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This Blog...

Welcome, this is a world of art, craft, light, yarn, fibers and gorgeousness in general, be ready.

All photgraphy in this blog by Alexandra Feo ©All rights reseved.

You can contact me at: mail@madamecraft.com

In this blog
Thursday
Aug142014

A customize set for Parkart Galler

Here a small set customize for Parkart gallery at Amstelpark 13, in Amsterdam, this is at the south of the city so if you are around that area have a look to this petite gallery set in the middle of the Amstel Park with beautiful surrounds. From this weekend you will find this small selection of my Photography Charms there in a place full of paintings, drawings and art in general as well as other jewelry and crafts.

 



 

Friday
Aug082014

Photography Charms: August newbies

Hi, Hey Hello!,

I found a nice round frame for the Photography Charms I have at TNLP Rozengracht 75 Amsterdam. I also wanted to make some extra pieces with summer feel before August ends and the fall comes. I have even more and new pieces for the months to come, I am expanding my collection of pictures for the catalogue and I am really enjoying this way of wearing my photography. Here a bunch of random photos of the new pieces for August. 

New set off landscape accessories.

Brooches

 

Landscapes Earrings

 

For next  week Ill have a selection of Photography Charms pieces to Parkart gallery in Amstel Parl I will come here with where is the gallery and the pieces i'll place there later. Thank you so much for the support, enjoy.

Wednesday
Jul022014

THE BOX: at TNLP

So, after longs weeks of dedication, I made it, i am ready for a revamp of my photography accessories box at TNLP. I update it to a bigger size also, what brings me into intense craft hours in order to fill the space, I am happy with the result. From today June 2nd this display will be at The New Label Project Rozengracht 75, Amsterdam, if you dont know the shop it is worth it a visit, it is full with international designers and Giulia is the dearest person that can make your visit a pleasant time in this city.

 

 

Wednesday
May072014

What is Brioche knitting?

Nancy Marchant will help me answer this question in the following text, I bring some  photos to show you what a gorgeous stitch this Brioche  is.

In my own words, having taking some Brioche knitting clases and working close with the results of this knitting technique I describe Brioche knitting as a doble side fabric  with a gorgeous highlights & shadows result.


Brioche knitting is similar to double knitting in that you make two layers of fabric. When working double knitted fabric, you slip a stitch (saving it for the next row) and you work a stitch.

With brioche knitting, you slip a stitch, but instead of carrying the yarn in the front or in the back of the slipped stitch, you carry the yarn over the slipped stitch (this gives the slipped stitch a little shawl over its head) and then you work the following stitch. In the following row, you knit or purl the stitch and its yarn over shawl together, combining the two layers.

 

You can work the two layers in different colors, you can work decreases, increases, cross stitches, etc in each of the layers. This causes the strong vertical columns to run together or split apart, it creates movement that is very appealing to the eye. It's just a great knitting technique with an endless amount of design possibilities.

 

COMING

Nancy Marchant Fresh Brioche Knitting book is coming this next fall you can preorder HERE and if you want to dig more into this Technique here is Nancys's Brioche Knitting website with a new neat and clear look very professinal and helpful site.

If you want to know a bit more about Nancy here is a small interview I post, you can see how does she started knitting and her 40 years of working this craft.

Wednesday
Apr022014

Madame Craft: 5 Years Aniversary

Hey !! today is the anniversary of Madame Craft blog. 5 years on the road since its birth while living in Japan.

To celebrate here I bring senseless knitting photography just for the sake of yarn. My new obsession knitting my own sweaters to be always warm through the cold winters of the north of Europe.

 

 

 


 

 

I use for the first sweater this patterns by Jane Richmond and then make all the desired alterations for the other two. I have 4 sweaters in the making.

Ill be back soon for aspecial post on Brioche Knitting, stay tuned

Friday
Mar142014

For Amsterdam Lovers

Thanks you so much for all the support and enthusiasm with this new InstagrAmsterdam urban accessories. Here some photos of the last batch already at TNLP Rozengracht 75, Amsterdam and some words about back to making accessories

Six days no stop of complete production for this batch including a small image for the accessories promotion. This work includes, graphic design, printing, bake, sand and montage of the piece, also display and other preparation elements.

Brooches, my favorite accessory of all, versatile you can place them everywhere, your coat, shirt, sweater, hat, bag, scarves no limits.

Earings, which I made just experimenting with sizes and then they came out as a very nice and chic urban accessory to go through the city.


Rings and buttons are also part of the new batch.

At the end I was quite happy with the result and the responds from others, the display has change and will keep changing as I found the perfect one for the shop, markets, transportation and also budget.

It was very satisfactory the InstagrAmsterdam accessories marathon production, this small batch drain me a lot of energy but I enjoyed every moment of it, it feels nice to go back to my basics with Madame Craft and the handmade craft making and feel the pain in your fingers and the hard work that artisans put into every piece.

Hope you enjoy the post and the photos, see you around in Amsterdam with more InstagrAmsterdam pics that are coming.

Stay tuned.

Saturday
Mar012014

Portraying Nancy Marchant.

Nancy Marchant is a well known hand knitting designer who lives in Amsterdam since 3 decades and it happens that I got the great luck and opportunity to share some time with such a knowledgeable  woman and appreciated every bit of it. I already announced the next Nancy Marchant's book which I was give the opportunity to photograph, It is coming next fall. I wrote tiny about it here.


And I take the chance to show you the most recent portrait of Nancy shot by me in preparation for her coming book Knitting Fresh Brioche.

Tell me  a bit about you, Nancy. 

I was born in rural Indiana, lots of corn and soybean fields. My mother taught me to knit when I was very young. The first project I remember making was a stocking cap that went to a point at the end. It was very long, below my waist. I also made matching socks. Quite the outfit. My mother subscribed to several women’s magazines so I could get patterns but the yarns were unavailable. This meant that I had to revamp the patterns to suit the yarns I could get, I had to re-write almost every knitting pattern I wanted to knit. I also just started to write my own patterns if I saw something that I liked in a photo. 

I studied art education at Indiana University and became a traveling art teaching for the public school system in Bloomington, Indiana. I taught more than 1100 little kids a week, traveling to 8 different schools. It was a hard job and I decided that I needed more education to get better work. I got my Master of Fine Arts degree from Fiberworks, a school that only existed for a few years in Berkeley, California. I wrote my thesis and show about “shibori” (Japanese resist dyeing) and studied with Yoshiko Wada.

I moved to the Netherlands in the late 70’s. Bought a house and had a daughter in the 80’s, had my second daughter in the 90’s and now I live with my two cats and a house full of yarn and books.

 

What do you do? 

I make my living as a graphic designer. I also design knitwear, write articles about knitting and teach brioche knitting. But my main passion is creating stitch patterns, especially in brioche knitting.

 

Why knitting? 

Each knitting stitch is like a pixel in a digital photo. Each knitting stitch has its own characteristic. It can be knitted, purled, twisted, deleted, added to, change colors and just slipped and held until it can be worked in the next row. Then when you put stitches together all of these elements multiply and the design possibilities become endless. It never gets boring and I see no end to stitch patterns and projects to create.

Of course this sentence cross my heart immediately. 

What pieces, moods or atmosphere, you like to create with your knitting design?

I make mostly scarves and shawls. They are like large stitch pattern samples.

 

Which materials/yarns do you use ?

I am a sucker for a silk/mohair blend. I also really like sticky 100% wool. I like yarns that are dyed in long color changes. I don’t use a lot of materials because I make scarves, shawls and cowls but I certainly buy a lot.

 

How long does it take you to finish a piece ?

It can take me weeks to figure out a certain stitch pattern and then a couple of weeks to knit a scarf or shawl.

 

Around how many pieces you have created? 

I imagine its in the thousands. I have made so many new stitch patterns and since they are small, one can make quite a few in a week.

 

Where are all those pieces now? 

I make tons of samples. A lot of these are used for my books. I have them in notebooks. I also wear a lot of the scarves and shawls. I keep most of them because I use them in my teaching. 

 

How did you became a knitting designer?

In 1974, when I taught school, I entered a national knitting and crochet contest. I won third prize, a whopping $25.-. But one of the judges of the contest was the editor of Ladies Home Journal Needle and Craft Magazine. She really like the jacket that I made and put it in the magazine. I started sending in designs and most were accepted. It was very slow going back then. You sent in a sketch along with a knitted sample. And then you waited to get a letter about whether your design was selected. Then you waited to get the yarn that the magazine wanted you to use and then you had to make it a few weeks time. You submitted a typed or hand-written pattern which the magazine then had to have typeset. And then you waited months to get the magazine to see the final result.

 

The things you love the most about knitting.

All of the design possibilities involving the stitches, the yarns, the colors and the actual garment/item itself. Endless.

  

How is a regular day in your life? 

As I said earlier, I am a graphic designer. So I get up and go to work. When I come home, I have dinner and then I knit. I do most of my creative knitting work on the weekends or when I have a day off.  

 

What is the best part of your day?

When all of my housework/emails/shopping is done and I can sit down, turn on music or a film and knit.

 

Any special knitting projects  in the process, coming soon plans?

My second book, Knitting Fresh Brioche, is coming out in November 2014 and that’s very exciting. And I am writing an article for Vogue Knitting Magazine, Holiday issue, on Brioche Lace.

 

Here is a website that will give you a bunch of information about Brioche Stitch and if you want to start practicing those stiches before the book is out Nancy has an incredible well put together Brioche Knitting online class with all details about brioche stich perfect for beginners.

You can also look for Nancy Marchant in Raverly

 

I am preparing a special post about Brioche knitting for the coming of the Nancy's next book Knitting Fresh Brioche, which you can actually pre-order here.

Thanks for taking the time to read about Nancy Marchant, stay around for more Brioche knitting.