Monday, December 7, 2015

Loom Knitting Vs. Needle Knitting: Garter Stitch

So I was feeling stressed out, and decided to take on a small project on needles instead of my loom. I knew the project would require more concentration, as I haven't knitted on needles in over a year. I also decided to take on a pattern that required attention across multiple rows. I began working on a seafoam stitch scarf designed by Ali Green, available for free on Ravelry.

My knowledge of loom knitting stitches actually got me turned around! On the loom, the garter stitch is created by alternating knit and purl rows. On needles, you just knit every row. I had to frog the scarf a few times because I kept producing stockinette stitch. I was alternating knit and purl rows on my needles. On the loom, to make the stockinette stitch, each row is knitted. This is because the project is not turned around the way it is when knitting needles are used.

I plan on finishing this project, but I will definitely only be doing small light projects on needles. The primary reason I stopped needle knitting was because my hands began to hurt each time I tried to knit. However, I cannot see myself giving it up completely, because there are still so many more resources for needle knitting than there are for loom knitting. That being said, I may try to convert some of my favorite needle knitting patterns for the loom, which should be an interesting challenge!

Monday, November 30, 2015

Venturing Back Into Painting

It has been a very long time since I have painted. About 13 years at this point. My medium was oil paints at the time. Now that I have children, and I am pregnant, I have decided to use acrylics for the time being. Due to their lack of toxicity, and quick drying time, acrylics seem like the better choice for me, as my studio is the kitchen, and not somewhere easily closed off from toddlers.

While on vacation last week, I signed up for an acrylic painting class. In the hour and a half allotted for the class, I was able to do a pretty nice rendition of the Massanutten mountain, and it spurred me to explore the possibility of painting again.

I experienced how quickly acrylics can dry! This is great for layering, and fixing mistakes, but can make it a little difficult when you are decisive. I think that once I have a better place for painting, I may want to do certain types of paintings in oils for the slow drying time. I blended my sky color to well, so I didn't get a strong suggestion of clouds, which I would have preferred. I am really happy with the way the river turned out. I did my best not to blend those colors too much, and left it pretty streaky. 

Just last night I attempted the still life cherry tutorial that can be found at The Will Kemp Art School, and it did not go as well as I would have liked. The tutorial is a four part series, and while he does keep it pretty basic, I don't think it was as basic as needed for someone with no experience doing still life paintings. 

I definitely want to try this again. but looking at it again this morning, I realized that it didn't look quite as bad as I thought it did. I got to do a colored ground for this, which I never did when I painted before, and I really like the effect. I can see that I forgot to round out the cherry shape after my initial sketch, and work on blending the dark parts, but it's not super terrible, lol.

As I work on developing technique, I bought a mixed media notebook to paint in, and a small pack of Artist's Loft paints (they were $4.99 at Michael's).

I checked out a DVD for Acrylic Painting beginners, so I'm hoping to get some good tips from that, as I try another landscape painting.