20120126

Breathing Room

Reflect Delta

I take a long time to do things. Sometimes it's because I'm focused on doing a good job. Other times (such as with the Reflect series) it's all about committing to a project that is inherently time-consuming. I like doing the hard things once in a while.

And now that holiday season is long gone, I have the breathing room to bust out with the hard stuff, the high resolution knits that fly in the face of a market over-saturated with the chunky, the bulky… the easy. I better just stop there before I start ranting again.

Reflect Delta takes the alternating seed stitch ribbing of Reflect Bravo and flips it inside out. The reversibility of these stitch patterns afford some nice possibilities. It's good practice to shake things up and then harmonize the math.

Reflect Delta WiP

The 1x1 ribbing I've come to despise lately finds a welcome place as banding, where I don't have to do too much of it. It also shifts the base pattern math, breaking the threes with twos. I like the visual contrast that's happening there, where the increased frequency of the repeat overtakes the base pattern.

I don't have much of this charcoal merino, so this will likely be one of two (possibly three). Holding four strands together will do that I guess.

Etsy Shop Listing

20120122

Bits of Light and Dark

Sonoma Cotton

I've got this vision in my head of white scarves. It's slowly coming to fruition with one silk project under wraps and slated for spring, but I've been keeping my eyes peeled for various whites in cotton. The idea is to combine the strands into one yarn. When knit up, the analogous variation creates a visual depth to the color. I first noticed this on the charcoal cotton I used on Nudge. The fabric has this subtle striation that takes advantage of the multi-strand structure.

By combining this pure white with that Fa├žonnable Cotton I got a while back, I should be able to get the same effect, but I still need to swatch it all out. Who knows, it might suck.

Gap Merino

This charcoal merino is another multi-strand candidate, this time in the merino category, although it's nice enough to stand on it's own. But then again, a halter top women's x-small didn't yield much yarn, so some combo action could happen, depending on the project. Either way it's nice to have it, charcoal merino is always welcome here.

20120109

Blue Quietude

Divide Bravo 3 (Sold)

See how much I like this pattern? This is Divide Bravo again. One of the things I like a lot is how a 2x1 rib retains shape. I like 2x2 too, but it contracts the finished hat like a sweater sleeve so that the crown looks pointy. I prefer it to look more bulbous. Having just one purl on the repeat works out pretty perfect.

Another thing I like about this pattern is the mathematical harmony. All the pattern stitches are equal. That is to say each one is based on a stitch count of three, with the base pattern being a knit 2, purl 1 rib (2+1=3). I guess that consistency is pretty easy to achieve when you think about it since lots of things can happen in a three stitch repeat.

The yarn I used is a 100% wool recycled from a women's J Crew sweater. It's an interesting blend of colors. Along with the light blue and white fibers, there are traces of red that play with the overall appearance, dancing between light blue and lavender. The color complexity lends itself well to pairings with warm neutrals like brown and tan which pull these visual hues back towards light blue.

I guess I should move on though, and begin sketching out ideas for Divide Charlie. Winter is young, and I have way too much yarn.

Etsy Shop Listing

20120106

Unpredictable & Finite

Divide Bravo 2

I do love this design. Not just because of the pattern itself, but because this is a signature color for gridjunky. I think the whole "boring colors" argument stems from knitters who seem to think we (guys) have no desire to be daring. And I may get some flack for this, but I also think it stems from a lack of design training. Color isn't the only way to express yourself. I choose to forge my path with texture.

But as I've mentioned before, this is the last of this particular yarn lot, a scottish shetland wool recycled from a Nordstrom men's cardigan. The sweater was badly damaged with ripped seams, missing buttons, and straight-up filthy. It took about five washes to get the water to run clear. It was so gross I didn't even take a picture of it. But this is shetland wool at it's best: indestructible. And once I re-spliced all the breaks into decent yardage, it was new again. In total I've made five hats from this lot, two of which I kept for myself because I love it that much.

This is the same pattern as the original I did in navy blue. Nothing different here except the yarn, and when it's gone, it's gone. Will I find another gray shetland sweater in the future? Who knows? But I guess that jives with gridjunky too: the organic structural systems I explore with texture represent the paths of life, and life is both unpredictable and finite.

Etsy Shop Listing