Wednesday, August 17, 2011

American Brilliant

Our Guest Blogger today is Sharon Winsauer. Welcome Sharon!

Sharon will be teaching at class at Woven Art how how to knit this magnificent blanket. The real thing is at the shop for a few weeks. You must see this in person. Details about the class are on the WovenArt website.

Connections & Coincidences

Pat Richie has a beautiful collection of American Cut Glass. Several months ago, she approached me with an idea; wouldn’t it be neat if we could replicate some of the cut glass motifs in knitting? The result was the throw, American Brilliant,  with each block design based on a glass motif.

American Brilliant  is a convergence of two time honored, creative skills, knitting and cutting glass.
The art of cutting glass appears to have originated in Egypt as early as  1500 B.C.  It slowly moved into Europe, appearing in the British Isles in the early 1700s. From there, it traveled to the colonies, with the first American Glass appearing around 1771.   Knitting followed a very similar path.  The earliest known examples were found in Egypt  and ad moved to Europe by the 14th century.  By the 17th & 18th Centuries, knitting involved whole families in areas like Ireland.  Knitting, likewise, traveled to North America with the  colonists.

To commemorate the 1910 appearance of Halley’s Comet, several cutting firms designed swirling, spiraling patterns and named them “Comet.”   It is fitting that the very center of this knitting pattern, American Brilliant, forms a similar large “comet” swirl as 1910 was also the year of Elizabeth Zimmerman’s birth.  Her influence continues to spiral outward and touch knitters all over the world today.

Perhaps it is more than coincidence that the fusion of cut glass and knitting took place in the Lansing, Michigan area.  The designers of the pattern, Pat Richie and Sharon Winsauer, are both from the Lansing Area, and one of the greatest designers of cut glass patterns, William Anderson, established his cutting house,  back in 1902, on Kalamazoo St in Lansing,

Sharon Winsauer
Ravelry’s CrazyLaceLady

1 comment:

Donna Mrozek said...

love Sharon Winsauer. love the pattern. would love to take the class but will be out of town on the first day of the class. (am assuming that it is multi sessions) bummer!!