It has been a long hard 10 weeks since I injured my right arm especially since I haven’t been able to knit or crochet since then and still not able to. I have to say it is almost torture for a designer not to design and create everyday, but at the same time it gives you rest (even though your kicking and screaming LOL). The injury progressed to my left arm due to over use looking after the right arm and then angered my neck and shoulders so just when I thought I was making head way everything was a mess. Glad to say that this week I finally feel like I am getting back to doing some things myself again and it feels great. Part of my injuries was over use from working to hard on my creations, but you know you just have to knit and crochet as it’s so much fun. I did try to dabble a little with more pattern writing, perhaps I will work on that again soon.
I hope in the next few months that I can once again pick up my needles and create new pieces. Luckily I was working on new designs all year prior to my injuries and will have more new designs on my Etsy store soon. You can also link with www.valeriebaberdesign.com for my new Etsy Website.
Lace Shawl – Scarf – Poncho with a Stained Glass Rose Window Brooch showing the details of the stained glass window that is under the Rose window tracery. This design shown in two different stone colours has the “Wired to the Past” design essence that I am continuing to work on this year. You can wear this design as a poncho/shawl or a scarf depending on where you fasten the buttons and brooch. The brooch can be worn on or off this piece. See the slide show below for the various ways to wear this new design. Other styles and colour will follow as I have time to make them.
The Floral Frieze Scarf in Ivory and Beige with Classic Edge hand warmers is another new design for 2015 with an architectural feel. This combination is done in the stone colours of many buildings of the past with the darker beige being the shadow giving the piece depth in design. A two scarf combination that can be worn in many styles as shown below. Other colours will follow soon. See more at http://www.valeriebaberdesigns.etsy.com and soon at http://www.valeriebaberdesign.com Two great places to purchase many of my designs. This group is made with http://www.sweetgeoriayarns.com on the scarf.
In the Pink…newest knits added to my designs. One of the colours I noticed somewhat missing from my designs is pink. It is not a colour I wear often and perhaps that is why, but after making several designs in different strengths of pink I have realized that I must add this beautiful colour to my wardrobe. Pink can be so soft and gentle or striking and bold. You can wear the tone you feel that day and want to project to others around you. I love these two different hand painted yarns I used on the base of the different scarves. Both have a completely different effect and character.
I love working with hand painted yarns! It’s like a constant surprise every stitch you take with anticipation to see what that next stitch becomes in colour. Always keeping your eyes happy with something new to look at just around the corner or in this case stitch. To top it off each skein is different from the other making it a challenge to bring them all together and so interesting each time I start a new project. I am completely hooked on hand painted yarns as you can see by my designs. I also love mixing solid colours together and working them so they become one. Once again each piece has it’s own character depending on how the yarns decide to land while I knit and crochet them. You can see these and more of my designs at:
The hand warmers are both designs I have previously designed, but in different colours and colour techniques making the design new again. I love reworking a design be it different yarns or colour ways to see how I can improve or change the look. Some designs give birth to new designs with inspiration abounding from the vary stitches of each piece. As you see with my Rose collections, it just keeps getting bigger as I become inspired by the previous piece I designed. Roses happen to be my favourite flower which could be part of my inspiration as well.
Off to be inspired by Christmas and my crocheted garland. I have started working on it this week and of course I am using hand painted yarns for at least some of the garland. I love being inspired by nature and all it’s wonderful gifts it gives us everyday. Must run and get back to my garland…I love Christmas!! Have a fabulous day!!
They are likely my favourite flower of all. So many colours to choose from with different characters and beauty abounding from their leaves and petals. I especially love the aroma they share, it is soft and delicate and oh so lovely. With roses in my mind I decided to design a style that was different than my Rose Onie Collection, a classic and sculptural collection. The new Rose inspired collection is called the Eclectic Rose, the collar scarf shown in the pictures. A brighter yarn collection with a more modern and eclectic look to the design.
The bases are made with 2 strands of yarn one of Malabrigo Worsted Merino and one of Malabrigo Rios Hand Painted Merino Wool. I love working with more than one strand of yarn as the outcome adds more texture and a unique colour way when combined. The roses on these three scarves are made with Sublime Aran weight Merino, Cashmere and Silk yarn. It is wonderfully soft and I love Sublime’s colours, they are fantastic. The leaves are done with Diamond Yarns Luxury Aran Weight Merino Wool. Another wonderful merino wool that eludes with amazing colour choices.
Using various yarns on one design is enjoyable for me as I love to see how they work together and what the outcome is in the end. The style changes depending on what fibres and colours you are using on each piece. Keeps it interesting and enjoyable, trying something new that I am inspired to do that day. I love making Wearable Art pieces, there is a freedom in deciding with each piece what it should become even when I started with the same knitted or crocheted “canvas” I had designed before. I can add a personal touch that I am inspired by or the customer is inspired by making it one of a kind.
Inspiration can come from anywhere, just let your mind see things in a new and exciting way. Then turn it into something new for you to enjoy or share with others. I must warn you it is addictive! Enjoy your day and try to see things differently today. Find your inspiration!
Victory in Victoria, B.C…..Yarn finds of course! One of my favourite things to do while on holidays is to check out the local knitting stores to see what they offer. I find most knitting stores are very different and each have their own unique style and character. I managed to squeeze in two fabulous knitting store visits while in Victoria, I wanted to see more of them, but that will have to be on my next trip. You can only make your family wait so long before they get antsy. You know how it is, “I will only be a few minutes”, turns into a few hours. LOL
The first store I sought out was the Beehive Wool Shop downtown Victoria. It was just a few blocks away from where we were staying. A beautiful walk along the downtown core of Victoria, B.C. with amazing architecture and interesting and unique stores and of course coffee shops!! 🙂 I walked into to this beautiful architectural building and was pleasantly surprised with the vast amount of various yarns. This is a knitting store worthy of a visit and a great place to get your friends together and spend some time relishing over the unique and vast array of yarns and other wonderful accessories. I personally have never been in a yarn store so large and I was in my glory. Didn’t want to leave and could have easily spent the day there, or maybe the whole weekend. 🙂 Very friendly staff and everything you would need or want just waiting for you to enjoy.
Yarn was everywhere, but what impressed me the most was how organized it was. The colours didn’t overwhelm you as they played amongst the store enticing you everywhere you turned. It was like a work of art in front of you each skein and ball of yarn perfectly placed. Sounds strange, but it was really very lovely just to look around and around. Next visit I will be spending a lot more time in this wonderful wool store, it was like being in yarn heaven. http://www.beehivewoolshop.com/
My goal was to find some locally made yarn that I could use in my Water Ways Collection I am currently working on for this Fall and Winter season. It was an easy success at the Beehive Wool Shop. I choose three different yarns all made in Canada as I wanted to add a local feel to this group of designs. The 3 balls of yarn on the right are the Rowan Kidsilk Haze Glamour. I just had to purchase these for me, hmmm what to make. This yarn is absolutely beautiful to work with an added sequin nicely spaced.
On the top left the yarn is by Sweet Georgia Yarns and is hand painted in Vancouver, B.C. I choose it as it has the wonderful greens and browns of the very large cedar trees in Victoria and Vancouver. Made with superwash merino wool and nylon. I have always loved these amazing trees and the aroma that eludes from them. I even put in a cedar deck at home just so I felt like I was near them. Felicia, Sweet Georgia Designer of this wonderful yarn was inspired to make this colour way as: “Grouse is one of my favourites… it’s actually named for Grouse Mountain in North Vancouver. It’s where I first learned to snowboard and where my husband and I held our wedding reception two years ago. To me, it feels like an Emily Carr painting of the woods”. http://www.sweetgeorgiayarns.com/
The skein below this one is by Ancient Arts Fibre Crafts, from the Calgary, Alberta, Canada region. This skein is the 100% Blueface Leicester fingerling weight in the Abalone colour way. I purchased this skein to use for the amazing plant life in and out of the water ways and ocean. I love finding out what other Artists are inspired by. Caroline, the Artist who dyes this beautiful yarn, quoted: “This is a very popular colour way and came about as part of my love of the west coast. I called it Abalone as it is meant to capture something that feels sublimely west coast to me… Sea otters and shell fish! I was particularly struck as a child by the idea of sea otters eating abalone while wound up in sea weed, and of course these shell fish are rare and desirable themselves, so put them together with sea otters and they are rather exciting. And of course they have very pretty shells. I remember the first time I saw an otter in the wild in the ocean – it was tremendously exciting as I had read about them as a child, but being a prairie girl I wasn’t able to just go see an otter. When I saw the otters I was out canoeing on the ocean (no kayaks for us) and it was a gorgeous day. We watched them playing for quite a while and it is a cherished memory. We found shells on a little beach nearby later on. So abalone the colour way captures the colours of the water, the trees on the shore, and of course the colours of something an otter really likes to eat! http://ancientartsfibre.com/
I was excited to find that these Fibre Artists have a story behind their colour choices which are consistent with what I purchased them for. They obviously do a great job at choosing their colour ways as I was instantly drawn to them all. Ancient Arts Fibre also has a wonderful collection of yarns that benefit rescue cats. Be sure to visit her website for more information.
And the last skein is from Zen Yarn Garden, based in Ontario, Canada. This wonderful yarn is a superwash merino wool, cashmere and nylon blend. The colours will be perfect for the coral and other sea creatures alike of the West Coast. Lisa quoted: “most of our colourways are created to be complimentary, saturated and rich in colour so that’s our inspiration for the majority of them”. http://www.zenyarngarden.co/
I wanted to support the local yarn Artists in my venture to design with a Water Way theme. Check out these wonderful yarns and your local Fibre Artists to see what treasures you may find. Be sure to visit the websites above and see what inspires their work and take a visit to the Beehive Wool store when you are in Victoria, B.C.
While in Victoria I found another local knitting store and spent some time looking at these amazing hand made clay buttons by a local Artist and of course bought more yarn! 🙂 I will blog that on another day. As well we have a wonderful yarn local yarn store in Edmonton, River City Yarns, where I purchase many of my other unique yarns but I will save that visit preview for another day as I need some pictures of all their new yarns. Check out their fabulous workshops at www.rivercityyarns.com
Off to be inspired by these amazing yarns and the memory of a beautiful holiday and fantastic wool store. Here are more pictures to tease you into a visit to this wonderful wool store. A link to their website and more information about them. Did you know they have been around for over 100 years. Wow. The changes they have seen over the years. http://www.beehivewoolshop.com/about.html
I had the most wonderful opportunity this past year to design and make various knitted and crochet pieces for the Opera Art Project. You can find more information about this amazing project on my website: http://www.vbaberdesigns.com/page25.html or check out the Alberta Craft Council website at http://www.albertacraft.ab.ca/special-projects/ to view work from the other Artists involved. This collection above is based on the costume designed for one of the main characters, Aida.
The Opera Art Project is a group of Artists, the Alberta Craft Council Gallery and the Edmonton Opera www.edmontonopera.com who joined together to design and make various pieces that were inspired by the costumes, sets and themes of the Edmonton Opera Productions this past year. They were sold at the Edmonton Opera Productions and are currently being sold at the Alberta Craft Council Gallery Store www.albertacraft.ab.ca
Inspiration for the Aida Opera came from the costumes that were part of the two main characters, Aida and Amneris. It was an amazing production and my first Opera experience. I must say that I am now hooked on Opera and the Opera Art Project, quite literally that is! I was surprised how much I enjoyed the Opera, but when you think about it the combination of singing, acting and music is a wonderful experience for all. There are subtitles so you can understand what is being sung. Absolutely loved it. The designs below are based on the costume worn by Amneris.
Inspiration can be found almost anywhere. Look around you today, on the internet, a blast from the past, nature, architecture and more to find what inspires you to try something new. The colour of a flower, texture of a building, look of a historical piece of clothing or your favourite colour. Being inspired by your surroundings can catapult you into a new and exciting design world. What inspired you today, this week, this year?