Wednesday, 25 April 2018

What's Up

Well, after a very busy weekend and a wonderful day spinning yesterday, I am sitting here going ..... (this is me tapping my fingers, wondering what to do)  There is no pressure to finish the sweater.  It needs blocking and steeking and a placket knit, but it won't really be wearable till fall.   I do have a couple things that do need doing with a kind of deadline.

I am going to have to do some swatching today to see if that deadline project  is doable, to see if I can make it work the way I see it in my head.  Sometimes, you get an idea and it looks like a heap of nothing.  You have to start somewhere though and swatching is it.

It starts with the yarn.  When I first saw the yarn combination of Berroco's Remix Light that Prairie Lily had in stock, I had an instant vision of where I wanted to take it.  It happens like that a lot.  I see a yarn and I get a vision of what wants to come out of that yarn.  It isn't really creative.  What I see are based on the many many patterns that I have viewed.  Sometimes I don't actually see the garment in my mind, but I get this really strong feeling that I know it already.

When you have only a hint of a memory of a pattern, and you are winging it, you buy just a little more yarn that you might need to be using.  All I knew was that I wanted a gradient.  The soft grey colour is my main colour and the two blues and the cream make the yoke. 

It took a while to figure out what pattern I was thinking of.  I had not favourited it on Ravelry or even a project from it.  In some ways, to do so would be a departure for me because I favourite the things I want to knit and wear and in many ways, this is right out of the wheelhouse.  Only it isn't at all.  I do want to knit this, and use it, but not in the way it was designed.  You see, it was designed as a wearable piece of art by Stephen West.

It would be easy to look at his work and set it aside as just a little too wild for your tastes, but if you look at his work as art rather than just knitting design, you start to understand it and the way he uses yarn and design to make his art.  It is edgy and it is provocative and it is interesting.   

I think it started with Batad.  It is just such an interesting way to approach a shawl/poncho/?  but the first thing I saw in it, was what a marvelous yoke of a sweater it would be.  How dramatic it could be.  My vision ended there till I saw this yarn but Stephen's did not.

Stephen West took it to Enchanted Mesa a sweater based on the same yoke shaping.   Now if you stop at the pattern page you might miss the brilliance of this and you might not see what others have done with it.  If you delve into projects, the whole world of this really, really interesting design opens up. You would miss it's adaptability and flexibility and you would miss how good it looks on a lot of people.  You would also miss how funky it blocks in its original form, which is kind of a hoot.  But it is where everyone else takes Stephen's art that is very much part of this interesting piece.

Like all great art, this piece ends up being about how each individual interprets the work.  If you were looking at paintings on a wall, you would interpret and hold that vision and what it brings to you in your mind.  If you were listening to musical masterpieces, you would play them in a certain way that showed what you hear in it.  If the art in front of you is a knitting design, you can take it and make it your interpretation of it be something you can wear.

Someday, I will knit this piece as it is designed.  It might be one of those perfect sitting around home garments, snuggly and warm or the perfect not a poncho wearable for fall and winter.  This version isn't going to be that.  No.  This version is going to be a pretty staid version of this artwork, maybe a diversion that takes it so far from the original that it could really only be an inspired by,  but the top I plan to knit using this design as my starting place is what I need right now, a nice, dressy top for a summer wedding that I can wear in the rest of my life. 

So, today is devoted to knitting a swatch and then to starting to see if I can take this where I hope it can go. I am going on an adventure and I am taking a backpack full of yarns and needles with me.  Without leaving my living room.

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