I've always had a serious love affair with ethnic textiles since I was young. I love their colors, their warmth, their crazy patterning, and the atmosphere they add to any situation you put them in. I've been collecting ethnic textiles since my college days. I'm always on the look-out for any odd piece of embroidery, weaving, or knitting. They don't have to be perfect and I even buy pieces. My budget isn't ever very large and I've passed up a lot because they were out of my price range. Suffice it to say, I've got a closet full of saris, Eastern European embroideries, Indian block prints, Andean weavings, Indonesian ikats, San Blas molas.... the list goes on and on. Whenever the seasons change - or I am throwing a party - I dig into my closet and bring out some different pieces and swap everything around. It's amazing how warm and cosy a house looks when you fill it with handmade textiles from around the globe.
The photo below is our dining room. On the table is a sari from India and layered over it is a runner from Uzbekistan (I think). The chair seats are covered with a sari woven with metallic thread. If you visited my house right now though it doesn't look anything like this - it is covered with books, packing supplies, address labels. You see, the dining room doubles as a shipping room for my retail book and postcard sales!
My ethnic fabric collection has been inspiring my color sense for years. About fifteen or more years ago, I started knitting pillows in the Fair Isle technique for my house. They were easy to carry around and work on and didn't take long to finish. I only knit the front side of the pillow and I used fabric to cover the back side. Here are a couple designs that I made many years ago - you can find the patterns for sale on my website here.
This design is called Turkish Motifs Pillow:
And this design is called Field of Diamonds Pillow:
Many years ago, they were both featured in House and Garden Magazine (January 2003). You can buy the patterns on my website. Sadly you can't buy House and Garden anymore. Boy, I miss that magazine coming in my mailbox.
And so now, onto the next preview from Color by Kristin. I'd like to introduce you to my newest collection of pillows - The Marrakesh Market Pillows.
These FOUR pillow designs are featured in my new book Color By Kristin. They are all worked in Fair Isle technique in the round with a steek and knit in my Julia Yarn. After cutting the steek, I pick up around all four sides and work a small border. Most of the pillows have embroidery added on top of the knitting - although not too much. There are four different sizes so you can choose how much knitting you want to do.
I love this photo. It was taken in our library where we spend most of our winter evenings. That's The Farmer's Chair he sits in and reads at night. You can see our stacks of magazines on the side of the chair. Julia added the deck of cards to the photograph. I think the cards and their colors added a great touch to the photo.
You can buy signed copies of my book on my website here or at your local book or yarnstore. I've got plenty in stock if you want to give them to a knitting friend for a holiday gift. And I'll be happy to sign it to them or not.