Elena Rosenberg, of TickledPinkKnits. Elena designs and knits luxurious handmade wearables and accessories. Based in New York City, she grew up in a foreign country and describes her artistic development in these words:
I learned to knit as a kid from my Mom. As a teen I created a couple of elaborate projects, including a particular sweater and skirt number that I wore quite a bit in eighth grade. This was more out of necessity than eccentricity, as original clothing was hard to come by behind the iron curtain. A hiatus from knitting, at least a dozen years long, followed. I rediscovered knitting about three years ago purely by chance and fell head over heels in love. I spent close to a year knitting things for several charity organizations that donate hand-knit items to orphanages and veteran homes. I also pored over just about every knitting-related book in the New York Public Library collection. In the spring and summer of 2007 I created the first pieces for the Tickled Pink Knits collection, set up my Etsy shop, and the rest… has been magical!
Among the many things I adore about knitting is the ability to create with my hands objects of visual and tactile joy using some of the simplest imaginable tools.
Though it is somewhat on hold at the moment, my other passion is photography. I have been lucky enough to have had a few solo exhibitions of my work, to have it in a couple of art collections, as well as see my imagery on a book cover and in several journals. You can see more of my photography at elenarosenberg.com and in floralia, my other Etsy shop.
You may wonder what could have prompted the move from abstract monochrome botanical photography to clothing and accessories in every color. The leap is not as unthinkable as it may seem. In fact, common elements abound – texture, form, shape, composition. And as for color, well, what is fashion without color? :)
Finally, it is quite possible that my affinity for creating tangible objects of fiber goodness stems from my Jewish and Belarusian grandmothers, one of whom was a seamstress, and the other a weaver.
Elena on her creative process:
The inspiration for my designs has many sources. I am enamored with the interplay of colors, textures, patterns, symmetry and asymmetry. I am fascinated by yarn and the nature of knitting itself – the ways fibers align and connect, and the ways stitch variations intertwine. New experiments and designs are often prompted by silhouettes spotted on the streets of NYC or inspired by visions and ideas provided by clients and fans of my work. Many of my most popular designs emerged from simply toying with needles and yarn and evolved from row to row. At any one time, plans for at least a dozen new designs are brewing in my mind.
I like knitting stitches that are relatively intuitive and patterns that have clean lines. I set pretty high standards for my work, and strive for precision and meticulousness. I am not a big fan of shortcuts that involve using bulky yarn and thick needles, and tend to prefer fairly intricate detailing.
I work almost exclusively with high-quality natural fibers, such as wool (especially the buttery soft merino!), alpaca, fine cottons, cashmere, and bamboo.
The photograph at the top is Elena's Chai Latte Scarf; just below that photo and to the right is her Jasmine Green Tea Knit Shrug. Directly to the right: Rococo Organic Cotton Knit Shawl Wrap. All three pieces are hand-knitted from certified organic, fair trade Peruvian cotton (Pakucho Cotton), and the Rococo Organic Shawl pattern is available for purchase on our patterns page.
Below: Bamboo Grove Lightweight Knit Scarf, hand-knitted from 100% Bamboo yarn. To see more of Elena's creations, visit http://www.etsy.com/shop/TickledPinkKnits?page=1.
Rosemary Boyd, of PLUmFISh Creations. Rosemary Boyd is an Australian artist who creates one-of-a-kind wraps, stoles and scarves from a variety of yarns, her favorites being recycled sari silk, banana silk, mohair, and wool.
To the left is her "earth and rainbows flamboyant fun recycled sari silk boa party scarf," which measures almost 9 feet in length. Each little piece of silk has been individually chosen, cut and tied to a crocheted central core of sari silk.
Here is Rosemary, in her own words:
I have always loved to create. I can't remember a time when I didn't knit or crochet or sew. My grandmother had the enthusiasm and patience to teach me when I was very young - but more importantly she shared her fascination with every stitch I created; showed her excitement and eager anticipation as each piece unfolded; and jubilantly celebrated every completed work.
I love vibrant colours, and rich textures... colours that ask to be noticed and textures that long to be touched. The accessories I make are sometimes said to be flamboyant and lively - an expression of a part of me, that is otherwise hidden beneath a conservative quiet exterior.
I have long had a dream to develop a career where I would have the opportunity to showcase and sell my own designs, but have previously lacked the confidence to take the first step. In recent years this desire has grown stronger, and the passion for creating has become almost overwhelming.
I have been encouraged by many to pursue my dream, and inspired by my beautiful artist daughter, to freely explore and express every spirit filled emotion and idea - whether fleeting or enduring.
I often feel that my art takes on a life of its own, and somehow creates itself...
plumfish??? the name my husband has always called me... no one knows why... or where... or how it originated..
So that's a little about me... busy wife, mum, nana and nurse!
To the right is Rosemary's "shades of autumn beige and brown silk rose flower choker statement necklace," hand crocheted using recycled vintage sari fabric.
This last photo is Rosemary's "rich earthy shades of burgundy red rainbow recycled sari silk and mixed yarn hand crocheted scarf."
Visit Rosemary's Etsy shop at http://www.etsy.com/shop/plumfish?ga_search_query=plumfish&ga_search_type=seller_usernames
Ruth Marshall uses knitting to explore human relationships with the natural world, especially animals. Her work was recently part of “Knitted, Knotted, Netted," a fiber show at the Hunterdon Art Museum in New Jersey. The show featured her large-scale knitted animal pelts.
The knitting of animal pelts boldly confronts the practice of taking skins from animals. It is a constructive answer to a destructive act. As any fiber worker knows, knitting a finished piece requires attention, commitment, and love, much like raising a child or growing a relationship. The viewer of these knitted pelts cannot help contrasting this careful activity with the harvesting of skins, which usually follows a violent assault. Thus the creative act makes a strong statement, quietly, about human violence against the natural world.
The image at right is Clouded Leopard #1, 2009, 69" x 41," yarn, string, sticks. See detail below.
In her own words:
My art is related to and bound by a fascination with animals. In essence the work is a synthesis of concepts relating to wildlife conservation and visually interpreting natural animal forms.
Exploring the precarious balance of our relationship to nature reacquaints us with an exotic world that we are in danger of losing with all the inherent drama of that loss fueling a search for survival.
I was born and raised in Melbourne, Australia. Studying the piano for several years as a teenager introduced me to the discipline and power of the arts. In my twenties I traveled overseas for two years, living in Amsterdam, Holland, visiting Thailand, Myanmar, most of Europe and fulfilled a lifelong desire to see the ancient art of Egypt. I returned home to Australia and studied for my BA in sculpture and printmaking at Phillip Institute of Technology, where diversity and independence of study was encouraged.
In 1993 I was awarded the Anne & Gordon Samstag International Visual Arts Scholarship, a generous sponsor in promoting overseas education of Australian visual art students. I began my Masters degree in sculpture at Pratt Institute in Brooklyn. Upon graduation I obtained employment at the Wildlife Conservation Society, more commonly known as the Bronx Zoo. I was employed at the Bronx Zoo as an exhibit sculptor and fabricator for fourteen years, where my primary goal was to replicate artificial natural environments, offering enriched and educational arenas for animals and humans alike. Presently I teach drawing at the School of Visual Arts in New York City.
As an exhibiting and working artist my work has been displayed across the United States and gained international exposure.
Find out more about Ruth Marshall at http://www.ruthmarshall.com/index.html.
Above, Gold Jaguar, 2007, 81" x 51," knitted yarn, bamboo, string.