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Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Mindy's Stole, Part 1

OK, so here's where I'm at with designing Mindy's Christmas Stole. I tend to design faster if I've got some kind of direction or theme, rather than just wandering aimlessly around and trying to put some thing together, so I've been thinking about the color (Peppermint Knit Picks Alpaca Cloud) and it reminds me of cherry blossoms. I Googled "Cherry Blossoms" and as luck would have it, 2007 is the 95th year of the National Cherry Blossom Festival in Washington, DC. In 1912 Tokyo gave 3000 Cherry Trees to Washington, DC in a gesture of friendship. (I have to admit here that while I haven't looked it up yet, I'm a bit curious how 3000 cherry trees got here from Tokyo back in 1912. I mean they weren't sent FedEx Overnight.) If you've never seen cherry blossoms, its really amazing. They completely cover the trees with white or pale pink blooms. The flowers are so fragile that when the wind blows, they come off the trees and break apart, covering everything in delicate petals. Its wonderful to watch.

Now that I have an idea, I can start designing. I pulled out my Barbara G. Walker's (these are the greatest stitch dictionaries ever, if you only get one set, this is the one to get) and started looking. I will probably end up designing the stitch myself since I'm not really finding what I'm looking for in traditional lace patterns, but these are still very helpful because I can see what stitches work in what ways. I started playing around with charting a cherry blossom petal design, charted it six different ways and started knitting a swatch with some Alpaca Cloud leftover from Leda's Dream. Less than halfway through the swatch, I've decided that the petals are knitting up too big. At this point, I'm thinking of representing the clouds of petals using negative space, instead of actually depicting them as petals. I'm also playing with the idea of incorporating a traditional lace design that will somehow morph into the cherry blossoms. I'm definitely leaning towards an asymmetrical design, possibly with some Japanese influenced motifs. At this point in designing however, there's no telling what will make it into the final design and what won't.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

WOW! I am amazed and I can't wait to see this take shape. I love the cherry blossoms around the Tidal Basin in DC, so this is very exciting to me! Mindy

11:16 AM  
Blogger Valerie said...

I find it really interesting to get this peek into your creative process!

4:30 PM  
Blogger Dawn said...

I think it is fabulous!! Interesting concept. However, when you got to negative space..........my head was between my knees. Too much for me to wrap my brain around!

7:03 AM  
Blogger Caroline said...

I am really interested in seeing this as this week I spent three hours designing and an hour knitting a bland and uninteresting swatch. It looked good on paper but was an utter waste of time and yarn. I have much to learn...

7:25 AM  
Blogger Sarah said...

It's fantastic you're walking us through this project. I feel like a pretty competent knitter, but I haven't gotten brave enough to branch considerably from written patterns... now you make it seem like fun, it looks pretty tempting.. :> also? I *love* alpaca cloud. lovelovelove. Thanks.

9:52 AM  
Blogger Laura said...

The trees would have come across the Pacific in a cargo ship of some sort, then since the Panama Canal wasn't open yet (it opened in 1914) either went by train across the country or around the horn to a nearer port. I can't imagine they would have risked taking the trees around the horn, but maybe they did. Shrug. That part I didn't look up.

The shawl sounds fabulous.

1:51 PM  
Blogger Opal said...

I'm really fascinated with your design process. I have so much to learn and I'm really grateful to you for offering up your process to everyone.

4:10 AM  
Anonymous la tienda erotica said...

It won't really have success, I consider so.

2:26 PM  

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