Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Oscar's Blanket

 Back in January, grandchild number three was born, a darling little boy named Oscar!  I just recently finished and delivered a squishy knit blanket to him that is along the lines of this one I made for his big brother, Henry, but in a pattern just for him.  One of his parents' favorite places is Glacier National Park in Montana, so a knit based on the woven Glacier Park Pendleton blanket seemed perfect!

It's an easy knit that's perfect for times when you don't want to follow a chart or have to keep too close of an eye on your row numbers.  I used Cascade 220 Superwash so it can be machine washed and dried.

*4 skeins Aran
*1 skein each Jet, Really Red, Hunter Green, and Golden
*size 10 1/2 circular needles - 36 inches
*size E crochet hook

1.  With Aran, cast on 125 stitches.

2.  With Aran, knit 44 rows.

3.  Switch to Jet and knit 10 rows.

4.  Back to Aran and knit 10 rows.

5.  Switch to Golden and knit 10 rows.

6.  Back to Aran and knit 10 rows.

7.  Switch to Really Red and knit 10 rows.

8.  Back to Aran and knit 10 rows.

9.  Switch to Hunter Green and knit 10 rows.

10.  Back to Aran and knit 88 rows.

11.  Knit 10 rows in Hunter Green and then 10 rows in Aran.

12.  Knit 10 rows in Really Red and then 10 rows in Aran.

13.  Knit 10 rows in Golden and then 10 rows in Aran.

14.  Knit 10 rows in Jet.

15.  Knit 44 rows in Aran and then bind off.

16.  Join Jet to an edge and single crochet around the blanket, putting three stitches in each corner.  Repeat with two more rows.

17.  Repeat edging rows as follows:  after the Jet, crochet three rows with Golden, three rows with Really Red, and three rows with Hunter Green.  Fasten off and weave in all the ends.

Happy Creating!  Deborah

Friday, August 25, 2017

Friday Inspiration: Tie Dye and Michael Phelan

It's nearing the end of summer and for some reason that always makes me think of tie dye .... probably because right before school started, my nieces often wanted to work up some new shirts!  

We think of tie dye as something from the 60's and 70's counter culture or a nice summer camp project, but it actually has a long history in many cultures around the world.  Shibori in Japan and West African's indigo dying are just two examples.  

Not many artists use the method (other than clothing artists) in their work - it would be hard to pull off anything other than kitchy!  However,  conceptual artist Michael Phelan does it well, working with tie dye as well as several other media.

The Best Way Out Is Through (No. 11)

First of all, his work is huge ... we're talking wall sized sheets of linen that remind one of the giant canvases of Jackson Pollock!  His tie dye work is in concentric circles of various color schemes - one of the recurring themes is red, white, and blue.

The Best Way Out Is Through (No. 1)

The way he combines certain colors reminds me of studying Josef Albers back in art school ... how colors work differently together.

The Best Way Out Is Through (No. 2)

Phelan writes that his work looks at consumer culture, especially "how folk art traditions have been appropriated and recycled for a popular American sensibility."  You can read more about him and his work at his website here and in an interview with The New York Sun here.

And if all this has given you the itch to try some tie dye, see this past post here!

Happy Creating!  Deborah

Wednesday, August 23, 2017


I don't know what it is that's so addictive about buttons and beads!  I've been working non-stop on both the past few weeks and finally have something to show for it.  Yeah, I know .... one can just make the button and glaze it with one glaze, but I'm stubborn and want them to look just so.  Soooo, after three to five firings and who knows how many underglazes and glazes, some batches are starting to come out of the kiln for the final time.

Some of these are destined for knits I've been working on and some for the shop when it opens around mid-September.  

Happy Creating!  Deborah

Friday, August 18, 2017

Friday Inspiration: Yarn Bombing

yarn bomb·ing
  1. the action or activity of covering objects or structures in public places with decorative knitted or crocheted material, as a form of street art.

I love looking at all the ways knitters and crocheters come up with to yarn bomb and my favorites are the ones that creatively come up with a way to fit the object being yarn bombed.  Some the best I've seen are made by sisters Lorna and Jill Watt.

Story Time is at the San Mateo Library - it cracks me up how they are from books!

Buttmunchers, in San Francisco.

And their Colossal brings a giant squid to downtown San Mateo, California.

This crocheted rainbow puddle is one of the best yarn bomb ideas I've seen!  It was created by Swedish artist Julia Riordan ....

.... who also crocheted this wonderful heart dispenser!

What better way to cover those ugly, random concrete posts than an R2D2 created by Sarah Rudder in Bellingham, Washington.

And if you've ever been to downtown Portland, Oregon, you've probably seen all the bronze statues.  This lucky little otter doesn't have to shiver through Portland's cold, damp winters any longer thanks to Jessica DeVries and Claudia Martinez.

Happy Creating!  Deborah

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Easy Colorwork Cowl

Is anyone thinking of autumn yet?  About this time of August, I start daydreaming about the cool, crisp mornings of later September and getting my shawls and cowls ready for snuggling up in!  Last February, I made a cowl for the Rose City Mystery Knit Along that was one of the most fun projects I've worked on in a long time - lots of different interesting stitches that are exciting to see how they turn out.  I know, it looks like a complicated colorwork pattern, but it's not!  There's no carrying strands or following charts, even though it looks like it.

The pattern is Klickitat Street Cowl by Casapinka and is available here through Ravelry.  I used Northbound Knitting's Superwash Merino/Nylon Fingering Yarn in Papyrus and Flotsam.

Happy Creating!  Deborah

Friday, August 11, 2017

New Beginnings

Hello everyone!  I've been away from Art Threads for so long, this feels like a new beginning!  I've been working at getting the studio in shape (much more work than I anticipated), helping with a new grandson's arrival, and taking a bit of time off to reconnect with something I love to do but haven't had much time for in the past ten years.  Today I have photos of the studio (it's still a work in progress, though) and some big news!

The Studio.

The upstairs of the studio is designed for fiber arts.  It's almost done - there are just a few things we're waiting to have built and a few organizing items we're waiting for inspiration on.  Ordinarily we have fantastically clear views of the mountains, however we have quite a bit of smoke from the forest fires in British Columbia.

I've been continuing to quilt, sew, and knit while I've been away and have a lot to show you all in future posts!

The downstairs is a ceramics studio!  I know .... you haven't really seen much of that on this blog except for the random button here and there.  Unless you've read the "About Me" section, you probably just thought of me as a fiber artist, however, I originally thought I'd go into ceramics.  I've studied with many fantastic ceramic artists in Oregon and Arizona and can spend hours working with clay!

The News.

Starting in September, I will be selling my hand sculpted ceramic beads, pendants, buttons, and other jewelry findings on my own website!  I'm anticipating that the autumn collection will be out sometime around the second week of September - I'll keep you posted on exactly when it it is!  You can follow my progress on Facebook and Instagram (@deborahschlegelstudios)  as well as on this blog.  Until then, here's a sneak peek at some of the goodies I've been working on:

And if you're local to me (Vernonia, Oregon area), I will also have an 8 week long beginning clay class for grades 1 through 6 starting on September 18th!  There will be more information on my website as soon as it goes live at the beginning of September.

I'm excited to be back with the blog and for all the new changes coming!  If you have any questions, ask in the comments section and I'll get them answered.  And don't worry - the blog will continue to have lots and lots of fiber art!

Happy Creating!  Deborah