Of sweaters and quilts
On Friday night, I wore Williamsro to the art opening -- there are fiber artists in that cooperative, they hold the knitting in high esteem -- and yesterday, I wore Fibonacci to the quilt show. I was a little warm yesterday and am both happy and sad that the days are numbered as far as the woolens are concerned.
Have I mentioned, by the way, how much happier I am with Williamsro since I ripped and re-knit the bottom (Noro Blossom) part of the body? I had picked up too many stitches the first time -- it was okay at first, but then it began to stretch and I could even see it pulling the other part (Noro Cash Iroha) of the sweater out of shape. What was once a rhetorical question ("Does this sweater make my butt look big?") was not so rhetorical anymore and I didn't like the answer. I'm happy I didn't let that one sit for too long.
Fibonacci, having been knit entirely using left-overs from another sweater, seemed appropriate attire for Mary Lee Bendolph, Gee's Bend Quilts, and Beyond at The Paine Art Center in Oshkosh -- even if the colors are more fall-like than spring. (It's been on my mind to knit another, in different colors, for the warm seasons -- maybe in cotton?)
Alison met us (Mom and me) and then we all went to lunch afterwards. Ali was really more interested in just lunch and could have foregone the quilts, but I made her see the show and I think she was amazed. We all were. I knew a little more what to expect, but Mom & Ali had no clue.
"Quilts," I'd say. "We're going to a quilt show, but they're different..."
It's so hard to describe these quilts and their design -- how free and fresh and inspiring and inspired and traditional and artistic and cutting-edge and colorful and resourceful and moving -- without sounding a little more than passionate -- without sounding a little nuts. And I'm not even a quilter! They make you passionate, indeed. The show was quite busy and (not surprised) no cameras were allowed. One word: GO! If you have the opportunity to see this show (or a variation), just go.
We toured the mansion, also (amazing), and there is a children's discovery area in the lower level. It was so wonderful to see Gee's Bend-inspired quilt designs on the wall, very nicely done (fabric patches glued to paper) by some local 5th graders. It was a big highlight of the show, for me -- fun to see the fabric of their lives -- lots of sports-minded prints, including the Packers, some Pokemon, lots of denim, but also some glitzy glittery fabrics. There was one so definitely inspired by the Work Clothes quilts and very meticulously done so that all the frayed edges of the denim were exposed.
The Paine is also known for their gardens. This corkscrewy bush (for lack of knowing what it's really called) is right next to the museum entrance. So intriguing. There's nothing much blooming yet, except for some snowdrops, but the tulips and daffodils are promising -- soon! Still, even at this stage, the gardens are beautiful. I went on a stitcher's retreat to Colonial Williamsburg one December and was amazed at how beautiful the gardens were at the dormant time of year -- truly something to aspire to with my own gardens. Right now, though, "Baby A" and I would just be happy to see sprouting peas. Sweater details in the "Completed in 2007" sidebar photo album.