Shear Alpha Five

In the previous version's blogpost on Shear Alpha (Four), I didn't really talk about this design, and how it has changed over the course of it's life. I think it's important to shed some light on that because it touches on some aspects of my creative process. A lot of knitters assume that because I design my own patterns, that there are downloadable versions of them out there, but there are not. I don't write knitting patterns, and I am not a knitwear designer. I am a designer. Knitting is just a medium in which I demonstrate my creative process.

With that being said, each hat represents a step forward in that process. Primary designations differentiate the shapes. Shear is the parallelogram. Secondary designations--denoted by NATO phonetic alphabet--refer to variations in stitch compositions that define the shapes, and clarifications to the structural mathematics. Tertiary designations track changes in yarn and color using a number. Every hat I have made represents an exploration of this process.

So let's talk about the Alphas. They essentially represent the bare-bones minimum of what a particular primary should look like. Shear's parallelogram shape is demonstrated with straightforward stitches and minimal deviation. There are also mathematical processes in there that need to be physically demonstrated. This physical manifestation of minimal, basic geometry helps me understand it better, and generates a design foundation in my mind. From this understanding I can follow it with the Bravos and Echos that have branched out into their own subprocesses over the years.

In contrast, the Foxtrots are very rare. They tend to deviate significantly from this Alpha foundation. There has only been one (pretty sure), designated Foxtrot Zero, and it was sold to a private buyer. It is in these late stages where all the improvisation really takes off, and I can put together such incomprehensible compositions, full of production phrases no one recognizes. Such preposterous improvisation could not exist without all the iterations of Shear before it. Maybe it could for somebody else, but I'm the only one living in my head.

Just me. So I guess the reason I don't write patterns is because this creative process is my own. I built it. And to write a pattern for one hat would be like telling you how to carve a wooden stick without telling you it was a rung of a ladder. I'm not interested in teaching others to copy my work. Being truly creative involves developing your own personal creative process.

Here's an in depth photo essay about the recycling of this yarn.
And here's the Etsy Shop Listing. (Item is now SOLD)
Oh, and here's a recap of my Instagram posts on Shear A5: