Shear Charlie Six

I've been knitting for five years now, and if my work has demonstrated anything, it is that knitwear design is a personal journey. I was at a craft party recently, hosted by my friend Amy. I got a few people asking me how I got started knitting, and it really was a spontaneous decision on my part. I've always had a visual aesthetic of geometric compositions in mind, and that's what I wanted to demonstrate. Could knitting work as a visual language to communicate that aesthetic? After five years, I can say: yes, it does.

In just this past year or so, I've been pushing out of the confines of my initial design classifications. For example, the Shear Series has always used middle weight yarns of average quality, like lamb's wool, and wools that were semi-soft. Generally, the yarn weights fell into the 'sport' and 'heavy fingering' category, not quite worsted, and not as small as lace. An increase in the yarn weight means reassessing the mathematical parameters that are pretty crucial in my compositions, but weirdly enough, I can handle it. I didn't expect that.

So anyway, that's what happened with Shear Charlie Six. The original sweater sat in my stash for years before I recycled it, and when I did, the yarn ended up being in that range of light-worsted/sort-of-sport weight (?). I didn't know how it would knit up. After one swatch, I just jumped right into this knowing full well it may end up failing spectacularly.

But no, I didn't. I predicted that the subtraction of one repeat would accommodate for the increased weight of the yarn, and I was right. It just so happens that by doing so, the math still remained harmonious. I guess multiples just work like that (well, not all the time, but sometimes). And I think that's where my insecurity lies: that the stability of the tried-and-true math I've employed thus far could crumble if I poke it.

In a way, all communication systems operate in this precarious state. Much like the absolutism of mathematics, I can't really invent new vocabulary, I have to work with the same words as everyone else. But what I can do is pull back, look at the message, omit, clarify, and most importantly: let the work speak for itself.

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