Thursday, December 6, 2018

Enchanted Knitting: Artistry in Yarn

Vibrant fingerless gloves by Dagmar Beinenz-Byrd, this
month's featured ARTSCrawl fiber artist at Hip Stitch.

 When a custom yarn dyer/knitter tells you she is inspired by the New Mexican landscape as she chooses palettes for her hand-dyed yarns, well, believe her! Especially if that artist is Dagmar Beinenz-Byrd, who will be showcased Friday night, Dec. 7, in our final 2018 installment of Albuquerque's First Friday ARTSCrawl. Dagmar and her knitting artistry--and her luscious Zia Woolz hand-dyed yarns--will be on display from 5 pm to 8 pm in the Lounge at Hip Stitch.
Hand-dyed yarns by Dagmar. See more at ZiaWoolz.

"Knitting is my passion and I knit almost every day," says Dagmar, in describing her connection to knitting. "I dye yarns and spinning fibers in small batches, mainly for local New Mexican fiber artists. I also spin and try to source local fibers."

Her knitted pieces are visually vibrant with color or with textures and motifs, and her pieces include shawls, sweaters, purses and her fingerless mittens, an original design. For Dagmar, it's all about a visual connection to New Mexico. And she's modest when you ask her what makes her work unique.
Original shawl by Dagmar Beinenz-Byrd.

"There are many other equally talented fiber artists out there! However I’m passionate about capturing the spirit of our beautiful New Mexico in my yarns and I hope to capture a little bit of enchantment in the knits I create!

In addition to displaying her creations (some available for sale) tonight, Dagmar's custom-dyed yarns will also be available for purchase. And the knitting artist herself will be on hand to talk about her work. Refreshments will be served. Join us from 5 pm to 8 pm!

We asked Dagmar to share a little about her knitting journey, and here is what she had to say:

When did you learn to knit? What was your first project?
I learned when I was about 7, and was taught by my mom and in school (in Germany). My first project was a hideous stuffed doll which now hangs from the ceiling in my dye studio (the garage) to remind me of my humble beginnings.

What 'hooked' you about knitting?
I'm both a project as well as a product knitter. I love the creative process of making wearable art, and I love having the finished objects to actually use, especially shawls and sweaters. I like my hands to be busy with beautiful materials, and I'm very much inspired by colors and our fantastic New Mexico light.

What knitting challenges are you taking on lately?
I'm just starting to knit a lace shawl with very fine yarn, and find that quite challenging. Knitting is a journey. You most likely will never stop learning as long as you are open to it. I'd also like to continue to design knitting patterns and practic writing them up for publishing--that's another challenge, because of course a pattern has to make sense for everyone, not just you!

Any tips for newbie knitters?
Just keep knitting! Every stitch will make you better! And use beautiful yarn. That brings you joy.