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.

 

Yarn, Stitches and Textured Scarf

This evening, I put the finishing touches on instructions for a new class tomorrow at the Very Knit Shop in Los Gatos, CA.  The instructions consist of 334 rows and eleven different yarns knit in K2 P2 rib, stockinette stitch, reverse stockinette stitch and garter stitch. Combining different yarns and textures together with knit and purl stitches creating patterns of knitted fabric, suit my fancy these days.  The first scarf I designed, sold during the holiday season.

Sampler of Textures #2

On display, a second piece of “neck candy” has created quite a buzz.  To meet the demand of our curious knitting public, I’ve scheduled a workshop.  The eleven different yarns used in the Yarn, Stitches and Textured Scarf are various Habu yarns, SMC Select Pertinio and Debbie Bliss Angel.

Stitches and Yarn Textured Scarf #2

Anemone

After knitting a scarf in garter stitch with Kauni’s 140Effektgarn www.kauni.com, using a size 10-1/2 needle, I decided to add wooden beads of various sizes for resists.  After the fulling process, I was amazed at the sculptural piece of textile that emerged.  Upon removing the wooden beads, random  tops of the indivdual sculptures were cut-off. The frayed edges and openings add depth to the dimensionality of the felted textile. The randomness of resistance paired with the openness of the piece invites the admirer to look beneath the surface.

Manipulating the piece to visually examine the change of surface, triggered a memory.  The act of looking, color and dimensionality brought back memories of exploring the coastline in Northern California with my daughter. While the opening and closing of sea anemones kept rhythm with the in and out of the tide, we climbed on the frayed edges of rocks searching for jellyfish, sand crabs and shells amongst beds of kelp.