24 January 2013

More Fun with Swatching

Just before the holidays, the yarn for the Winter TNNA Great Wall of Yarn swatches arrived. I actually squealed like a preteen when I opened the package! This time I only requested three skeins of yarn, as I have a lot of other work to do right now. Two of the three skeins are long-print yarns. The third, Trendsetter Phoenix, has long-print textural changes. I figured these swatches would be a great opportunity to play with three techniques: short rows, entrelac, and labyrinth.
For Trendsetter Phoenix, I chose the short row technique. I used Alice Yu's shadow wrap or twin stitch technique. The pattern is a variation of Lizard Ridge. Instead of working five plain rows between the short row pattern, I've worked only four. And I've worked those four rows as all knit. This means that both knit and purl sides of the short rows show. I thought this yarn looked good from both sides and that the change from stockinette to reverse stockinette only served to further accentuate the textural interest of the yarn. If the stripes were run vertically, I think this could make a stunning jacket or cardigan.
I used the Crystal Palace Mochi Plus for the entrelac swatch. I used the same techniques in this swatch as in the swatch I made last year for the SEFAA Square Foot Fiber Pin-Up Show. The fabric is flat rather than textured because I used Rick Mondragon's sliding loop method in the joins. This is the technique Jay Petersen taught me in Portland, Oregon in 2011. If you want the heavy texture of traditional entrelac, then use the usual method of joining by working two stitches together. What pleased me about this swatch is how the colors just happened to work out. The colorway is Equinox. By serendipity the colors in the swatch came out so the lights are on one side and the darks on the other. It looks very much as if light is falling across the swatch. It is a lovely effect of a happy accident!
From my previous post this month, you know I've been working on labyrinth knitting. I've been futzing with it for the last couple years, and I made a complete child's jacket several years ago. Debbie New's brilliant technique delights me every time. Plus, I find the knitting itself to be most addictive. The yarn is Knit One Crochet Too Ty-Dy Cotton. I worked out a scheme that produces a spiraling labyrinth. It was a little tricky, as part of the labyrinth keeps going around so that the swatch is square rather than rectangular. The cast-on is in avocado green with the bind-off in orange. And, yes, I did purlwise grafting to join the orange line together. The whole swatch measuring about 7.5 inches square is only 9 rows of knitting (including the cast-on and bind-off in the row count).

And since I am mentioning square swatches, a reminder. The Southeast Fiber Arts Alliance annual Square Foot Fiber Pin-Up Show is coming up in March. Information on SEFAA's site here. The show is unjuried and open to everyone. Just make a square foot using any fiber technique. You don't even have to mount your square, as we'll just tack them to the wall with push pins. (If you don't want push pins in your work, then you'll need to make it ready-to-hang yourself.) The submission deadline is Thursday 28 February 2013. There is a silent auction to benefit SEFAA that accompanies the show. Also, visitors to the gallery should vote for their favorite squares. The winners will be in the 2014 SEFAA calendar. And a special treat this year -- it looks like the show will be traveling to another venue in south Georgia. If you have never exhibited your work, I encourage you to participate. The show is great fun, and we can't expect others to take knitting and crochet seriously as art or high craft if we don't exhibit our work as if it is worthy of consideration.

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