A place to help this dude keep track of his thoughts and ideas on his way down the fiber arts superhighway...

Monday, February 27, 2006

Unexpected Knitting

I spent the day Saturday at my LYS attending two classes taught by the incredible fiber artist Debbie New. And can you believe that I forgot my camera??!!??!! Drats. Oh well, I shall blog forward and not worry about the amazing photos I could have taken of her knitted artwork. This is her book:

Unexpected Knitting

The first class was on freeform knitting. Debbie's approach to teaching is very interesting. You can tell that she is experienced and has most likely encountered every scenario possible. Teaching freeform has to be pretty rough because it seems that most people like to knit in straight lines. In fact, I believe that they have practiced for years to make their rows look perfectly straight. Freeform aint like that! Kudos to Debbie for being able to shake them up a bit and knit outside their comfort zone. This is the scrumble that I came up with:

It's a mousepad!
Remember of course that this is my first try at knitting freeform. I could see how my crochet experience helped me loosen up. Isn't crochet inherently freeform? You can just poke that hook any ol' place, right?

This section wanted to be 3-D... who am I to argue?

I find this the most fascinating thing that she taught us. Using long tails to weave on top of the piece to blend the colors! Here is an example of how she used it in a 3' X 5' tapestry (shown in her book):

The second class was on a technique she calls Swirl Knitting. You knit pieces in rows (quite a switch from the morning class) and by mathematically placing increases and decreases you come out with swirls. Here is mine:

I'm very happy with how my first try turned out. I can see using this technique in so many differen't ways, including in crochet. It just opened up a whole different way of thinking about design. Here are two of Debbie's designs, also shown in her book: