Monday, November 26, 2012

Pattern Brainstorming: Colorwork Edition


Endpaper Mitts, ca. 2007.  Excessively small; generally disgraceful; never finished.

So the weirdest things have been going on in my knitterly brain lately.  While we were in Iceland, I found myself really enjoying all of my handknit socks, so I decided to start looking at sock patterns again, which always leads me down the Ravelry rabbit hole.  Anything can happen when you're looking for sock patterns on Ravelry:

Oh, an ad for a newish book from Cooperative Press came up while I was browsing the Hazel Knits group!  I think I've seen it before, but why not click through?  ...hey, I don't remember that cowl!

I am ashamed to say how many hours have been spent this way.

Then when we got home, I had a big stack of pattern books sitting on my desk that I was considering giving away to the library, so I sat down and looked through them again just in case I was reminded of a particular pattern I wanted to knit from any of them.

Let's just say, I did not succeed in making any decisions on giving them away.

So between these two methods of rediscovering patterns, I noticed that there were some trends in the pieces I was drawn to.  In general, I noticed that I was attracted to patterns that were challenging in some way - I used to challenge myself constantly as a knitter, but as I've gotten more experienced, I've gotten more lazy as well.  So I think I'm itching for a challenge, because why not knit something ridiculously hard while patternmaking and constructing nine original garments for my line in April?

Ha!  Ha!  Ha!

Clearly there is something wrong with me.

But anyhow - this is one of the trends that I noticed in my pattern drooling:  colorwork.

Roosimine, by Caoua Coffee.

I cannot describe the joy that sings in my heart when I imagine these socks on my feet, particularly worn with a kicky lace dress and Mary Janes.  I think I would go for a pale grey and maroon, or, if I'm being impractical, snow white with navy.  I would consider skipping the contrasting stripes and heel, but I am extremely enamored of the pattern on the side of the leg - and it's done in roositude!  Which is just about the easiest and fanciest-looking colorwork method ever!  Bah!

Fields of Flowers, by Sarah Bordelon.

I would probably change the heel on these socks - I think they're an afterthought heel, which never quite fits my heel as well as the heel flap and gusset does - but I am imagining them in pale pink and coffee brown.  I'm such a sucker for anything that makes me think of cherry blossoms!

Peacock Cowl, by Stephannie Tallent, from "California Revival Knits."

This is done in intarsia and duplicate stitch, so it would be the fiddliest thing ever, but I suddenly and desperately want to make it.  It is so tiny and fussy and detailed, and I love the combination of colors, and the motif reminds me of traditional Japanese panel paintings, and there are frigging pearl buttons down the front.  What in my closet would this cowl go with?  Nothing.  And I still want it.

Houndstooth, by Mary Scott Huff, from "The New Stranded Colorwork."

Okay, so this pattern didn't really jump out at me the first time I saw this book, but when I was paging through it again the other day, I realized how perfectly vintage it is - with just the right level of cheekiness.  Little Scotty dogs!  Houndstooth!  A little bit of waist shaping and maybe some tweaks to the sleeves, and I can imagine this being absolutely adorable with a pleated skirt and bright tights.

The Bees' Knees, by Mary Scott Huff, from The New Stranded Colorwork.

Tiny bee sweater.  That's all I've got.


Some of these aren't totally out of my wheelhouse - I have knit quite a few socks in my time - but others are basically out of left field.  Intarsia?  Pullover sweaters?  Baby stuff?  I rarely knit any of it!

But maybe that's what's making it so appealing to me right now.  I miss learning new things from projects, and I've knit enough shawls at this point that they're sorta... old hat.  I love them, and I will probably never stop knitting them, but I've been feeling a general shift in my knitting desires in the last month.  Maybe it's time to reevaluate.

...and cast on for some new projects.

All pattern photographs copyright to their designers.

1 comment:

Andi said...

That peacock cowl looks soooo fiddly, but it's unbelievably gorgeous.