Let The Yarn Dictate The Project

Lately, I’ve been taking inventory of my yarn collection trying to remember the intended purpose of each purchase.  Well…it’s been quite an exercise.  A great majority of my selections were impulse decisions without a particular project in mind.  I liked the color, feel, or was stimulated by the environment in which I shopped.

Attending Stitches West surrounded by one giant color wheel detailed by the different gauges of yarn, the tactile experience of the many different combinations of plant and/or animal fiber along with the social camaraderie of like-minded individuals, stimulates my senses and wets my appetite for creativity.  Hence, lots of yarn without a project.  Recently, while shopping at one of my favorite yarn stores in the East Bay, a sales person mentioned, “Don’t let the project dictate the yarn.”  Interesting…

While attending Stitches West about five years ago, I purchased two hanks of a bulky/chunky weight hand-dyed yarn from Urban Fauna located in SF (since closed).  I wanted to make sure I found just the right project for the yarn.  Spending time on Ravelry definitely provided a multitude of knitting options.

L’Enveloppe designed by Sally Melville caught my design eye.  “It’s not a  cape, not a poncho, not a shrug, not a shawl, not a cowl.  It’s small enough to wear under a coat, but big enough to wear instead of one, and it envelops us in style.”  The pattern is offered in four different gauges and two different stitch patterns, garter and seed.

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Photo credit:  Mary Lou Fall

Here is my knitted interpretation of L’Enveloppe.  I decided to knit the pattern in garter stitch, which combined with the yarn creates a well-defined three dimensional surface. The pattern is interesting to knit, with straight-forward instructions, and the fit is amazing!

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Shibori

I’ve long been interested in the Shibori technique and found this blog post so interesting!  So interesting, in fact, I wanted to share the beautiful images and information on my blog.

This is a guest post by Kim of Flextiles. She recently attended the Tenth International Shibori Symposium and I thought you all might to get a glimpse of what she did and saw there. There will be a second post in February. Thanks Kim! Last November, I attended the 10th International Shibori Symposium (hereafter referred […]

via Tenth International Shibori Symposium — feltingandfiberstudio

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Life

Last year, my mother passed away in her sleep without a Will.  Becoming the Administrator of her Estate was a lengthy process, but nothing compared to the unknown obstacles I would be forced to deal with it. With my husband by my side, we faced each situation with tenacity and common sense, never loosing focus on what really matters, while maintaining our lifestyle. My continued exploration in the world of knitting, exercise, and photography keeps me grounded.

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Photo Credit: Mary Lou Fall

Capturing rain drops on persimmons hanging from a tree outside my studio window.

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Photo credit: Mary Lou Fall

Hiking while coping with one of the worst storms this year in Northern California.  At least, the drought is officially over.  I look forward to planting sunflowers this year.

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Photo credit: Mary Lou Fall

Playing around with the color wheel observing the interaction between colors using a knitting pattern of slip stitches.

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Photo credit: Mary Lou Fall

Black and white is so appealing.

 

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Versatility With Binary Stitches

I’ve been programming (in a sense) my latest design using Binary Stitches©.  The original order of stitches was not what I ended up with.  I manipulated the rows as if they were lines of code, trying to achieve a particular visual effect.

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Paper cut-outs were used to help me decide which direction I wanted to knit.

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Was I going to knit in the round, flat with a seam or use a provisional cast on?  I decided to knit Versatility flat with a seam.

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Versatility Option #1

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Versatility Option #2

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Versatility Option #3

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Versatility Option #4

Versatility With Binary Stitches©

Materials:  Malabrigo Rasta Kettle Dyed Merino Wool, approx. 90 yds, col. 416 Indiecita.  Option 1 (qty 1) and Options 2-4 (qty 2).

US Size 15 needle

Gauge:  2 sts = 1″

Measurements:         Option 1:   12″ wide x 20″ long (after light blocking)

                                       Options 2-4:  12″ wide x 40″ long (after light blocking)

Multiple of 6 + 2

Edge Stitches: (RS) Wyif, slip the first and last stitch purlwise. (WS) Knit tbl of the first stitch and knit the last stitch.

Row 1:  K1, P1, K2, P1, K1, continue across the row.

Row 2:  Knit stitches as they appear

Row 3:  K3, P3, continue across the row.

Row 4:  Knit stitches as they appear.

Repeat these 4 rows.

Using Size 15 needle, CO 26 sts.  Knit to desired  length*. BO loosely and seam using desired method.

Option 1 is knit to a length of 20 inches, which gently hugs the neck.

Options 2-4 are knit to a length of 40 inches, which offers a variety of ways to wear  Versatility.

Pattern © by Mary Lou Fall

Binary Stitches©2016

Patterns are protected by international copyright laws and are intended for personal use only.  Other uses are strictly prohibited.

 

 

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Design With A Conscience

Today is a day void of unnecessary noise.  A day so peaceful, I can hear myself think. No streaming Netflix, texting, working out at the gym or listening to music. I can hear myself turn the pages of one of my favorite knitting books looking for something new to knit, along with the tapping of my laptop keyboard as I write this post.

Within the last week, I’ve discovered how small the world of creativity has become.  For the last five years, I’ve attempted to use my blog to fill a large empty space in my heart.  I wanted to channel my energies into something positive, and not dwell on a not so pleasant situation.  So, I exposed my creative self  to the world through this blog.  I viewed my blog as a means of communication and education about what interests me, hoping along the way, someone else would enjoy this journey.  I’ve always been cognizant to give credit where credit is due.  If I post a picture, I site the source.  If I reference a book, I credit the author and publisher.  But of course, I don’t own a large yarn distribution company, and I haven’t written a book (even though I could), nor do I pound the pavement looking to teach at my LYS (been there done that).

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I am flattered that We Are Knitters finds my use of Binary Stitches© worthy of using as a title for their new snood kit.  Check out my blog post of August 9, 2016 where I discuss my development of Binary Stitches©2016.

 

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This is such a beautiful new scarf kit “Hagire” from Habu Textiles.   I too was inspired by Habu yarn in 2013.

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Photo credit: Mary Lou Fall

Stitches and Yarn Textured Scarf #2

Photo credit: Mary Lou Fall

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Photo credit: Mary Lou Fall

*The above pictured scarf is my design using Habu Textiles and the shawl is Loopy and Luscious found at Knitty.com

Unlike the designers at Habu, I wasn’t trying to use up leftover yarn, my use of Habu Textiles highlighted the unique qualities of combining and playing with texture and color.

It’s been said, “Imitation is the best form of flattering.”  Well, “I’m over it!”  How about, “Give credit where credit is due”  or perhaps “Design with a conscience.”

 

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Super Moon and Playing with Paperdolls

There are many knitwear designs that capture my interest, especially cocoknits.  Recently, I had an opportunity to sign-up for a series of class meetings with Julie Weisenberger of cocoknits at A Verb for Keeping Warm in Oakland, CA.  Julie brought samples to class for all of us to try on, and I was immediately  attracted to the long version of Gisela.  Knit with Habu Textiles #A-174 Cotton Gima (100% cotton, 1 oz. 265 yards) “Gisela with seams is a cocoknits’ classic; open weave with architectural shaping that adds a bit of drama while hiding what needs to be hidden!”

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http://www.cocoknits.com  Gisela (long version)

I need to determine if the long version of Gisela is the right length for me.  Gisela measures 30″ down from the armhole, which is perfect and lightly touches the top of my knee. Also, I am one size larger on the bottom than the top. What is my next step?  How am I going to figure all of this out?  Here’s how I incorporated  my unique design characteristics…

Two paper rectangles representing the measurement from under the armhole and lower body with length measurements for a total of 30″ *not including the yoke.

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Where would I start decreasing, and how many decreases would I work?  I wanted to tackle the most difficult question of where would I place the decreases.  How many rows would I knit before decreasing?  This is when I had an “aha moment.”  I pulled out my skirt sloper to figure out where to begin decreasing.  My hips fall 8″ below my waistline, so I decided to begin decreasing after knitting 10″ from the bottom.

Next, how many stitches do I need to decrease?  I chose to knit a large on the bottom and a medium on the top, so I cast on 182 stitches knowing that I would have to decrease to 166 stitches to begin knitting the upper half of the pattern.

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The Knitter’s Guide to Sweater Design by Carmen Michelson and Mary-Ann Davis proved to be a plethora of valuable information, especially a section on Reverse Tapered Body, pgs. 69-74 .  I read between the lines and “cherry picked” what information I needed.

(Size L) CO 182 sts – (Size M) 166 sts  = 16 sts  decrease over 8″

8″ x 4 rows (refer to pattern gauge) = 32 rows

16 sts divided by 2 = 8 sts

32 rows divided by 8 = 4 rows

Decrease 2 sts every 4 rows

Of course, this is what I’m going to try, but perhaps you have another approach.  By all means, go with your own plan.

Here’s my favorite picture of Super Moon 2016 on a foggy Northern California evening.

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Photo Credit: Mary Lou Fall

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Poncho Mondrianesque

Here’s my latest knitted garment for body adornment using Binary Stitch #4. For this knitted item, I looked to the works of Piet Mondrian and the aesthetics of Minimalism for inspiration.

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Piet Mondrian NY MoMA

The definition of Minimalist art of the 1960s described as seriality, succession, progression, repetition permutation also applies to my concept, knitting with Binary Stitches.  Encoding letters as binary numbers creates an original design using knit and purl stitches.  Knitting the assigned  knit and purl stitches builds a basic block, and through repetition, forms a sculptural grid-like appearance.

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Even though each knitted rectangular plane is separated by a black line, the plane itself is not contained on all four sides by a black line..  Each plane is knitted without an exact pattern repeat producing an asymmetrical balance.

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Poncho Mondrianesque 2016©

Poncho Mondrianesque is a one-piece rectangle.

Yarn: (5 colors) Plymouth Yarn Arequipa Worsted 218 yds 90% Superwash Merino, 10% Mulberry Silk.  I’ve also incorporated various yarn from my stash.

Size 6 US circular needle

Stitch Pattern: (8-stitch pattern repeat)

Row 1:  P2,K1,P2,K1,P2

Row 2: (All even rows) Knit as stitches present themselves

Row 3:  K2 P4, K2

Row 5:  P1, K1, P1, K2, P1, K1, P1

Row 7:  K3, P2, K3

Row 9:  P3, K2, P3

Row 10:  Repeat Row 2

These ten rows create the stitch pattern.

Gauge:

24 sts = 4.25″ = 5.64 sts = 1″

5.64 sts x 18″ wide = 101.5 sts

Notes:

  1.  In keeping with the stitch pattern, CO 96 sts + 2 edge stitches
  2. For edge stitches: (RS)  Wyif, slip the first and last stitch purlwise.  (WS) Knit tbl of first stitch and knit the last stitch.
  3. Begin and end with 6 rows of K1, P1 ribbing.
  4. Separation of rectangular planes knit with color black in reverse stockinette stitch.

CO 98 stitches and knit in pattern for 48-52 inches.  For a more form fitting poncho, I knit to 43 inches.

How To Assemble:

Fold one end of rectangle (A) over and seam to one edge (B) on the opposite side of the rectangle.

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Poncho Mondrianesque ©

 

 

 

©2016 Mary Lou Fall

 

 

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