for the moment
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
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.

Tuesday
Jan282014

InstagrAmsterdam Special Edition

Back to my basics, making accessories and shooting with natural light. I've been craving this express accessories collection since long time, finally I got in my work table to be complete for this beginning of the year, as a result, a urban-fresh line of Amsterdam photography accessories that I work transferring the photography of my InstagrAmsterdam series that I run since 2012, today I am close to the 300 pictures. 


The idea of this InstagrAmsterdam project is to capture any corner of this Amsterdam at the exact moment you find it, whether I am in a rush or just going in my bike to an appointment, it force me to appreciated every corner of this my host city.

I completed the accesories series with materials I have from long time since living in Barcelona Spain until Japan, i decide to put it together to see what comes out, here the limited edition of InstagrAmsterdam.

I keep a selection of my InastagrAmsterdam series at TNLP Rozengrach 75, Amsterdam Netherlands, I revamp my box today and it looks fresh and neat now, also this special edition of accessories is in the shop.

 and plo plo ploooo!!! a picture from my phone og the mini art frames.

Cheers!!!

Wednesday
Jan152014

Stephen West work at Battalion

Here a taste of the Stephen West Exhibition that is still going on at Battalion in Westergasfabriek Amsterdam since last December. A heaven for yarn lovers, very cozy and full of energy installation, a combination of handmade pieces from shawls to hats together with a collection of Stephen West photography by me. Hurry up if you want to see it as it will be up for one more week for now enjoy this pics.

 

This set of phots ar by Jarrod Duncan

Thursday
Nov282013

Dear Amsterdam book: Sweet Pineapple pattern

Heyyyyyy¡¡ my second crochet pattern is out Sweet Pineapple, as part of a four pieces set Creme de la Creme, This is something I created for fun and pure cuteness. The set is part of the suuuper nice book Dear Amsterdam that we put together in a collaboration work with Malia Mather and Stephen West

And a hint here in this photo below of the pattern that is coming...

Stay tuned....

Tuesday
Nov262013

Santa's Laundry Line: Eleonora Von Castelmur Pattern.

A few weeks ago I took the pictures for my friend Eli's pattern, Santa's Laundry Line. Have a look at it HERE where is availabe so you can knit it yourself.

This is her decoration at home instead of a Christmas tree and is just my cup of tea. 

 

When I saw the set I jumped to ask her to take the pics because is the kind of thing that I become a 5 years old girl behind the camera... and cuteness is my thing.

 

I keep it simple as always and thought that a heater will be the ideal place for Santa to hang his clothes. 

Perfect for a handmade gift for a love one or just for your own house.

 It is cuteness knitting open seasone with Santa's Laundry Line.