Swatching

Well…hopefully last night was the end of the rainy season in Northern California.  Last year at this time, I was wishing for more rain.  Now, the drought is officially over!  I look forward to pulling some weeds and planting sunflower and zinnia seeds along with a few tomato plants.  At the moment, I’m on the mend due to a stress fracture in my left foot, which gives me more time for knitting.

A couple of years ago, The Yarn Truck was parked at one of my local yarn stores, and I purchased two skeins of OctoBaa 100% superwash merino (8 ply sport weight) 270 yards, from Indiodragonfly.  What can I create with 540 yards of yarn?  Time to swatch.

IMG_20170408_140119_354
Photo credit:  Mary Lou Fall

 

This stitch pattern above reminds me of ornamentation found on Etruscan and Greek architecture, vases and tomb paintings.  I had an idea of combining two different stitch patterns in one project, so I studied the specific visual qualities of the above swatch.  I noticed the dimensionality created by the knit and purl stitches.  Also, if you look closely, there is a pattern within a pattern.  Do you see it?  Notice the movement of the pattern.

The first swatch pictured above deepened my desire to find other patterns which would express  surface movement.

Swatching #3_1_1_1_1
Photo credit:  Mary Lou Fall

Isolating the hidden pattern in Swatch 1, inspired me to seek out the use of cables. Swatch 2 represents an element found in Swatch 1.

Swatching #2_1_1_1
Photo credit:  Mary Lou Fall

Swatch 3 builds upon surface elements found in Swatches 1 and 2.  The cables found in both swatches lean to the left and the use of garter stitch horizontally separates the vertical elements of stockinette stitch.

Recently, I’ve made a concerted effort to really “look” at my knitting.  What relationship develops between the yarn and stitches while creating the overall pattern?  How does this relationship visually enhance the color and qualities of the fiber?  Or, is it the other way around…How does the synergy between the elements affect the outcome?  I believe, the whole is greater than the sum of its parts.

 

ReXtangle

Rextangle #7_1

I know it’s summer, and what am I doing knitting a scarf?  It all began by knitting a swatch in order to explore the relationship between unexpected color combinations.  As the swatch grew longer, so did my interest.  What would happen if I varied the size of the rectangle?

ReXtangle #4Rextangle #2_1_1_1

What started out as a swatch turned into something worth exploring.  An interesting sequence of color combinations emerged, accentuating the texture of a slip stitch pattern.

Without hesitation, I began seaming the two swatches together.  By seaming the two together, I was able to explore the various color combinations side by side.  To achieve the maximum interaction between rectangles, it’s imperative to line up the slip stitch rows when seaming.   I decided to leave an opening.

Rextangle #6_1

I attached two Dorset buttons as closures.