Karen Barbé Workshops
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14 Mar 2008

Siboney

[This image is hosted on Photobucket]
[This image is hosted on Photobucket]
[This image is hosted on Photobucket]

As we are heading for the autumn/winter season, I'm getting prepared for it creating new designs for facing the cold temperatures in our poorly heated buildings. In fact, we lack that northern hemisphere culture of central heating, double windows and well-insulated living spaces. Though we seldom have freezing temperatures during winter, it's cold enough to make you shiver everyday as you try to warm your house only with an electric or kerosene heater. Of course there are places and houses that have central heating but that's not the most common and it's way too expensive. I even remember once talking to some Swedish diplomatic women and hearing them say that they have felt colder here in Chile than in Sweden. It's not just a thing of temperature, it's a matter of how good you prepare for the cold weather.

So, until the day I can make a bodysuit out of an electric blanket and plug it in every corner of the house, the old and dear hot-water bottle comes in handy for the season. And now that evenings are getting colder it's especially pleasant to work with wool and felt.

This new two-directional floral pattern was felted on wool while the back cover was knitted (row 1: *knit 2 st, purl 1 st* / row 2: *purl 2 st, knit 1 st*) and then felted by washing it in hot water and tumble dry afterwards. The back opening is trimmed with cotton bias binding, hang loop made of felted knitted braid and cotton bias piping for contour trim. Why so many finishing details? Because of the felted pattern. It was so complex and time-consuming that it deserved an equally detailed work. When designing this pattern I thoroughly considered felt qualities so I tried to stick to wide strokes in order to avoid losing detail when felting the motif. Note to self: don't use strokes less than 3 mm wide. I'm calling this new pattern Siboney, just as this song I listened to infinitely when felting.

The beautiful camisole with a crocheted top was made by my mother as a gift and she was kind enough to unwrap the package just for the shooting. Gracias.

3 comments :

Julie said...

That's the loveliest hot-water bottle ever in life! And I love the colours in these shots. So calming and fresh.

Cristian Mauricio Barbé said...

Hi!, soy cristian de uruguay tengo 23 años, me gusta tu blog un saludo.

darthsteel(at)gmail.com

kris said...

Your work is amazing!I love it.