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

 

 

Knitting With Beads

Last summer, I explored surface design with polymer clay by experimenting with metallic dye and paint.  This summer, I cracked the cover of Betsy Hershberg’s book, Betsy Beads published by XRX Books in 2012. Sometimes, when I get so excited about a new project, I jump in feet first. Even though I know how to knit I-cord, I convinced myself to start from the beginning of the book with the first I-cord tutorial.

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Photo credit: Mary Lou Fall

Beginning at the top slipping beads according to the directions: A) Knit five rounds, purl 1 round. B) Knit one round, purl one round. C) Same as B.

Betsy’s first and straightforward project, KISS: Keep It Simple Spiral happened by happenstance.  “A Zen moment – recognizing that what you are looking for can often be found only when you stop looking.”

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Photo credit: Mary Lou Fall

The shorter green necklace highlights KISS: Keep It Simple Spiral.  The blue lariat necklace knit with sock-weight merino and 700 glass seed beads follows the all-over bead-knit tube technique, finished using the Zipper Technique for joining the cast-on to the bind-off edge.

Knitting With Beads #3
Photo credit: Mary Lou Fall

Here are two more examples of the KISS: Keep It Simple Spiral knit with bamboo and Japanese seed beads.

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Photo credit: Mary Lou Fall

The above Dorset button beaded bracelet is knit with tulle and glass seed beads using  5 rounds, purl 1 round I-cord.  Also, the button was embellished with beads.

I also experienced my “Zen moment,” Approaching a known technique, which  I’ve worked with, as if I were doing it from scratch gave me the opportunity to look at it from a different perspective.

 

 

 

The Year Of The Horse

Two Days In The CityTwo days this week, I took a journey to San Francisco.  I stayed at The Hilton, centrally located and within walking distance to good food, shopping and fabric.

The first day of my exploration began with a trip down the Macy’s escalator to the basement for lunch.  Boudin Bakery has the best sour dough bread bowl with clam chowder.  Even though I was excited about my trip, I began to  reminisce about my daughter and our lunches together at Boudin’s.  I dusted the bread crumbs from my lap, wiped the tears from my eyes and headed to Britex http://www.britexfabrics.com/.

Four floors of bliss…fabric, buttons, and notions. Everyone who reads my blog knows I love Missoni. Guess what I found at Britex?  I purchased 1-1/2 yards of Missoni knit fabric for a skirt.  I’ll probably end up admiring the knit like a painting and never touch it with a pair of scissors.  On the next floor, I found some interesting trim and buttons.  Two Days In The City #3

Two Days In The City #2

With all the shopping and walking up and down the streets of SF, I stopped in for dinner at Cafe Mason http://cafemason.net/. The chicken picatta was delicious and the service was fantastic.

Photo469The next day, I shopped at Macy’s and on my way back to the hotel, I walked to China Town.  I wanted to capture the cultural architecture decorated with beautiful red lanterns.

Let The Yarn Speak

It’s no secret that I’m more about letting yarn do what it’s supposed to do.  What do I mean?  Mohair added to any fiber, man-made or naturalSampler of Textures #5 creates a beautiful subtle halo of color and softness, but combining novelty yarns together “knit as one” or with a natural fiber does not interest me.   Yarns have their own fiber content, color and texture waiting to be transformed.  Knit as individuals, different gauges and fiber content used in the same project creates a juxtaposition of weight and appearance which produces an interesting sculptural quality.  In my personal opinion, combining yarns “knit as one” does not allow the individual yarn to speak for itself.  Knit and crochet stitches translate for the yarn a language for all to see.

A sampler of textures expressed in the following images were knitted using Alchemy Yarns, and Habu (top left)  and Habu and SMC Select (bottom two images).  Using a size 10 US (6mm) needle, the stitches in the pieces were stockinette stitch, garter stitch, K1, P1 rib, K2, P1 rib, (RS) K1, P1 and purl back on the WS, seed stitch and Polperro Laughing Boy stitch.  Kits for the scarf pictured below are available from lena@veryknitshop.com.

Sampler of TexturesSampler of Textures #2

Cable Knit Skirt

I’ve always wanted to wear a knit skirt.  My desire for a knit skirt brings back memories of my mother speedily working through rows and rows of triple crochet producing a neon green skirt and vest.  I wore the skirt and vest to school and definitely stood out in a crowd!

Should I risk wearing a knitted skirt?  Why not?  The Seaport Skirt designed by Kristina McGowan found in Modern Top-Down Knitting is knit in the round with Karabella Aurora 8.  A few more inches are needed to complete a stitch pattern which makes the “skirt hug in all the right places (and forgive in all the others), resulting in a fit that is flattering and comfortable.”  I hope so!

Cable Knit Skirt #2

 

 

Swimming In The Pool(ing)

Swimming In The Pool(ing)“I’m hooked.”  I gravitate toward patterns creating design, stitches manipulating tension and the unpredictability of motifs determined by the placement color.  I am determined to manipulate yarn with a reasonable amount of preparation and a minimal amount of blood, sweat and tears.  So with that being said, I  purchased four more skeins of Craftsmart yarn in Color #15 Sangria.

Surprise!

Purl stitches change the tension of the piece, commonly referred to “uneven tension” in the knitting world.  The random puckering of the surface adds visual interest to the piece, an uneveness, “topography on purpose.”  I plan on knitting four squares, joining each square into a garment displaying a topographical relief of peaks and valleys.

Swimming In The Pool(ing) #2