Monday, March 29, 2010

For the Challenge

The last few weeks I've noticed a change in the type of projects I've been choosing. It seems that I've lost the desire to make "things", and I've been focusing my creative energies on techniques I find to be a challenge. For instance, my daughter and I have been exploring the possibilities of knitting and designing in 1/4 scale.

Pencil and toothpick included for scale.

She purchased an Ellowyne Wilde fashion doll for a model, and now we are trying out various, ultra fine knitting needles and yarns to not just knit doll clothes, but to make them truly 1/4 scale garments. The swatch above is laceweight yarn knit on size 1.2mm needles (00-00 American). The gauge is 15 sts to the INCH! That's 60 stitches over 4", or the 1/4 scale equivalent of a heavy worsted. Wow, I wonder what I'd have to knit with to get the 1/4 scale equivalent of a fingering weight?!

Next up in the challenge department was an intarsia class I took at Fibres West over the weekend. It was taught by Vanessa Bentley. I've done intarsia before and hated it. I took the class to see if there were any little tips I was missing, something that would make it easier, less frustrating. To Vanessa's credit I think I could now learn to love it. . . . well, at least enjoy it for the challenge it is anyway, which is a good thing because I still have to do that argyle sock, (a form of intarsia), for the Level II Master Knitters certification.

And finally, while I was at Fibres West I stumbled upon this little gem of a book. "Knit One Below" by Elise Duvekot, is a book chock full of projects using the "knit one below" technique, something totally new to me. I've knit into the stitch below before, it's the basis of fisherman's rib, but this is a variant of that idea I've not explored before. I'm practising the technique using dishcloth cotton scraps I had on hand. Maybe the swatch will become a washcloth to tuck in my gym bag.


Dorothy said...

How about 1/4 lace - or gossamer? I know, that's just plain mean.

Marlene said...

It's worth a try, Dorothy! I know that knitters that work on 1/12 scale doll houses knit to scale with sewing thread, so not only is it possible, but it's been done before.

Ruinwen said...

I have some cobweb lace yarn that is really, really thin. It calls for 0 through 000 to needles to knit it.

Your swatches are lovely. I'm glad you could relearn something and find joy in it the second time.


AlisonH said...

I love doing intarsia, myself. That swatch is gorgeous--I might have to give that a try. Thank you for the inspiration!