Sunday, November 10, 2013

COLOR ME PLAID

Did you notice? Plaid is big this season! Especially in fashion accessories.

In knitting, there are several methods to create plaid fabric. You can combine horizontal and vertical stripes which will involve doing some duplicate stitch embroidery or using bobbins to carry your vertical colors. Or you can got at it "fair isle" style, and carry several alternating colors across each row.

And then there is the mosaic technique. A lesser known way to create multicolor knits where you never, ever use more than one color per row. Now, how does that sound to all of you afraid of colorwork?

Here are a couple of plaid mosaic design examples.
http://knitonecrochettoo.shptron.com/p/2050-block-party-scarf-digital/patterns_kettle-tweed?pp=30

The Block Party is an "eternity" scarf (shaped as a continuous ring) that uses both my Kettle Tweed in the multicolor, and Elfin Tweed in the solid. A perfect first time mosaic project. I am showing it here next to other designer plaids :)

For the more ambitious, try the Sunset Plaid cardigan. Worked in a Meadow Silk solid color, matched with a multicolor wool. 

The mosaic technique is achieved but knitting with whatever color you are using for the row, and slipping any stitches you want to keep with the other color. It creates a fairly dense fabric since it compresses the rows, so it is a good idea to use needles slightly larger than you would normally choose for your yarn weight. Barbara Walker includes several mosaic stitches (shown in charts) in many of her stitch collection books.

Mosaic is one of my favorites and I love the challenge of designing new charts using this technique. Have you tried mosaic before?


Saturday, November 2, 2013

Anthropologie or me?

I subscribe to the daily Anthropologie email and the featured sweater in today's edition reminded me of my Mockingbird Pullover pattern. As you can see, it is not identical, but with similarities. Mine is worked in Seda Rustica, a lofty and soft blend of 70% silk and 30% baby llama. Yummy :)

So I ask you, where does the inspiration come from? Were both the designer of their version and I influenced by the same social elements? Ideas often just pop up in my head out of seamingly nowhere, but surely the subconcious is at work...

Do you find ready-wear sweaters and try to match a pattern for you to make? Do you have a favorite store or designer that inspires your knitting?