification, Illustrated.

6. February 2008, Wednesday.

I meant to include a link or two in the last post—here they are now:
*Armenian Lace
*Turkish Lace
*Italian Drawn Work and Antique Filet Lace (1922) This booklet has instructions for knotted lace--Italian, in this case. (I increasingly understand why Dickson [see below] uses "knotted lace" as her preferred term!) I liked the Turkish term "oyah" until I discovered that oyah meant the resulting specimen, not the means used to make it (i.e. a lot of newer oyah is crocheted).
Many other assorted goodies can be found at the On-Line Digital Archive of Documents on Weaving and Related Topics.

I've finished Alice Odian Kasparian's book. There are some really beautiful patterns for knotted lace, and I love the interlaced embroidery. Her diagrams are excellent; I must try it soon! (Project.) I don't know if I will ever find another embroidery book so—how to phrase it—fraught with emotion, or such a sense of Mission. The last chapter was her family's story—they were very, very lucky, for her entire nuclear family survived to emigrate to the United States. I couldn't figure out Kasparian's age, but she was certainly less than 10 years old at the time; it is not surprising that more than 60 years later, as she finished her book, she still wrote with such immediacy and a sense of loss.

As far as Art goes, I've done a minute bit of preliminary web-only research, and decided that though I want to stick with the basic premise of the series I mentioned the other day, I think my references will be more oblique, and the series shorter, because frankly it is a very depressing topic to keep thinking about. I didn't even make it through the whole Wikipedia article on genocide—partly because of time (I was at work, after all) and partly because it was distressing to think of committees sitting around deciding how to appropriately define genocide while elsewhere people were being slaughtered. End of mini-diatribe.

If you are interested in learning to make knotted lace, I'd recommend “Mediterranean Knotted Lace” by Elena Dickson (2005). Her instructions are wonderfully clear, and with what you learn there you will be well-equipped to try out Kasparian's designs, or perhaps Tashjian's “doily of marked distinction.” After I read Dickson's book last year, I made a couple of samples—they're in two different sizes of crochet cotton. The large size was easiest at first, but before I finished the sample it was obvious that something finer & smoother/more tightly twisted would work better. The next time I will also shrink the scale I'm working at. But I think I'll wait a bit before I try sewing silk!

Sunday I was compelled to make a fancy braid. I used 8 lace bobbins and assorted embroidery strings. It came out very twisty, which I wasn’t expecting, and I’m still trying to decide if I like it:

I just finished my first beaded crochet sample. I lost a few stitches along the way (probably turning rows), and it took me a bit to realize at least one of the problems I was having was not me but that the crochet hook was too small (?!?). The last few rows (at the top of the picture) came out properly—I switched to using double crochet (the half double of the first 3 rows at the bottom didn't work satisfactorily, & I don't think it was all me). The top 4 rows are double crochet, with each row of double crochet followed by either slip stitch or single crochet—the beads only appear on one side. (If you strung twice as many, you could naturally do front & back both.) I'm not sure why I ended up compelled to try this now.

Next is trying a crocheted beaded “rope”—I started stringing the beads tonight, using the needle-with-a-loop-of-thread method to get the beads onto the crochet cotton. Size of this sample will depend on how many beads I am motivated to thread.

(Good grief, the cat hairs show...)

In conclusion, two in-process embroideries started late last summer. I've mainly worked on them during lunch at work, so they haven't progressed too rapidly. The purple one is nearly done (and I'm about ready to work on it again) but the white one still has quite a bit to go—stems, another seed pod, and some leafy bits. Plus filling in the background.

1 comment:

Kim said...

Remember, those aren't cat hairs. They are *specialty fibers*. :D