Shear Delta Three

This is one of those colors that defines the power of accessories. As a sweater it was markedly feminine. In fact I avoided using this yarn because of that reason. But while I was putting my Fall Palette together, I realized that apparel and accessories don't contribute to a look in the same way, especially for menswear. When paired with neutrals, pretty much any color will work, and men rock neutrals. It's our thing.

Modern DSLR camera sensors--and all modern digital cameras for that matter--have this annoying tendency to oversaturate reds and oranges, and mine is no exception. The color of this 100% lamb's wool isn't nearly as intense as some of these images demonstrate. The color is best demonstrated in the detail shot below (the close-up of the stitches). As you can see it's quite muted. This makes it particularly harmonious when paired with khakis, completing the look with their warm neutrality.

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Shear Echo One

So the prototype I did last week taught me a few things about distributing stitch elements across the design of Shear Echo, and doing it a little more eloquently.

Since the trefoil crown extends down the length of the entire work, it defines the three sections in between them. That much is obvious. What's less obvious is that the stitch totals of these sections are not equal. This inequity exists in all my hats, and occurs as a result of the trefoil (a multiple of three) being combined with the stitch compositions (typically multiples of four or twelve). Some stitch patterns will fit, others won't. That's the gist of it. It all comes down to the math. Either it harmonizes with the existing inequity or it doesn't.

For Shear Echo One, I took the garter rib sections further into the legs of the trefoil by converting the inner knit columns. It sort of looks like a giant chevron of garter ribbing. The two sections essentially connect each leg of the trefoil to each other by opening up the columns.

The yarn I used is 100% wool, recycled from a sweater made by Hollister & Co. The original weight of it was bulky, consisting of five strands which I split back into lace. It's extremely soft. The deep richness of this red reminds me of roses.

There are still a few modifications I'd like to make to this design in it's future iterations. What I've been referring to as a 'full trefoil crown' has apparently evolved. I guess this would be fuller. Hmmm… It's a 'complete trefoil.'

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Shear Echo Zero

This is something I've been meaning to try, two things, actually. One is to extend the trefoil crown all the way down to the brim, and the other is an isolated parallelogram.

As the trefoil crown developed over the course of my work, I came to realize that it solved a lot of problems in terms of marking where the decreases would ultimately go. To take the concept further, I decided to define these parameters from the beginning: the brim. This effectively eliminated the need for stitch markers for this aspect of the work. It also increases the potential for design exploration by introducing this idea of intersection.

That's where that isolated parallelogram of garter stitch ribbing came from. By defining these three sections so succinctly, my instinct was to differentiate further. Why not? But since this was essentially a design prototype (hence the 'zero' designation), I wanted to explore these new elements in a very basic way. The garter stitch ribbing section only occurs on the side that is shown in these images. The other two sections were worked in 2x2 rib.

This yarn is a scratchy 100% wool that it seems no one ever seemed to want. The pieces I've done in this wool over the years have never been bought. Personally, I really like scratchy wool, at least for hats. When it's really cold, that prickly bite of wiry wool is a welcome sensation.

These prototypes help me to iron out the kinks, and see how new design elements translate to the actual production of the work. I can scrutinize this manifested idea, and see the potential iterations of Shear Echo. In fact, I started Echo One this morning while waiting for the proper window light to take these photos. It's red.