Knitting and Sewing

I wanted to title this post “Hand Knitting Meets The Industrial Revolution,” but I realized yarn is spun using a machine too.  I recently completed two classes in Fashion Design at Canada College located in Redwood City, California, one of which was Flat Pattern Design.  The other class, “Designer Techniques” discussed different ways to refashion an existing pattern and make it your own.

Demonstrating a technique not covered in class was one of the course requirements.  I elected to combine hand knitting with fabric.   For the sample, I incorporated techniques from Flat Pattern Design and drafted a half scale dress with princess seams.

Combining Hand Knit With Fabric

The pattern pieces are pinned to the hand knit and traced with two rows of stitching using a teflon foot.

An alternative technique would be to baste a line of stitches on your fabric using sturdy thread.  With your knitting needles, pick up into the stitches and knit down to create an attached piece of knitting.

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In order to eliminate bulk from seams, position the knit fabric with an 1/8″ to 1/4″ seam allowance on the hand knit and 1/2″ seam allowance on the fabric.

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Combining hand knit with fabric is an idea I’ve been thinking about for quite some time.  “Designer Techniques” was the perfect venue which presented an opportunity for me to take my idea of combining hand knit and fabric a reality.

 

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.

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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.

 

Wrapped in Ripples

As I explore new techniques in knitting, my posts are happening less frequent.  The more involved the project, the longer between posts. My most recent endeavor forced me into learning short-row shaping.

Breathing Space, designed by Veera Valimaki is a true commitment to knitting.  Knitting stripes combined with short-row shaping creates an interesting asymmetrical hemline.   The pattern is well-written and fits like a dream.

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Photo credit: Mary Lou Fall

Another project I’ve completed is inspired by an image I captured on my local hiking trail.  The local landscape has changed  quite a bit due to the flooding California experienced this Winter. Trees have toppled and the power of gushing water forcing its way through our creeks and dams, has altered the topography.

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Photo credit: Mary Lou Fall  (Ripples In The Sand)

 

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Photo Credit:  Mary Lou Fall (Wrapped In Ripples)

The pattern stitch paired with  Zealana Rimu creates a beautiful sculptural piece of knitting.

Wrapped In Ripples is inspired by my photo, Ripples In The Sand.

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Photo credit:  Mary Lou Fall
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Photo credit:  Mary Lou Fall

Click on the link below to get the free pattern of Wrapped In Ripples.

Wrapped In Ripples

 

 

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.

 

 

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.”

 

My Studio Space

It’s been a few days since my last post, but for the last nine months, in between my sewing and knitting projects, I’ve been  involved in a DIY project.  I decided to  convert our spare bedroom into my studio space.  I pulled up old carpet, filled plaster cracks, sanded molding and painted.  The floors also needed to be professionally refinished.

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It’s amazing what a fresh coat of paint and determination can accomplish.

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Newly refinished floors.

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My Studio

Deciding to convert our spare bedroom was not an easy decision, but after being vacant for five years, I decided it was time to create a space for me.  A positive enriching environment filled with my favorite things…yarn, books, fabric and ideas.

Stitches Wednesday #5

A couple of weeks ago,  I came across an advertisement in the August 21, 2016 issue of The New York Times Style Magazine from Missoni.  It’s no secret I’m in love with anything Missoni.   I’m am so excited to share this with you for another reason…

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Photo credit: Missoni and The New York Times Style Magazine
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Photo credit: Missoni and The New York Times Style Magazine

Now, I know what to do with all the self-patterning sock yarn I’ve collected over the years for socks that didn’t happen.  Doesn’t it look like I may have a couple that match Missoni’s?  Of course, the coat above was knitted by machine, but it might be fun to hand knit my very own.

Here is Stitch #5:

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Binary Stitches #5©

10 stitch pattern repeat

Row 1:  K1, P1, K6, P1, K1

Row 2:  All even rows, knit as the stitches present themselves.

Row 3:  K1, P2, K1, P2, K1, P2, K1

Row 5:  P4, K2, P4

Row 7:  P2, K1, P4, K1, P2

Row 9:  K2, P6, K2

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Binary Stitches #5©

Enjoy!

 

 

©2016Mary Lou Fall