Added a new photo page on my Blog with various pictures of my Architectural adventures over the years with fibre. I had the honour of designing for various galleries which often included my architectural pieces some shown here. My love for architecture began while taking Interior Design. Since then it has been a passion for me to create designs with knitting and crochet that are inspired by the amazing artists, designers, architects and all the people involved in making such extraordinary buildings of the past. This is a small sample of the many designs I have created with an architectural theme. You can link to the page below that shows more of my architectural designs.
I hope to pattern some of these designs and other crochet patterns with an architectural essence this year. A wonderful customer has recently sent me various photos of beautiful cathedrals etc. in France and I am looking forward to using them for a new architectural inspiration and creating a new crochet pattern from these wonderful photos. Thank you Marie for sending them to me. I really appreciate it! It is great having photos from your travels instead of relying on the internet. Here are a few of the inspiring photos below:
One day I hope to travel to France and other European locations. Fun fact: We do have a small piece of France on the East Coast of Canada! It is a French Territory. You can read more on these links below.
Enjoy the inspiration in your life today. You never know where it will come from. Perhaps someone who lives in another country will help direct you in your newest adventure like my renewed inspiration to design architectural crochet pieces because a customer was so kind to share their travel photos with me. I can’t wait to begin designing with these photos and other architectural features from buildings of the past.
Various crochet patterns by Valerie Baber Designs are available at:
I have been asked by Deb at http://www.htheblog.wordpress.com, http://www.islandhomeblog.wordpress.com, http://www.debrahunter.wordpress.com to continue the “Blog Hop Around the World”. Deb is a blogger who is multi talented in many different areas such as photography, knitting, yarn dying with nature, makes wood buttons and many more unique items. Check out her various blogs to see more of what this wonderful Artist does, it will inspire you. The “Blog Hop Around the World” is a wonderful collection of amazing bloggers with great talents of all sorts joining in to tell you more about what they do. A great way to see more of the many bloggers exerts is to google “Blog Hop Around the World”.
Here is the Question time…
What are you working on?
I am always working on something new and the best way to see my latest and most current work is on my Etsy store at http://www.valeriebaberdesigns.etsy.com I am inspired by many different things and often will incorporate that into my unique designs. I recently started a new collection with an Architectural flair. For years I have been inspired by the amazing Architecture of the past. While taking my Interior Decorating and Interior Design the one group of courses I couldn’t get enough of were Art and Architectural History. The fact that one building can take various decades and more to complete with various architects, designers, painters and the many people it takes to achieve these greatly detailed features of the architectural buildings of the past. I could go on and on about this subject, but it would take a life time to talk about it all.
The Stained Glass Rose Window Scarf is one of my newest designs in my Architectural Collection. I adore vintage buildings and the amazing and exquisite architecture of the past. Stained Glass windows have always caught my attention in these beautiful buildings of the past and current. Perhaps that is why about 10 years ago I took classes on Stained Glass and made various pieces for my home. The time, skill and artistry that goes into designing and making one small window is an enormous task, but worth every moment when you see the light dancing through the wonderful colours of the pattern.
I have been thinking of designing a knitted version of Stained Glass for a while now and this is one of my first tries. Gothic Architecture incorporates many stained glass windows as the flying buttresses used in design made it possible to have many more windows than previous architecture design. I believe this is a big reason why I love this Architecture so very much. A stained glass window has two sides with different effects on each of them.
Floral Stone Tracery Scarf[/caption]
Tracery and elaborate stone features were an exquisite feature of these beautiful works of art. This design is made with a stone coloured base of grey or beige and neutrals in a hand painted merino wool. The Floral Stone Tracery Scarf is made with a stone wall essence on the base of the scarf in the colours of various stones. The inspiration for this set of scarves is the amazing stone tracery on Architecture of the past. The elaborate and fascinating artwork that was involved in designing and making the stone tracery is outstanding. For these smaller scarves, more of a cowl size, I have chosen to put a few stone tracey flowers to accent the design. I will be changing the stone tracery as I go along focusing on different types of stone tracery. This is just the beginning of my Architectural collection I have some larger pieces working in my mind I must start designing soon.
I have recently began adding some knitting patterns to my work. Valerie Baber Designs are unique in many ways from the colour, accents and yarn types. All pieces involved in my designs, excluding things like buttons, are all handmade and designed by myself.
How does my work differ from others?
I use many different yarns and add the unique touch with embellishments and styles of the accessories. The Accessories include Scarves, Shawls, Sweaters, Fingerless Gloves, Mittens, Hats and other specialty items. High end yarns such as Hand Painted yarns, Merino Wool, Alpaca, Llama, Hand Spun Yarns, Silk, Cashmere, Organic Cotton, Cotton, Linen, Bamboo are used. A combination of both knitting and crochet complete these pieces. Many of my designs are one of a kind and I do specialty work for other companies such as the Alberta Craft Council, Art Gallery of St. Albert, the Opera Art Project and more. Many of my designs come from various inspirations including nature and man made alike. To keep my designs unique I designed everything by myself, I do not use other peoples patterns in my work. I love the challenge of making something new and just taking some yarn and needles and working away to see what comes from within that day. It is very freeing to design this way. I never have enough time to design everything I am inspired by.
Why do I create what I do?
This is an interesting question. I was previously in the ready to wear and knitting pattern end years ago, but a hand injury took me out for over a year. During that time I decided to go back to school and get my Interior Decorating Diploma and then proceeded to my Interior Design Degree. However, in the middle of my Interior Design degree I ended up with a terrible back and hip injury that made it impossible to finish. My sister asked me to make some scarves and after taking a recent free form knitting class off I went in a direction I had never been before. This is why much of my work is embellished. It opened up a creativity I had never felt before, designs just came flowing out of me and thankfully continue today. My work is completely different than my past business which was more traditional with designing with cables, intarsia and fair isle styles of knitting, mostly for kids. This more free form approach to designing has opened up a creativity I have never experienced before. I believe my school in Interior Decorating and Design has definitely helped my in this venture, especially the Architectural Collection.
How does my creative process work?
My knitting passion started with a homespun knitwear business, called “Hey, Diddle Diddle. Progressing from designing and knitting ready to wear children’s hats, sweaters and woman’s wear to the knitting world. Writing and designed patterns for my own line of designs and for the knitting magazine “Cast On”. Most of my creativity comes from things around me such as nature, colours, shapes, people and anything that catches my eye inspiring me to create. The texture, colour, feel and quality of Natural Yarns and Pure Fibres are my favourite to use in my unique designs. As I continue to grow and expand my artistic business my designs will continue to change and evolve into new and creative exciting pieces.
It has been a pleasure to be part of the “blog hop around the world”. I am passing the baton to Leah at http://seattlespinner.com/ Leah spins the most wonderful yarns and then makes such lovely designs perfect for her yarn. She uses some of the profits to help others with the woman of http://awamaki.org/ Her inspiration comes from nature and more and you can definitely see that in your beautiful yarns. She will be doing the next “Blog Hop Around the World” so check her blog out soon.
The Treasured Friends Collection is based on a collection of scarves and fingerless gloves that Susanna Kearsley www.susannakearsley.com had asked me to design for each of her treasured friends, that joined her on this wonderful tour. This picture shows some of the fantastic Authors who toured with Susanna Kearsley sporting their unique scarf designs from left to right: Lynn Spencer from All about Romance, Deanna Raybourn, Susanna Kearsley, and Joanna Bourne. Many of the designs were specifically designed for the Author it was given to based on their newest or a previous book or a design that Susanna felt they would like based on who they are or are passionate about. This new collection will be called Treasured Friends. Here are some pictures and some links to a few of these designs. I will be adding more designs in the near future to the Treasured Friends Collection available on my Etsy site at www.intricateknits.etsy.com.
MYSTERY GIVEAWAY! I will be joining one of these Authors in a giveaway that will be announced on Feburary 13th so mark your calendars. There will be a variety of ways to enter. Who is this “mystery” Author….you have to wait and see. Pop by in the next few days as I blog more about this great giveaway and the “Mystery” Author. Your first hint…she loves to knit!
Thanks to Susanna Kearsley for asking me to be a part of this wonderful venture. I find great enjoyment in designing and making specialty items for treasured friends! Treasure your friends today wherever they are let them know they are special to you!
You can link to the various designs in the Treasured Friends Collection now available here:
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!!