16 May 2006

Playing in the same areas

While I've been knitting flowers for the better part of 18 months or so, the appearence of Nicky Epstein's Knitted Flowers book in LYS means lots of people will assume that my flowers are from her book.

I hate it when that happens. I have this habit of playing in areas where other, more established, folks are also playing. Nicky's and my flowers are just one in a long series of such coincidences.

Great or not, some minds just think alike and play in the same areas. I've always been interested in alternate construction techniques, knitting as sculpture and turning mistakes to advantage.

I was playing with designing a child's sun dress with a swirl hexagon as the start of the top when the Summer 2002 IK came out -- and, as is often the case, I saw that another knitter/designer was playing in the same knitting sandbox as I was. In that case it was Norah Gaughan and her Sunburst Pullover (ditto her Mandalay Swirl) and, as I always do, I put my design efforts in that arena on hold, carefully avoided looking at those designs, and explored other design areas.

Early in 2005 I came back to idea and my medallion that morphed top was born.

For the child's sundress, I wasn't locked into either the geometric or the swirl hexagon and I didn't see a big problem in forming the increases with YO's. For an adult, the swirl, at least IMO can highlight figure elements in rather unfortunate ways and the YOs could be disaster waiting in the wings.

When the geometric's increases are bar (aka knit into front and back)increases the increase lines gave the illusion of bust darts.

It started out as a centre out geometric hexagon. When I reached the desired size, I used short rows to extend two of the bottom sides and form a trapezoid.

Then I knit a 2nd medallion just alike.

I did a bit of a redesign of the Roman Stripe lace knitting stitch pattern to give it a less directional feel and extended my trapezoids out a bit joining them under the arms with a three needle bind-off. I used the same lace in short panels for straps.

I worked it in a cotton linen blend and it does have a tendency to "cup" a bit at the bottom but in a more ameniable to blocking fabric, if that was a problem it could be eliminated. I don't believe the cupping is inherent in the design but probably a matter of my less than elastic bind off.

I say I knit one just alike as if it was that simple. Well, it wasn't -- I had second "side" syndrome and kept starting swirls when I should have been doing geomertrics or working geometrics but suddenly forgetting the works for me formula to get flat fabric.


Norah has a new book out called Knitting Nature. Knitpicks lets you view some of the inside pages from here. If you click on the view inside pages link and navigate to the last page
you'll see that Norah too seems to think that hexagons can become knitted tops. I like my experiments better.

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