Saturday, February 21, 2015

Knitting, Finished #10 - Exploration Station, and mitochondrion progress

I have lots to show today.  First is a quick shawlette I made last week. It is Woven, made from a single skein of Chugiak (from Pagewood Farms) sock yarn. When the yarn arrived a few years ago I loved the colors but wondered about the very hard, tightly spun feeling of the yarn. I didn't know if it would feel good on the sole of the foot. It has made a nice drapey fabric when knit in linen stitch. The scarf/shawl is asymmetric and doesn't look great in the picture but  is easy to wear. The closeup shows the right and wrong sides of the fabric - both are interesting.

Next come something I am proud of even though I hate it. I started Stephen West's mystery knit-a-long, now called Exploration Station,  in November 2014. I participated in the knit-a-long in 2013 and loved the final product even though I had my doubts along the way. I ordered yarn from Quince - Tern for its drape and muted colours. This year the doubts crept in earlier and when we got to Clue 2 I put the whole project away. The pattern called for many rows of two colour brioche stitch. Not only do I hate doing that stitch but the photos of that section from other knit-a-long participants looked very messy. But in January I went back it, realizing that it had very nearly become a UFO. It came so close that I have designated it as #10 in my finishing series.

I came up with what I thought would be a good, but equally time consuming, alternative to the brioche stitch. I even persisted when I had to order and wait for more yarn. It is done now and is definitely not my style but it is well enough knitted that I will be happy to pass it along to someone who will appreciate it more than I do.

For Michelle - here are some photos of the mystery Stephen West project from 2013. Color Craving. It is an attenuated triangle with some other features I have never seen before, principally the large holes which run down the spine. Knit from Quince Finch.

On the needles now - Wake from great Canadian designer Veronik Avery in blue Finch. And a secret project that will be revealed later.

I made lots of progress on the mitochondrion yesterday. It is complete and ready for dyeing along with the background on which it will be placed. Then I turned my attention to making muscle tissue. I did lots of experimenting and am finally content but there were a lot of fabrics, spools of thread and watercolor pencils and crayons in the "won't work" pile before I was satisfied. Those decisions have influenced what colour I will dye the mitochondrion so I am happy to have that final problem worked out.

I sometimes envy the people who create their art by working more spontaneously than I do. Then I get to the end of a day like yesterday and realize how engrossed I was and how much fun I had. I know that my methodical 'scientific method' approach doesn't appeal to most people but it works for me and it ensures that I will have no doubts about the final product.

There's a great article in this week's New Yorker about commas. I just used it to decide where to put commas in the title of this post. I am known for deleting extraneous commas when I edit but there are times when an extra one improves meaning. 

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