Thursday, August 16, 2007
What I Learned About Creative Knitting
Here are some nuggets I gleaned from the Valentina Devine workshop:
Yarn selection: Hold the yarn in your hands and let it tell YOU what it wants to be.
Valentina has worked with hundreds of students in her knitting career and has never seen any two creative knitting projects come out alike.
The eye will see (in order): the color first; then the silhouette and finally the design details, such as the linear or abstract image and the particular design elements.
Never hang your sweaters on hangers!!! It misshaps them. Sweaters should be folded and stored in shelves where they can be grabbed and worn often without the bad effects of stretching or distortion.
For outdoorsy type sweater jackets, be sure and include a pocket, you can add this in later in the side seam. That way you don't have to worry about putting the pocket onto the front of the garment itself to spoil the design.
The aim in Creative Knitting is to create beautiful fabric, be it through knitting or crochet or a combo of both.
If you are concerned about an assortment of colors not going together, be sure and throw in BLACK into the mix. Adding black serves to unify the piece. If you are knitting pastel shades, you can use white or natural as the unifying color.
You can even mix medium, dark and light color values if you use black to unify the different values.
Remember that different stitch patterns behave differently. For example, cables pull a piece "in" while other patterns expand it outward. Take that stitch behavior into consideration when designing your project. Also remember that different yarns have unique properties as well. Adjust your design to take these factors into account.
Garter stitch in knitting makes squares while stockinette creates rectangles. Therefore, with garter stitch, you can pick up stitches on edges and knit in different directions while still staying in a square - without bulging or puckering effects.
When picking up and knitting on swatches to add other freeform pieces, always work from right side (public side) of work, pick up from public side only. When knitting around an angle, use smooth rather than novely yarns.
Piece grows counterclockwise.
Bind off loosely when doing Freeform, or it will pucker.
Anytime you have an area you are not happy with in Freeform, just embellish over it, either through crochet or other embellishment.
Black and brown look good together! Black "tones down" colors that are too bright or obnoxious on their own or colors that would otherwise clash when thrown together.
Pull out color selections from everything all around you - art work, postcards. Feel free to use colors you normally wouldn't expect to see together. Look at every day objects through the eyes of color and be amazed.
Avoid using the word "leftover" - your yarn is your art medium and shouldn't be thought of in negative terms such as "leftovers."
To determine what yarns you'd like to use together, place them on floor with a light background beneath it and try moving different yarns in and out of the mix to see what is most pleasing to the eye.
Give a title to each piece of wearable art you create. Giving it a theme or a title helps to clarify it in your artist's mind and helps a piece come together with unity.
You can best judge how a freeform piece looks by standing 12 feet to 15 feet away to make sure how it looks at a distance. A piece looks totally different from a distance than it does up close. Some people don't even recognize their own pieces - also squint so that you get the overall effect of the piece. Also, with freeform blocks or pieces, before sewing it together, try turning each piece individually in different directions to figure out which way looks most pleasing to the eye.
The sample shown here is a linear design with a log cabin style structure, but when putting together the abstract pieces of Freeform, try laying them out on the floor and see what order you want to connect them in. Leave it on the floor for several days in a "floor collage" fashion and try moving the pieces around in various ways before determining how you want to put them together. You can connect the pieces by first chaining or edging around each piece, and then connecting with chain crochet and/or single crochet.