Saturday, 4 May 2013

From earth and sky to sea and shore

This being a knitting blog I thought maybe you would like to see what I have been knitting recently so here is something that came off the needles in the last couple of weeks, my version of Romi Hill's Coyote Trail shawl.
I have been a great admirer of Romi's work for some time now. For me, she always manages to strike the right balance between creating a design that it interesting to knit but that has enough simplicity that the overall finished shawl works as a whole. This design comes from her latest collection, Home is Where the Heart Is, inspired by her new home in the Nevada Desert. Now the desert is just about as far as you can get from my background so I thought that I would take the inspiration for my colour combination from the sea and shore rather than from the desert and sky.

The yarn I chose is one of my current favourites, Tough Sock by the Uncommon Thread in Orion (blue) and Twig (brown). The base is Blue Faced Leicester which as a spinner and a knitter I have come to love better than the more ubiquitous merino. It has a sheen and lustre compared to the flatter, chalkier consistency of merino without losing any of the next to the skin softness we have become used to with merino.

I have been thinking a lot recently about the direction I want to take with my knitting and spinning and am being drawn more and more to supporting independent, local dyers and spinners who choose to work with materials that they can source more locally. When many of us are thinking seriously about the distance our food travels in terms of food miles, perhaps we prolific knitters need to be more aware of 'yarn miles' too.

Thankfully, through the wonders of the internet, one thing I don't have to worry about is 'Pattern Miles'. It is wonderful that knitters and designers from all over the world can come together and share inspiration. For me this yarn and pattern work beautifully together. Through some very creative use of short rows, Romi has been able to create and asymmetric shawl which gives the impression of rambling, meandering shapes without losing the overall balance of the piece and not losing sight of it needling to be a practical, wearable piece.

The texture change where one element meets another ensures that this large piece stays interesting to the end. All in all I really enjoyed the whole process of this project from choosing the yarn to blocking and wearing.

I can't wait to see what Romi comes up with next and adapting it to my very different home environment. 

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