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“Le Surrealisme, c’est moi”

March 14, 2010

“Le Surrealisme, c’est moi” (Surrealism, it is me!) – Salvador Dali

Elsa Schiaparelli’s iconic Trompe L’oeil, “Bow Knot” knitted sweater, that started her career is now available for free download at School House Press.

Elsa Schiaparelli was the first fashion designer that I became interested in. I loved that she saw fashion AS art and not just clothing. Unlike works by her fellow artists and friends Dali, Magritte and Duchampe that were seen only in art houses, Schiaparelli’s surrealist art made it to the public because it WAS clothing. This blew my mind as to the possibilities of fashion, something i’d tried to avoid as an art student. For the first time for me, fashion was not a dirty word. Schiaparelli’s introduction of the Shoe Hat, or the Chest of Drawers suit (modeled after Dali’s antropomorphic chest of drawers paintings) worn at a high society gala, by a lady of leisure is amazing to me, and truly surreal. (taken from a paper I wrote while at the Surrey Institute of Art & design, UK 1998)

While working in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Costume Institute in the mid 90’s as more or less a high school drop out, I had the great luck and honor to work under the brilliant Curator Richard Martin. Martin accepted me and taught me more about art in fashion than anyone else could have. He brought respect back to the “red-headed step child” fashion department, tucked away in the basement of the museum, and wrote prolifically on the subject of fashion history. On discussing a vanity mirror suit by Schiaparelli, Martin once wrote:

“The paradoxical and discomforting aspect of the Schiaparelli gesture is that the mirrors reflected the vanity not only of the wearer but also of the spectator. As images of the wearer joined those from the external world, the affect achieved was like that of Surrealist photographic trompe l’oeil.”  -Richard Martin, Fashion & Surrealism

Schiaparelli’s most famous pieces include the lobster dress where the white chiffon gown replaces a white china plate, atop which sits a lobster and garnish, and a pre-tattered trompe l’oeil gown and shawl. However, she got her start making one humble little sweater by hand and marketing it. It was The Bow Knot sweater, a surrealist, trompe l’oeil piece.

“Dress designing…It is to me, not a profession but an art. I found it was a most difficult and unsatisfying art, because as soon as the dress is born it has already become a thing of the past…A dress has no life of it’s own unless it is worn, and as soon as this happens, another personality takes over from you and animates it, or tries to, glorifies it or destroys it, or makes it into a song of beauty. More often it becomes an              indifferent, or even a pitiful caricature of what you wanted it to be…A dream, an expression”

-Elsa Schiaparelli

First hint of spring, button hole Scarf

March 4, 2010

Materials

1 skein Cashmere – Lime Green

1 skein Cashmere – Cotton Candy Pink

Size 4 needles

Preparation

Lime Green (G) – Wind yarn into 2 balls in order to work both edges of scarf simultaneously.

Cotton Candy Pink (P) – Wind a small bit of yarn into a ball (20 inches long or so) to use later on for the button hole Left section

Scarf

With (G), cast on 20sts. Knit 4 rows (Garter st)

Row 1: (G) K4, join (P) and K12, Join second ball of (G) and K4

Row 2: (G) K4, (P) P12, (G) K4

Repeat these 2 rows 4 times more (working (G) in Garter St, and (P) in Stockinette St.

Decreases

Row 1: (G) K4, (P) K2tog, K8, K2tog, (G) K4

Row 2: (G) K4, (P) P10, (G) K4

Repeat these 2 rows 3 times more, decreasing 2 stitches every Knit (right side) row. 12sts remain.

Neck

Row 1: (G) K4, (P) K4, (G) K4

Row 2: (G) K4, (P) P4, (G) K4

Repeat these 2 rows for 12 inches or desired length

*Measure the width around your neck with a tape measure. This measurement is the length to knit for the neck section.

Increases & Button Hole Right

Row 1: (G) K4, (P) inc. in 1st st, K2, Turn

*do not work the rest of the row. Simply leave the un-worked sts on the left needle, or place them on a holder.

Row 2: (P) P3, (G) K4

Repeat these 2 rows 3 times more, increasing 1st on every Knit (right side) row. 10sts on needle

Increases & Button Hole Left

Using extra scrap of (P) yarn, join yarn to un-worked half and work as follows.

Row 1: (P) K1, inc. in next st, (G) K4

Row 2: (G) K4, (P) Purl 3

Repeat these 2 rows 3 times more, increasing 1st on every Knit (Right side) row. 10sts on needle.

Join Left to Right sides of Button Hole together and continue across row with larger ball of (P) yarn. 20sts now on needle.

Finish

Row 1: (G) K4, (P) K12, (G) K4

Row 2: (G) K4, (P) P12, (G) K4

Repeat these 2 rows 4 times more                                                                                                                      

(G) Knit 4 rows (Garter St). Bind Off. Weave in all loose ends                       

Corinna Mantlo
©2010 www.BoozeandYarn.com

CLICK HERE FOR A PRINTABLE PATTERN

Spring’s almost here…

March 3, 2010

Just a reminder to check out, get involved and pass the word along about the 2nd annual public art/craft project run by Booze & Yarn. please take a look at the website…

The First Craft of Spring

On March 20th, 2010 Booze & Yarn, along with artists working in every medium will be “planting” daffodils across this urban landscape, as a statement that grassroots organizing CAN make a difference. Last year the project was a great success, with artists across the country creating unique and beautiful flowers. Please join us!



Clara Bow the “IT” girl….Wednesday Feb. 24th

February 8, 2010

Booze & Yarn: Wednesday February 24th, at Arlo & Esme (see the Monthly Events page for details).     7-10pm, film starts at 8pm. This months film is “IT” (1927) starring Ms. Clara Bow

As always, order your beginner kit HERE for only $20

Clara Bow has always been one of my favorites. No question she was beautiful, but she didn’t look quite like the other Hollywood girls. Always a bit rough around the edges, she was the not so squeaky clean, Brooklyn girl.

Born in the slums, to a schizophrenic mother and abusive father, Clara grew up playing in the streets with the boys, and working a hot dog stand on Coney Island as a teenager, that would later become Nathan’s Franks. She is quoted as saying she could cry on command by simply remembering horrific events of her childhood. Later, as an actress in Hollywood, the “Brooklyn Bonfire”  came to embody the growing modern youth culture of the roaring 1920’s Flappers, in the same way James Dean would speak to disenfranchised Teenagers 20 years later. In a word, she had “IT”!

Sadly “the IT girl” couldn’t quite make it to the talkies. An overwhelming case of mic fright (some stories say it was her Brooklyn accent), worsened by a battle with schizophrenia of her own, she retired from Hollywood at age 26 and married Rex Bell. In and out of institutions, she never returned to hollywood, and never wrote her memoirs out of fear it would hurt her sons. Clara wore her troubles on her sleeve, and in her expressions, which made her an endearing and unforgettable actress, not JUST a pretty face.

Clara Bow Cocktail

Clara was famous for applying her red lipstick in the shape of a heart. This iconic  fashion came to be known as putting on a “Clara Bow”. The good people at Rye House in NY may have had this in mind when creating a blood red drink in her honor. We can only hope the homemade grenadine will stain the drinker’s lips in a tipsy homage to the immortal “Brooklyn Bonfire”.

The Clara Bow

Ingredients:

3/4 ounces lemon juice

1/2 ounce grenadine

1/2 ounce St. Germain elderflower liqueur

1 1/2 ounces Bulleit Bourbon 
(i’m not paid by them i swear, it’s a coincidence it’s come up twice now)

Mint leaves

Procedure: Pour ingredients into a shaker over ice and shake with 5 or 6 mint leaves. Strain into a coupe glass and garnish with a mint leaf.

Make your own Grenadine: Reduce 2 cups pomegranate juice with 1 cup raw sugar. Cool. Feel free to add zests of your favorite citrus to the final blend.

Visit the drink creators at Rye House: 11 West 17th Street, New York NY 10001 (map) 212-255-7260

(recipe, courtesy of the article Mix it up: Clara Bow at Rye House)

“IT” Starring Clara Bow (1927)

Set in NY and Coney Island, this film is just wonderful.  I hope you can join us on the 24th to see it on the big screen. If not, you can see watch the full film below.

What are YOU lookin’ at?

February 8, 2010

Lovely Booze & Yarn write up and photos

Read the full story here on the blog….MeredithandAdam.com -What are YOU lookin’ at?

Cabled, Fingerless Mittens

February 7, 2010

I wear fingerless mittens almost year round, and have been on a quest for the perfect pair. I don’t like the ones with half fingers, though they look cute, because I find it keeps my hands warmer on a really cold day, to simply draw my fingers into the hand of the mitt, than to have them hanging out there. This can’t be done with half fingers. I like the look of the mitts with little “hand hat” covers, but honestly, never found myself unbuttoning and using them. I worked at it for a bit and found a version i like just fine. I hope you do too.

Cabled Fingerless Mittens

Materials

1 set Size 4 double pointed needles

Via Meccanica 3ply 100% wool (medium weight) in NATURAL BROWN

(pattern originally called for Lion Brand fisherman’s wool, but that wool is sadly no longer the same weight)

Cable needle

Gauge: 6sts =1”

Cable Back: Place 3sts on cable needle and hold in the back of work, K2, P1 from left needle, place the 3sts from the cable needle onto the left hand needle, P1, K3

Cable Front: Place 3sts on cable needle and hold in the Front of work, K2, P1 from left needle, place the 3sts from the cable needle onto the left hand needle, P1, K3

LEFT HAND

Cuff: Cast on 32sts

Divide stitches between 3 needles: Needle #1 =16sts, needle #2 = 8sts, needle #3 = 8sts

Join yarn, and *K2, P2* in the round for 3 inches

Thumb Gusset

(Instructions in bold indicate where the cable will be)

Set up row. K6, (P2, K2, P2, K2, P2), Knit across needles 2 & 3

Row 1. Work even across row

Row 2. K1, Inc in next st, K4, (P2, K2, P2, K2, P2), Knit to last 2sts on needle #3, inc in next st, K1

Row 3. Work even across row

Row 4. K1, Inc in next st, K5, P2, (Cable Back), P2, Knit to last 2sts on needle #3, inc in next st, K1

Repeat these 4 rows 2 times more, increasing the number of knit stitches at the beginning and end of each row (44sts on needles)

Thumb setup Row

Work across row to last 6sts, place last 6sts and first 6sts of next row on a piece of string for later.

Hand

32sts remain. Keep needle set up as it is.

Join and work even in the round for 1.5 inches, continuing to Cable Back every 4th row.

Cuff

*K2, P2* across row

Work 4 more rows even

Bind Off all stitches

Thumb

Place 12sts from piece of string onto 3 needles, picking up and knitting 2sts where Hand meets the thumb, join yarn and *K2, P2* across row to last 2 sts. K1, P1

Work 4 rows even

Bind Off all stitches

Weave in loose ends

RIGHT HAND

Cuff: Cast on 32sts

Divide sts between 3 needles: Needle #1 =16sts, needle #2 = 8sts, needle #3 = 8sts

Join yarn, and *P2, K2* in the round for 3 inches

Thumb Gusset

(Instructions in bold indicate where the cable will be)

Set up row. (P2, K2, P2, K2, P2), k6, Knit across needles 2&3,

Row 1. Work even across row

Row 2. (P2, K2, P2, K2, P2), knit to last 2 sts on needle #1, Inc in next st, K1. needle #2: K1, inc in next st, knit across row.

Row 3. Work even across row

Row 4. (Cable Front) knit to last 2 sts on needle #1, Inc in next st, K1. needle #2: K1, inc in next st, knit across row.

Repeat these 4 rows 2 times more (44sts on needles)

Thumb setup Row

Work across Needle #1 to last 6sts, place last 6sts and first 6sts of Needle #2 on a piece of string for later, join and continue to work even across Needles 2 & 3 to end of row.

Hand

Join and work even in the round for 1.5 inches, continuing to Cable Front every 4th row.

Cuff

*P2, K2* across row

Work 4 rows even

Bind Off all stitches

Thumb

Place 12sts from piece of string onto 3 needles, picking up and knitting 2sts where Hand meets the thumb inseam, join yarn and *P2, K2* across row to last 2 sts. P1, K1

Work 4 rows even

Bind Off all stitches

Weave in loose ends

© Corinna Mantlo  2010 http://www.Boozeandyarn.com

Public art project – call for artists

February 3, 2010

The 2nd annual “First Craft of Spring

(project has it’s own website at the above link)


Deadline: March 19th, 2010

Booze & Yarn, along with artists working in every medium will be “planting” daffodils across this urban landscape, as a statement that grassroots organizing CAN make a difference. Last year the project was a great success, with artists across the country creating unique and beautiful flowers. Please join us!

Rules:
1. The only flower type to be used for this project is the Daffodil.

2. Daffodils can be knitted, crocheted, sewn, drawn, screened. Any artistic medium is accepted.

2. Each flower should have a tag with a positive message or quote. You can use any message you want. The tag should be easily visible to viewers

3. Each tag must say below the quote: “First Craft of Springhttp://www.boozeandyarn.com.

4. On March 20th, earlier in the day the better, find locations anywhere on your daily route, and “plant” your flowers.

5. Take a photograph of each flower you plant. Cell phone pictures are fine in a pinch.

6. Make as many flowers as you can, and plant them anywhere and everywhere.

7. Email them to me to post to the blog with a location, your name, and  the art medium used. You can also include contact details to you, your artwork or your website.

Please pass this call for artists on to as many people in as many cities as possible.

Click here for the knitted daffodil pattern.

Hope you all can participate in this public art experiment!

Please email me with any questions, or for more information)

Corinna
miss1932@gmail.com

Ms. Todd, and the Hot Toddy

January 31, 2010

On this cold, cold night, What could be better than curling up with an old movie, a knitting project and a stiff drink!

May we suggest a wander back to 1932…..

The Drink:

Miss 1932’s Hot Toddy

3/4 glass  Strong, hot brewed Gunpowder black tea

1tbsp honey

1 slice lemon

2 shots Bulleit Bourbon, Frontier Whisky

-Brew tea. Stir in honey, lemon slice. Pour into a glass. Add Bourbon.

-There are many versions of the recipe. I like Gunpowder black tea because it has a strong, smoky flavor that compliments the honey bite and oak finish of the Bulleit Bourbon, but any tea, whisky or brandy can be used.

-additions include, cinnamon stick, cloves, and/or star anise

Groucho: You know, if you hadn’t sent for me I’d probably be home now in a nice warm bedroom, in a comfortable bed, with a hot toddy. That’s a drink!

ChicoAt’sa too bad! – At the Circus

The woman behind the drink:

Ms. Thelma Todd aka Hot Toddy, was a lovely, brilliant actress and ‘straight-woman’. Over her 9 years in Hollywood, she appeared in 70 films, sharing the screen with such comedic greats as the Marx Brothers, Laurel & Hardy, and Buster Keaton, before she came to an untimely end on December 16th, 1935 at the young age of 29.

Found dead of carbon monoxide poisoning in the front seat of her 1932 Packard convertible, the “incident” (theories cover the gambit: accident, suicide, murder) became one the most notorious cases of the golden age of Hollywood.

The Film:

Horse feathers (1932), starring The Marx Brothers and Ms. Thelma Todd

The knitting Project:

I’ll leave this up to you, but I do recommend checking out Zeppo (the 4th brother’s) great collegiate letterman sweater (among others) in Horse Feathers.

Have a lovely evening,

Corinna

Sock Drawer Gumption

January 29, 2010

“I like the word ‘gumption’ because it’s so homely and so forlorn and so out of style it looks as if it needs a friend and isn’t likely to reject anyone who comes along…I like it also because it descibes exactly what happens to someone who connects with Quality. He gets filled with gumption….A person filled with gumption doesn’t sit around dissipating and stewing about things. He’s at the front of the train of his own awareness, watching to see what’s up the track and meeting it when it comes. That’s gumption.  – Robert M Pirsig

This is a quote from one of my favorite books, Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance, which deals with among other things, the difference between Romanticism (the idea of a thing) vs Quality (the in-depth understanding of a thing). Meaning, the work that goes into learning the skill is just as important as knowing it in the end. Which led me to the subject of socks…


In my opinion, there is nothing more humble than a pair of home made, perfectly crafted socks, intricately cabled or laced, that may never get more recognition from the rest of the world than a quick peak into a drawer, or an edge above a boot top. They truly are made for the sake of the craft. 

For those of you afraid of tackling a sock project, let me suggest this…Everything new is a challenge. The first time you picked up the needles, attempting a simple knit stitch was scary, but you kept at it, and you eventually got it. That first scarf wasn’t pretty, but each project you completed taught you a little bit more….Socks use a few specific skills and techniques, are aren’t any different than learning that knit stitch.

1. working in the round on Double Pointed Needles (DPNs) 

2. Turning a heel

 

Both of these things can seem daunting, but with a little patience, you’ll get it, I promise. I turned that first heel, following the pattern word for word, tearing the not quite turned heel out a dozen times until it all made sense, and eventually voila, I had a heel!

So, I say gather your gumption and go for it!

P.S – This book also taught me how to kick start a finicky old Triumph Bonneville, and adjust a carburator when I was hopelessly stuck. See page 111 if you find yourself in a similar situation.

 

Vintage Bib Vest

January 26, 2010

I found this red vest at a flea market a while back and always thought it had a great, simple design. My friend Laura recently reminded me of it, so here it is!

The original was knit on size 0 or 1 needles with fingering weight yarn. I wrote the pattern for medium weight yarn and size 5 needles, in grey wool. I sadly ran out of wool, but will update the post when the project is complete!

                                         

CLICK HERE FOR PRINTABLE PATTERN