The Snow Queen: a study in yarn and paper

©2013 Lindsay Obermeyer Snow Queen

Springtime is the land awakening.  The March winds are the morning yawn. 
-- Lewis Grizzard 

Last summer during a blistering heat wave, I made a garment inspired by Hans Christian Anderson's story "The Snow Queen."  The top is knit from Lion Brand's Vanna's Glamour®.  It's a lovely yarn to work and adds this gorgeous shimmer that shifts with the light - perfect for my Snow Queen Dress. Having recently invested in a large die cutter, I decided to put it to the test.  I cut a 100+ cardboard snowflakes which I then embellished.  Naturally, no two snowflakes are the same.  I painted, rubber stamped and colored with pencil and pen. I glued on sequins, wrapped threads and added small sparkling stickers.  The dress became an experiment in how far I could push a mixed media approach.  

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it's in the details :: Roberto Capucci, Sculptural Fashion

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"Moonlight is sculpture."  -- Nathaniel Hawthorne

Roberto Capucci refers to his work as a "study in form."  Inspired by architecture, poetry, and music,
his garments wrap the body in color that sings.  I love the pleats and folds, the high voltage use of color, 
but most of all I am inspired by the sense of movement in each garment.  

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it's in the details :: I ♥ Agatha Ruiz de la Prada

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I have a love affair for the work of Agatha Ruiz de la Prada.  Her work crosses over from fashion to art and adds a dash of whimsy I can't resist.  The bird cage necklace is an example.  Yes, those are live birds in the tube flitting about as the model walks.  The heart headdresses are equally spectacular.  You have to check out the video to see their true beauty with movement.  

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it's in the details :: Red Valentino Fall 2013

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"Beauty, to me, is about being comfortable in your own skin.  That, or a kick-ass red lipstick." -- Gwenyth Paltrow

Look at all the embroidery!  And those giant red velvet roses!  I'm in love! RED which stands for Romantic Eccentric Dress and is Valentino's trademark hue, is the sister line to the Valentino fashion house.  Granted, this middle-aged gal prefers skirts that are a tad longer, say to just above the knees, that little black suit is swoon worthy.

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Dress to Kilt : Chanel pre-Fall 2013, Knitwear Fabulous

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"Doing collections, doing fashion is a non-stop dialogue." -- Karl Lagerfeld

Be still my tartan and fair isle heart!  Karl Lagerfeld's pre-Fall 2013 collection for Chanel is outstanding.  I'm a Lindsay with ties to Clan Lindsay, so maybe I'm genetically programmed to love this look, but really, can you blame me? The layers of knit and wool fabrics are Chicago winter perfect. And all those details...swoon! May I please have that ruff?  And that orange scarf!

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As featured on LIVE at CHA Winter 2013 - Knitted Shell and Ombré Skirt

 

©2013 Lindsay Obermeyer Live at CHA Knit Shell ©2013 Lindsay Obermeyer Live at CHA knit shell
Mary Lawrie and I created one of the garments Elena Lai Etcheverry wore for Charity Wings' LIVE at CHA.  During the event, Elena interviews designers and companies about their new projects and products live online. Viewers get sneak peeks and can purchase raffle tickets for fantastic giveaways.  All money earned goes to charity.  It is really an amazing win-win for all involved.  

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CHA Winter 2013 - Let's Cr8te!

©2013 Lindsay Obermeyer Felt Bird EK Success

"Creativity is intelligence having fun." -- Albert Einstein
 
At a CHA (Craft and Hobby Association) tradeshow there is so much to see, scores of new products to try out, and dozens of fabulous workshops and seminars.  The 2013 winter show was no exception.

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Lion Brand Yarn Fashion Show 2013 at CHA

©2013 Lindsay Obermeyer Lion Brand Fashion Show 2013

"Unique and different is the next generation of beautiful." -- Taylor Swift

Much to my delight I was invited to the 2013 Lion Brand Yarn fashion show at CHA (the Craft and Hobby Association).  I love their yarns, so I was excited to see what fashion design students from around the world would do with them.  

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New Tie Dye E Book and Blog Give Away

©2012 Lindsay Obermeyer tie dye
"The soul becomes dyed with the color of its thoughts." --  Marcus Aurelius

Tie dye is the big trend this season!  There are the more commonly known tie dyed t-shirts showing up in every store, as well as those with ombré and shibori patterns. A friend stopped by today and though she would never consider herself trendy, she was wearing a t-shirt with patches of tie dye in shades of indigo.   I had a Tulip tie dye kit from I Love to Create  on hand and decided to give it a go myself, but instead of working with flat fabric, I dyed some cotton yarn.  

The process couldn't have been simpler.

You need:

Tulip Tie Dye Kit
DK weight 100% cotton yarn (8-16oz)
acrylic yarn
scissors
swift (or a chair)
plastic wrap
plastic tarps (I used a plastic pinic table cloth and trash bags)
bucket
water
apron

If your yarn is in ball form, you will need to make a skein out of it.  To do so, use either a swift and wind it around or turn a chair upside down and wind the yarn in a circle form around the legs.  Once completed tie the ends together.

©2012 Lindsay Obermeyer tie dye
Cut 3 pieces of acrylic yarn.  Each should be 6" long.  Tie them in intervals around the skein.  The key is create a figure 8 at each point which holds the yarn together, yet prevents it from tangling.  Don't pull too tight!

©2012 Lindsay Obermeyer Tie dye

You should have 4-8 bundles depending on the amount of yarn you had on hand and the size of the skeins you made.

©2012 Lindsay Obermeyer Tie dye

To prepare the yarn for maximum absorbtion of the dye, soak it in a bucket of warm water until completely saturated.  

©2012 Lindsay Obermeyer Tie dye

Cover your work surface with another tarp.  I used trash bags.  Prepare your dye as per instructions in the kit and begin!  

©2012 Lindsay Obermeyer Tie dye yarn
Tie dye is a resist method of dying.  Everything under the resists stays the original color while everything else is dyed.  Ikat is a Japanese form a tie dying warps for the loom.  I didn't want to be quite so sophisticated.  I simply squirted the die onto the yarn.

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I used too much die on my first sample.  The stripes didn't retain their shape, but as I used an analagous color scheme the results were lovely with over over 15 variations of green from spring green to forest green.  (Any other color scheme would have resulted in mud.)  As you can see I experimented.  For my second sample I drizzled blue on the yarn and followed up with dashes of green and yellow.

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Once you finish a skein, lay out a sheet of plastic wrap.  Carefully roll your yarn up into it.  Set aside the yarn for 8-12 hours. This allows the dyes to do their magic.  The longer you leave it the stronger the color will be.  Afterward, unwrap the yarn and rinse it.   

I rinsed the yarn one skein at a time in my laundry room sink under hot water until the water ran clear and then let them  air dry.  This is where I parted ways from the direction on the kit.  The yarn should not be machine washed until knit into a garment.  You run the risk of it tangling and let me tell you, a tangled skein is no fun.  

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I love the results!  As you can see from the sample in my first image, the yarn knits up beatifully with colors switching from one to another and back.

I Love to Create in collaboration with Favecrafts has published a free e-book.  Check it out!  There are incredible patterns to follow.

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http://www.favecrafts.com/Tie-Dye/How-To-Make-Tie-Dye-Shirts-Decor-and-More-18-Tie-Dye-Patterns-eBook

My daughter loves tie dye and I mean loves it. Her 2nd grade birthday party had a tie dye theme and we've even planted roses with variegated flowers said to have a tie dyed look. When she saw me dying the yarn, she grabbed a few t-shirts.

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I used the Tulip tie dye kit this summer with kids in our circus camp to create clown costumes. Honestly, it was super easy and only moderately messy with 20 children working on them. My suggestion is to have a tarp on the table and on the floor.  Have plastic Ziploc bags ready to go to hold the wet and dyed t-shirts for transfer home to be washed.  

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As tie dye is loved by kids of all ages, I am sponsoring a blog give away.  To win a kit, leave a message here at my blog.  One entry will be randomly selected on Labor Day.  I will contact you that day for your mailing address.  Fingers crossed!  I hope you win! 

Random color fact- The first synthetic dye was mauve.  Until the mid-1860's all colors were derived from natural sources such as indigo, madder, and marigolds.


CHA Summer 2012: Crafty Couture

©2012 Lindsay Obermeyer Lindsay Obermeyer's Snow Queen Gown

"Design is a constant challenge to balance comfort with luxe, the practical with the desirable." -- Donna Karan

Ta da!  After several weeks of knitting, crocheting, cutting and embellishing, I unveiled The Snow Queen at the Craft and Hobby Association(CHA) 2012 Summer Trade Show.  Wow!  I am really pleased with it.  Inspired by Hans Christian Andersen's fairy tale, the dress is a play of textures, cool colors, and lots of sparkle.

The knit and crocheted shell is made with Vanna's Glamour® from Lion Brand Yarn.  They generously supported my entry by sending the yarn I needed.  Thank you!   The yarn's shimmer is perfect for the frosty look I wanted.  And before you ask, yep, I will be making the pattern available for purchase!  

©2012 Lindsay Obermeyer Obermeyer's Snow Queen detail   ©2012 Lindsay Obermeyer The Snow Queen detail   ©2012 Lindsay Obermeyer Snow Queen Gown detail   ©2012 Lindsay Obermeyer Shoes for Snow Queen

I bought a die cut machine earlier this year.  I admit it, I'm now a die cut addict.  So much fun!  I lost count after 50 snowflakes.  While each is cut the same, the embellishments are unique to each.  I stamped, collaged and even did some lacing with Kreinik threads.

The shoes are embellished with white and silver  sequins using Aleene's® Leather and Suede Glue™. I was skeptical, but gave the product a try.   Those sequins stayed put!  Not one flipped off despite packing and unpacking.  Yeah!  Simple white mules turned into evening bling!  Can't wait to embellish a pair of flats for the fall.  

There were 20 enteries in the Crafty Couture exhibition.  Each made by a member designer of CHA. Six designs were selected to be featured in Cloth, Paper, Scissors.  Check out these gorgeous dresses!

©2012 Lindsay Obermeyer Kathy Cano-Murillo (Crafty Chica)
Kathy Cano-Murillo (aka Crafty Chica) pulls out all the stops with her winning entry.  You have to see the mix of surface applications  - tie dye, stenciling, drawing and a bit of embroidery.  Too fab!

©2012 Lindsay Obermeyer Jennifer Priest
I adore the soft transition of color in this dress by Jennifer Priest of Hydrangea Hippo.  The paper is pages torn from a book and rolled to give that lovely texture.

I also loved the entry by Alexa Westerfield.  Her play with text, texture and color is lots of fun.

©2012 Lindsay Obermeyer Alexa Westerfield
No, my dress won't be featured in Cloth, Paper, Scissors, but for me, the best part was all that I learned.  I've been working in textiles for 25 years, so moving into paper crafts is opening up a whole new world for me.