Wednesday, April 8, 2009
Meet Betty Abbott
Betty Abbott in one of the foremost machine knitters in New Zealand. I first met her in the early 1990’s when she phoned me whilst visiting California. We met up at a tradeshow in England, and I soon had an invitation to come teach at the New Zealand Machine Knitter’s Festival in Christchurch in 1993. Since then, we have been fast friends, and we enjoy each other immensely.
Betty is a renaissance fiber artist. She tackles many things (knitting, sewing, crochet, beading, felting, macramé, and the list goes on), and is successful in all her endeavors. I have learned much through osmosis, as I sit at her side. She is very generous with giving knowledge and many a New Zealander would confirm this.
Most recently, Betty has focused on creating felted pieces that she combines with knit pieces to make into vests and jackets. Her finishing is immaculate. Below you can see some of her work.
Here you can see a felted piece of Betty's work. Purple merino was laid on a black wool background. This will become the back focal piece of a jacket. A detail shot shows you the texture. Beading and embroidery will be applied to the surface.
To balance the larger projects, Betty has a line of crocheted beaded jewelry. Here you see paua shells (New Zealand abalone) crocheted to create a necklace. You are actually seeing several stranded necklaces.