Collecting Inspiration

This year for my birthday, I celebrated at the beach.  Two days of listening to the pounding surf, as I hiked through sand brought in from the storms of 2017, while hunting for sea glass. The first day was windy and cold.

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The second day on the sand was gorgeous, but there was not an abundance of sea glass.  I decided to focus on rocks with holes, lines and texture as my found objects.  (I always check for signage regarding removing objects from the beach).

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Rock Beads ©2017 Mary Lou Fall
Inspiration from Nature #9_1
Lines, Intersections and Texture ©2017 Mary Lou Fall

My birthday celebration would not be complete without reservations at Cafe Rio in Rio Del Mar.

Inspiration from Nature #3_1
Photo Credit:  Mary Lou Fall

Mango Salsa atop Swordfish resting on shaved Brussel Sprouts and Rice was delicious, but of course, I saved room for dessert.

Inspiration from Nature #4
Photo credit:  Mary Lou Fall

Words cannot express the intense flavor of this dessert.  As Tess Flanders expressed in 1911, “Use a picture.  It’s worth a thousand words.”

My birthday 2017
Photo credit: ©2017 Mary Lou Fall

The end to a perfect evening and birthday.

 

 

 

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.

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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.

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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.

 

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.

 

 

Wire and Beads

I finally “threw caution to the wind” grabbed a spool of 28 ga. Artistic Wire, an interesting collection of beads, and began randomly stringing 450+ beads.   The stringing happened over a few days, in between sewing a skirt from my pattern sloper, which by the way fits perfectly.  I digress for a minute…

I decided to line the skirt, and for the first time, use a Hong Kong finish for the seams cutting my own bias strips out of silk taffeta.

After the random order of beads were on the wire, I faced the hardest part of casting on with wire.

Knitting With Wire #3

 

I took a deep breath and got in my zen place and relaxed.  I let the wire do the work and realized I could bend the wire any which way I wanted.  At first, I wasn’t sure I liked the unevenness of the knitting and texture of the different sizes and shapes of beads.

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The more I knitted…the more I began to like the piece.

Knitting With Wire #5

 

The advantage of knitting with wire provides a perfect opportunity for manipulating the surface.  The sculptural possibilities are endless.

Color

Before the Pantone Color Guide published in 1963, A. Boogert, a Dutch artist produced a body of work about mixing watercolors, dated 1692.  The entire book may be viewed in full resolution at:

http://www.e-corpus.org/notices/102464/book/?fullpage=yes

The following link shows actual painted pages with a summary of the book.

http://www.thisiscolossal.com/2014/05/color-book/

Experiment or Mistake

Browsing through my pictures I discovered three experiments I never posted because I didn’t feel the outcome was worthy of a blog post.  Today, however, I find them quite interesting.  Should I consider these attempts an experiment or mistake?

Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines experiment as “A controlled procedure carried out to discover, or demonstrate something .” Mistake, “To blunder in the choice of.”

Felted Scarf and Wrap #1

Attempt #1: Originally, I did not find the colors appealing in the scarf I felted with the novelty yarn.  Now, I do.

Attempt #2: At the time, I thought the felted roving looked like a jumbled mess, but know the fiber looks like a spider web with a multitude of possibilities.

Last but not least, Attempt #3: The knitted block/rectangle was suppose to look like a log cabin quilt.  I wasn’t attracted to the outcome, but know I am pleased with the colors and texture created by the different yarn and color combinations.

I don’t consider these mistakes, they are experiments.  Perhaps our creative tastes evolve with time and experience.

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