Sunday, 11 November 2007

Of rooftops, rose hips and too clever by half...

The Umbrian Rooftop socks are finished. They are comfortable, well fitting and handsome. They are definitely what the yarn wanted to be. As I can only really cope with a simple pattern for travelling on the train to work, I had the happy dilemma of finding another sock project.

This time, I had a little more time so I chose to wind up the skein of Fleece Artist Casbah that I bought from Alice at Socktopus. This is sumptuous yarn, with just a touch of cashmere to give it a lovely texture. Looking at the colour of the yarn it reminded me of a packet of rose hip tea that I had just finished. The red is rich and autumnal and warm in tone. I wanted, therefore to find a pattern that evoked rose hips so I found a simple eyelet cable pattern which does the trick but is simple enough for travel knitting. I am pleased with how they are turning out so far.

You know, I've been thinking about how I choose to match designs with the colours of yarns. For me, the colour seems to come first and will evoke a memory or impression which I then try to interpret in a stitch pattern. Having no formal design training I am aware that this is probably a rather naive approach. I am reminded of the choreography of Pan's People, the dance troupe who used to perform on Top of the Pops which was the most influential pop music programme on British television when I was growing up. When they were called upon to interpret a record, they would take the most literal approach possible such that they were sometimes simply acting out the words of the song.It was highly amusing. I worry that my design style is a bit reminiscent of their approach. Still, it makes me happy and I'm learning all the time. Speaking of learning...

I have thoroughly raised my colour work game and am working on the Marvellous Mittens from Karendipity . This is a wonderful pattern which is more of a tutorial in stranded knitting techniques than a pattern. So far I have learned to do, a braided cast on (this took a whole evening....), a herringbone braid, and how to catch in a float without letting go of the needles. I am very happy. The yarns I have chosen are Dream in Colour Smooshy (more Socktopus...) in Vivid Purple and Strange Harvest.I love the colour combination although I wonder if it offers enough contrast. The pattern asks for a solid and a hand paint but I preferred to go for a pair of semi solids as I am looking for a slightly less busy effect. There are certainly enough patterns and features on the mitts to catch the eye and warm up the chilliest day.

Yesterday I was lucky enough to the first I Knit S n'B day which was one of the best knitting events I have ever been to. Further report follows!

9 comments:

natalie said...

I knew you'd be first with these.
I was reading the instructions, and the more I read, the more I thought "that's a two coloured long-tail cast on", but it wasn't till I googled it that I realised I was right. So I'm casting on today.
Mine will be much less professional as I also have to teach myself two-handed knitting IYKWIM, but that's fine, I'll just take it slowly.

Auntie Noo said...

So what was the first thing i did when I came home last night??? - Bought the Karendipity pattern!!! - You bad enabler you! Now I have found that in my sock yarn stash I don't seem to have two colours that will work together so I'm going to have to do more shopping! *rolls eyes* !!

Nikki said...

the socks are very lovely!

and I think the two semi-solids look very nice in your mitts... I may just have to go get the pattern myself.

LittleBerry said...

I love those Umbrian socks you're right pattern & colour match beautifully as do your rosehip socks.....

I also love the colour combination of your Karendipity gloves and think you're right 2 semi solids work well.... I think you've just convinced me to go buy the pattern!

daisie said...

I love the colours in the mitts - they work so well together: reminds me of a blazingly intense night sky. Love the rosehip too.
It is odd,looking at Socktopus' site the yarn looks to me very chainy and not vibrant but looking at what you are doing with it proves me wrong! I feel compelled to go have a look.

Arianne said...

I really love the Casbah socks and your new mitts! I love the two colours together! You've got a great knack for telling what goes with what!

Liz said...

Found you viz Knitter's review and I just had to say how much I *love* your mittens. Those colors work so well together. And it's smooshy too...swoon!

And now I'm off to buy the pattern ;)

Sussex Yorkie said...

Mitts are looking gorgeous. I have the pattern but who knows when I'll cast on!

Karendipity said...

Jane your color choices are beautiful. This is so exciting to watch my little design grow at the hands of other knitters! Can't wait to see these on your hands!