Sunday, March 29, 2009

Not Knit

Progress continues with the baby blanket. As of today I've completed 11 of the 14 pattern repeats, so the end is near. I have to confess that I haven't been applying myself to the the craft like I should lately. I love knitting this blanket. I haven't looked at the chart in ages and it's a great project for learning to read one's knitting. It's almost getting instinctual. But I've definitely been feeling a lack of knittosterone.

I've also had many distractions. This weekend, Jeff and I went out of town and while in north Texas, we caught the exhibit Tutankhamun and the Golden Age of the Pharaohs at the Dallas Museum of Art. We both had a great time. There was a (tentative) genealogical chart at the beginning, so I was in heaven. About half the exhibit featured items from King Tut's tomb, while the rest was from the tombs of his father, grandparents and great-grandparents. I didn't know about Tutankhamun rolling back his father's monotheistic religious reforms, which was quite interesting.

Photography, of course, was not allowed, so no pictures here. But afterward, because it was raining, we ducked into the Crow Collection of Asian Art across the street. What a treat! The first floor had a collection of masks from Japanese Noh theater. I was fascinated by the more terrifying and hideous ones, although there were some that had more normal human features.

The second floor had beautiful galleries of art from Chinese tombs, a collection of Japanese snuff bottles, and some beautiful statues from India. But the most amazing thing was an exhibit on the third floor, Stitching the Seasons: Contemporary Japanese Quilts.

The exhibit introduction said that modern quilting techniques were taken back to Japan by the wives of Japanese diplomats and businessmen after seeing several quilt exhibitions during the bicentennial celebrations. The quilts in this exhibit were amazing. I don't know as much about quilting as I probably should, having descended from generations of quilters, but I could recognize some of the patterns.

I was blown away by a log cabin-style quilt done all in grayscale, with each "log" only about half an inch wide and maybe two inches long. The colors were placed so that the quilt created the image of the countryside during a snowfall. Beautiful. It was in an odd place and difficult to photograph

But I did get a picture of this quilt, Flower Festival by Noriko Masui (2006). This is only the center motif, but it gives you a good idea of the intricacy and detail in this beautiful object. You can see a Lone Star pattern in the middle, almost hidden amongst a profusion of leaves and blossoms. It's kind of a kaleidoscope effect, but softer. This is one of the most beautiful quilts I've ever seen.

The weather the past two weekends has been beautiful here in central Texas. It even rained a bit in between. We've taken advantage of the loveliness and done some hiking in the Barton Creek Greenbelt, not far from where we live. One of the nice things about living in Austin is that this picture was taken about 2 miles from our house -- about a 40 minute walk away. Note the tiny rock climbers at the top of the cliff to the left. I think I'll stick to knitting.


  1. That quilt is so amazing. I can't even imagine how beautiful it must be in person. Thanks for sharing!

  2. That quilt is beyond description. Did I take it from your post that you're into genealogy? It's been a fascination of mine since I could walk...

  3. Sounds like tons of fun! I really really love art quilts, and it's something that I want to work on for my future senior show. . . but we'll see. lol

  4. The quilt is amazing - I sent the picture to my sister - she just started quilting last year, and is obsessed with it.

    Sounds like a really nice time away - very nice~!