Monday, November 11, 2019

A Suggestion Taken.....

I have mentioned before about a knitting retreat, I help plan with 7 other women. It's held every April at The Fern Resort in Orillia ON. We start working on it in September and try to have the classes up on the website by the end of November.

Everyone else has a pretty clear idea of what they want to teach or should teach based on the comments from about 75 attendees. Well, everyone except me. I'm usually somewhere out in the ether and have a few ideas, none of which bear any relation to what people want, what their capabilities are, or what can be achieved in 2.5 hours. (Sigh)

Blocking with a little help from a friend

So, when the group ruled out small decorated granny squares that could be worn as pendants or brooches, I was stuck. Someone suggested that I teach a beginner lace class, but teach it using thicker yarn, rather than lace weight. OK, yes I could maybe find some DK yarn at the bottom of my lace stash and since I needed a small neck warmer anyway, I could work a swatch in a small lace motif, which could then be extended into a scarf, table runner,  ....... you know, something long and thin and decorative.

At first I resisted the idea of doing lace in thick yarn - pedestrian to the point of being Philistine!! However, I did understand the logic of a beginner actually seeing how to create the necessary stitches. Even with glasses lace weight can be a challenge to see how the stitches are actually worked. I knit a sample. In fact I knit a whole neck warmer, with 10 repeats of the lace motif. I then knit a small square of just one repeat, thinking that, if a student wasn't up for knitting the entire scarf, they could at least complete one motif and frame it!!

However, I couldn't leave well enough alone - never have, never will. I had to decorate, adorn and expand the entire project into what I like to think is something a little closer to "Art." Here is what I did.

1. I used duplicate stitch and outlined the strong stitch border of the leaf in gold DK yarn.
2. I then used lace weight yarn in mauve and followed a stitch line between the knit stitches inside the leaf,
3. I added a gold bead to every other stitch in the bottom spine of the leaf. I then added flowers or bushes with an embroidered Lazy Daisy stitch on each side of the leaf.
4. I added more beads both large - #6 and small #10 to balance out the motif.
5. I added sun (or wind) depending on how you interpret it to the top left corner.

6. I knotted a small piece of I-cord in lace weight mauve to the right corner to suggest a bird.
7. I added beads to both these motifs.
8. Finally I decided to close the bottom of the leaf with duplicate stitch. Now it's a tree.
9. I will sew it to a backing of wool felt. In fact maybe two backings - gold and mauve and frame it.

This would never have happened, if I hadn't been forced out of my comfort zone and made to work in DK yarn rather than lace weight.

Listen to what you don't want to hear. It may lead you into another space.  I am now working on a second piece in chunky yarn and have been toying with the idea of using some very large yarn. This would be the yarn used for large arm knitting - no needles, just making the stitches with your hands and arms. I see a mammoth wall hanging with funky beads and maybe some tassels worked in decorative cloth...hmmmm.

Have a creative day!!

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