Monday, January 23, 2012

Vogue Knitting Live 2012 Post #1: Julia Ramsey

I went to Vogue Knitting Live this year—my first time ever since I started my foray into this fibrous, colorful world of knitting—and I have a number of stories about the trip that I need to individualize, because it really was amazing. Expect this to be the first of many, as I'm finally getting a chance to pluck them from the day and plant them on paper. It's better for me to spread them out anyway so I can revisit the experience as I move further and further away from it; it serves as a gentle reminder of how soft, fuzzy and warm this year started for me, which will be good for when the blots show up, as they so often do.
For this, my first VKL post, I'd like to focus on Julia Ramsey, who had a gorgeous knitted dress on display.
I've always wanted to knit a dress (specifically, this dress, although it has no pattern), but her work really pushes the stitches when it comes to modern imaginings of knit dresses. Usually, when you think of a knit dress, you probably see in your mind's eye something tight knit, definitely not see-through, and probably not very long. For those who don't knit (and as someone who isn't that far away from having been that person), a long, knit dress seems like it would be heavy and stretchy and sweaty and awful. As a knitter, I now have the wisdom to know that isn't the case.

Enter Julia Ramsey. Can you believe this dress?





Julia is the newly-hired knitwear designer for Anthropologie, which is no surprise given her vision and the fact that knitwear is slowly creeping into most brand names. Even athletic wear is picking up on the knitting trend—have you seen the knitwear specifically made for bicyclists? Knitting is the blob, people, and it's coming to a town near you.

Julia studied under Kaffe Fassett, a master textile artist (or textile artist master) and former fine arts painter with a penchant for beautiful colorwork, geometric shapes and fabulous patterning. I can't possibly take on the amazonian task of describing his work further—remember, Google is your friend.


copyright Julia Ramsey









If you didn't have a chance to see VKL, please do yourself a favor and visit Julia's website to check out knitwear from her new exhibit, Engaged, which explores shape and texture in beautiful, white, knit wedding dresses. I have to say, while I have no plans on ever getting married, there is a part of me that fantasizes about having an occasion to wear one of these dresses. Specifically, this one.










If wedding dresses aren't your thing and you want to see something in person, fret not—Julia currently has an exhibit at the Textile Art Center in Brooklyn from January 13 - February 24. The exhibition is called Pelt and focuses on gorgeously creamy, chunky white knits - I'm guessing size 50 needles here. Julia used minimally processed fibers—basically, raw sheep's wool, no ply intended (har har)—to create beautifully structured pieces. It blows my mind, because usually super-duper chunky does not hold hands with structure; people tend to lose their shapes inside super-duper chunky knits. 

copyright Julia Ramsey

But good lord, look at the shaping on this waist!


I love the beautiful lacey detailing that sweeps outward from the waist—it does wonders for the shaping as well.
I need to get my butt to BK as soon as possible. It seems like something you have to see in person. I only wish that high-collared jacket above had a pattern. I would definitely make it in some Twinkle Soft Chunky if I could... but maybe with a smaller collar... or a hood!

Happy knitting!

Flossie
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