Friday, April 3, 2015

Fiber Arts Friday: Knitting with Sivia Harding

The first Friday of every month is Fiber Arts Friday! Join me as we expand our horizons beyond crochet to focus on other interesting fiber and needle arts. Enjoy the beautiful projects and learn something new along the way. Today we are going to focus on crochet's sister craft, knitting. Knitting "creates multiple loops of yarn, called stitches, in a line (called a row) or circle (called a round). The knitter adds a new stitch to the row/round by pulling a loop of yarn through a loop from the prior row, securing the new stitch, and releasing the stitch from the prior row." The special guest who is here to share her knitting with us is Sivia Harding. CJ, a friend in my fiber group, frequently does test knits for Sivia and I'm always impressed with the designs. I'm so excited to have her here today to introduce us to her work and the craft.

About Sivia
I live in Portland, OR, where I have lived since 2009. Before that, I lived in Vancouver, Canada, where I started my career. I design and teach knitting for a living. I am known most for my work with beaded knits, although I enjoy designing and ever-expanding list of things: lace, cowls, Moebius garments, sweaters, knitted jewelry, and accessories.

I have worked with fiber and art since I could remember. A few notable fiber events from my youth were having fiber pieces shown in the High Museum of Atlanta's gift shop when I was 14, and being chosen to attend the prestigious Governor's Honors summer program in fiber art when I was 16. By adulthood, I was a weaver, spinner, and dabbler in dyeing and other modalities, but only learned how to knit in my mid-forties. Almost immediately I began to design my own lace patterns. Now I am a knitwear designer known mainly for my work with beads and lace. I also design accessories and garments, as well as specializing in Moebius knitting. I love teaching because of the cross-pollination of ideas and enthusiasm that happens in a class setting. I am a warm and open instructor and often feel that I get the better part of the bargain since I learn so much from my students. My design work has been widely published under my own name, in many books and other collections including Jared Flood's Wool People series, and in online magazines such as Twist Collective and Knitty.

How long have you been knitting? How did you get started? 
I learned how to knit in 2000, after having done every other conceivable fiber craft... just not knitting. I learned how to crochet as a small child, then proceeded to weaving, spinning and dyeing, along with some rug hooking, knotting, etc, etc. I started in desperation, having just moved to a new place without any of my art/crafting equipment. I wanted something portable and easy (ha!). It was instant love and once I started designing, instant obsession.

What advice do you have for folks who are interested in knitting?
Go to your local yarn store!! You'll find knowledgeable, warm, wonderful folks who are just waiting to help you get started. Also, there are tons of wonderful YouTube videos available 24/7. Go for it!

Here is some of Sivia's work... 

Harmonia's Rings Moebius cowl in progress. This garment begins as a Moebius and ends in the round.

Harmonia's Rings Moebius Cowl, a cowl that incorporates Moebius with cape-like shoulder shaping.

 Flutter Front Cardigan swatch, combining the front lace panel and the cable yoke motif.

Flutter Front Cardigan, a fall away sweater with overlapping lace panels and swing shaping. The sweater has many unusual features, including the bias shaping of the back, round yoke cable motif, and a cabled gusset at center back.

Jo's Pride lace shawl in progress, testing the bottom-up lace motif and the shaping that will occur in the shawl body.

Jo's Pride Hooded Shawl, a beaded lace hoodie with many interesting shaping details.

Simply lovely! Very creative work. You can check out more of Sivia's work and connect with her on her website, Ravelry, Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. Thank you for sharing your thoughts and knits with us today, Sivia!

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