Red, Brown, & Gray and Other People's Art.

Finally, I finished this adaptation of Natalie Chanin's Rose Shawl. I took the pattern from the Alabama Stitch Book and substituted the rose stencil for my trusty barn swallow stencil and then added a few brown leaves. I've been cozying up with this shawl at the end of our chilly San Francisco days and I just love the weight of the double t-shirt layers (the front panels are backed with matching panels) and find it ideal for that needed autumn warmth. It's also super satisfying to wrap up in so much red hand stitching after months of working little by little.

I took a few photos to show you the finished results. Now I'm wondering if I have it in me to commit to another shawl for a friend. I can't seem to commit to another color scheme and would want them to be unique. Do you have suggestion for a 3-color shawl like this one? (The main color is gray, the leaves are brown, the birds are red, and all fabric is "upcycled" from thrift store t-shirts.) Color combination advice is very much welcome-- I'm stuck in red, brown and gray.

As I was leafing through my photos I started to notice the other photos that also keep with this favorite of gray/ red, or brown/ red, or red/ brown/ gray combination. The more I looked, the more I giggled at my own fascination with this palette. I was kind of amazed that I could find this palette in our food, our clothes, and even our landscape too! I suppose every color combination is waiting for us to notice, we just have to hone our color-noticing skills to see it. Here's a mini sample of my red, brown, and gray photos from the digital archives.

Now that The Dresses/ Objects Project finished this summer, I'm feeling a bit of waffling and waivering in my studio life. Certainly I did other shows and wrote other poems and took a zillion other photographs over the three year period, but having that larger project in my creative background made it easy to find direction when I was waffling between smaller deadlines. As I sway to and fro this month trying to enjoy the post-show tilt before fully committing to the next big thing, I thought I'd point to a bit of the work around me that I've been attending around town. Here's my short list of August & September, before and after my trip to NY.

Short list:

1. Spin by my sweet friend Mati McDonough and her co-conspirator, Jennifer Judd-McGee at the always lovely Rare Device co-owned by the talented, Lisa Congdon.
2. A benefit for the poetry reading series The New Reading Series at 21 Grand, complete with some of my favorite poets in town.
3. A new performance by local theater wiz, mugwumpin, this time focused on our belongings and the psyche of possessions.
4. The Intersection for the Arts and Recology exhibition, Art at the Dump, where they showed highlights from 20 years of the *amazing* artist-in-residency program at the San Francisco dump. Such an inspiring show.
5. Most recently, the film screening of Sarah Klein's Stop & Go Rides Again where Klein's animation totally made me swoon.

It seems I won't get grounded quite yet as the mister and I are shoving off to Portland, OR for a four-day weekend soon. He's going to the PICA festival for work and I'm tagging along for a few days of fun. Seems like a good excuse to stay in a downtown hotel, cart my manuscript around to cafes for editing, and join my mister for a handful of performances by night. My best friend once told me, "But this is what you do. You ruminate between projects until you're ready to fully commit to the next one. Then once you've committed, you don't look back again". Perhaps she's right, wise friend. xoxo, k.


  1. That apple photo reminds me - autumn is coming! Lovely to see what you're up to.

  2. Well, now no other color scheme would look right..! :)

    You have pretty much summed up my favorite color combination -- except I'd probably go back and forth between a mossy green and a grayed robin's egg blue instead of red.

    Although, I'm told my favorite color was red when I was a little girl -- a color that reminds me of what your best friend said about you. I think that would describe me pretty well, too. How to hold myself lightly during that time of rumination -- that's what I still struggle with... Hmmm...

    much love,

  3. kevin: so nice to see you here.

    maria: i think your color scheme is just want i needed. yes, gray & brown & robin's egg blue might just be the variation i was hoping for!

  4. Hi! I love how this turned out. Can you tell me -- was the pattern double layered or did you decide to do it that way? I'm trying to decide which project I want to start... an Alabama Chanin Shawl or scarf. I kinda want to do it double layers, but looking at the shawl pattern it appears single layer.

    I'd love your insight!! ;)

    Thanks in advance!

  5. emdot: yes, it is double layered. i wasn't sure at first either, but then i realized it was calling for double layers and i'm so glad it did. the weight of this shawl is one of my favorite things, it's just heavy enough but the soft fabric drapes so nicely. and it's well worth all those hand-stitches in the end. thanks for visiting. xoxo, k.

  6. Thanks for the info! I really appreciate it. :)

    Love your blog, too. :) I love finding new blogs to bring into my regular reading. :)


Thank you for your comments, friends. I like to think we are creating a dialogue in this space--building a virtual community.