Saturday, May 7, 2011

Hand knits at the Gallery

Knitted clothing and accessories can be bought many places, in department stores, in boutiques, and in galleries such as ours. What makes a knitted item gallery-worthy?

First, all knitted items in our gallery are hand-knit using original designs. Beyond that, one thing that often distinguishes knitted items at our gallery is the fiber used. For example, Joan Hutten's scarf is knitted of wild silk and cotton.

This detail shot shows the knitting pattern Joan used for her variegated yarn. Often the yarn in our wearables is hand-spun or hand-dyed.

Debra M. Lee is one of the Gallery's master knitters. One of her specialties is knitted tote bags made using recycled cotton canvas tote bags as the lining. These use quality yarns of natural fibers. In the examples shown below, the Journey and Chameleon and Praying Mantis bags use wool or wool and soy yarns, while the Blooming Flowers bag uses cotton, bamboo, silk, and linen yarns. Each lining is customized with a zippered top and interior pockets. The knitted fabric is reinforced with fused non-woven interfacing to help retain its shape and promote wear.

Here are the front and back of Debra's Chameleon and Praying Mantis tote bag:

The image on The Journey, below, is embroidered using the duplicate stitch technique.

Our final example of Debra's work is Blooming Flowers, where Debra knitted the bag in a geometric pattern, then added separately knitted and crocheted flowers.
Photos by George McLennan

When asked how her bags differ from commercially produced tote bags, Debra says:

My hand-knits are my attempt to change the grandmotherly, dowdy perception of knitting as a craft and help bring it into modern, contemporary fashion and art.
My bags take a small step toward reducing our carbon footprint by recycling mass produced canvas totes.
I incorporate the principles of design and color through the use of color yarns and imagery that are not easily mass produced. The images on the Journey and Chameleon and Praying Mantis bags are hand-embroidered, for example.
Each hand-knit is a project with a unique vision.

Of course, knitting need not be restricted to functional items. One example is Gayle Roehm's knitted interpretation of a Fabergé egg, Spring Flowers Egg:

Photo by Miriam Rosenthal, ThirdEyePhotography

This is but a taste of the range of knitted items that may be seen in our gallery. Please stop in to see what our members are showing this time.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Excellent selection of pieces and a very nice explanation of each. Debra Lee's items are amazing.
Alice Lee Timmins