Monday, October 05, 2009

Cosmos at End of Growing Season 2009 and Bloomsbury Gloves

I have grown cosmos in my vegetable garden for years and years. I like the variety Sensation best. They grow tall as miniature trees, spreading out over all the rows of flowers and vegetables below as the days in September shorten. It seems my cosmos plants never seem to kick in in the flowering department until it is almost time for frost to take away all my tender annuals. As the days shorten and frost threatens, I race outside before the sun sets to pluck some of these lovely blooms to fill vases throughout the house.

Although there are many different varieties of fancyish cosmos available, I like the simple beauty of the plain and simple Sensation best. Cosmos aren't pink nor are they purple, nor lilac, nor fuschia, nor lavender. When trying to describe the color of a cosmos, it seems there is no other way to say it but "cosmos." I love how the center of the cosmos flower is an acrid shade of yellowy green. Cosmos are just one of nature's perfectly designed complementary color combinations.

In my new book, Color by Kristin, I use many complementary color combinations in the projects. Here is a preview of the Bloomsbury Gloves which are one of my favorite projects in my new book. They are named after the group of artists including Duncan Grant, Vanessa Bell, and Virgina Wolff who lived in the Bloomsbury area of London in the early twentieth century.

These gloves are relatively easy to make if you have knit gloves or mittens before. They are made out of my Julia Yarn in the colors Magenta, Velvet Moss, Deep Blue Sea, Lady's Mantle, and Coleus. They begin with a sculpted border. A large floral cuff is made in the Fair Isle technique following a rather simple floral chart. I say this because after the twelve rounds of Fair Isle knitting are completed, the rest of the gloves are knit with one color at a time. (Cut the finger off the glove in the photo, sorry - no time to re-take!)

Although the finished gloves appear rather difficult and complex, the fun bits are added with embroidery stitches after the knitting is done. The left motif below shows a cuff flower undecorated. The right flower is in progress - the center of the flower is made by embroidering a large "spider web" on top of the knitting. French knots were stitched between the reverse stockinette stitch ridges.

Here's a detail of the finished embroidered flower with a French knot in the center.

Below, the cosmos flower from my garden is sitting on top of the embroidered glove. At the right you can see the decoration on the upper part of the hand of the glove. The flowers and leaves are made with lazy daisy stitches and fern stitch.

You can order my new book Color by Kristin here on my website. I'm hoping to have a shipping date tomorrow for anyone who was kind enough to order books from me. Thanks!


Amy S. said...

Love your gloves and flowers! But I still have to make your kilim gloves from Interweave. :)

(I ordered your book--can't wait to hear a shipping date!)

Lyn said...

The cosmos in the vase next to that green paintwork is so lovely!
The gloves are to die for!!!

Caralyn said...

I love cosmos. I grow them most years in my vegetable garden, too. Since I didn't plant them this year, it was a pleasure to see the great pictures of your flowers!

Turtle said...

looks lovely! congrats!

Moorecat said...

I call it "girly pink" :)

Have you tried growing "chocolate cosmos"? They look good enough to eat...

Oh, and when is the Australian book tour? Please?

Catherine said...

Was going to comment on the flowers but have been completely overwhelmed by the gloves!! Pass the smelling salts..I feel a little faint!! LOL! Beautiful!