Along with the full line of Juniper Moon Farms yarns, this Fall I am also bringing in Isager2 Yarn. It is a 50% Alpaca 50% Wool blend with a soft pleasing hand and once knit, great drape. This yarn is meant to fill the gap between the beautiful Laceweight Juniper Moon Yarn (I made my Live Oak Shawl from this yarn) and the next weight up in the same brand, a worsted yarn. (Go to Knitting Fever on the internet to see all the beautiful colors and the three yarns for this season!) I am a big fan of Scandinavian Knit Designers, especially Hanne Falkenberg and Marianne Isager. It is obviously not a stretch to conclude that I am also a fan of the yarns they love.
That said, the book I am bringing in with the Isager2 yarn is called: The Fine Line. It is the Artwork of a knitter and designer, Grace Anna Farrow. Ms. Farrow hails from Philadelphia (after Santa Monica, CA…my next favorite place in the U.S.) and has put together a TOP NOTCH collection of enjoyable and knitworthy shawls. When you see this book, take time to sit and read her inspiration. DO NOT READ IT LIKE A PLAYBOY/GIRL MAGAZINE…i.e. don’t look at the pictures first…go read the articles which explain her inspiration. THEN go look at the schematics (again not the photos of the shawls themselves) for each shawl. She has elevated the concept of the rectangular stole beyond the expected to the sublime while keeping the knitting process approachable and the garments must have additions to your wardrobe. LAST, GO LOOK AT THE PICTURES of each garment BUT: as you look at the garments think “What COLORS would make this MINE?”.
EVERYTHING you knit or create in any way, IS YOUR ARTWORK. Just as your life is created by you and is your artwork, so is your knitting, your home, your food, and anything else your hands grace. I love the music of J.S. Bach — the simple melody woven deeply into intricate textures until it disappears and remerges later even more glorious. I also love music as simple as Tibetan Singing Bowls. Some people love the Impressionists, while others prefer Modern Art; I like both. Knitting works the same way for me. Sometimes I like to knit something so complex there is no room in my mind for any other thoughts than the pattern itself. Sometimes I want something that only my hands need to think, not my head. These shawls fall inbetween…depending on what you decide to create with the base pattern.
Right now I am working on the shawl called: SMOLDER. I have changed the colors completely to suit my own aesthetic and I am using the colors of Isager2 which will be coming into the studio. The next shawl in this series I would like to play with is called: HORIZON. I called HARRISVILLE YARNS and ordered their classic shetland weight wool for this project in colors mostly blue, ranging from midnight to palest blue, but also two pale earth tones and a deep Cypress Green. Instead of set striping, as in the book, I am going to move from Earth colors into deepest Sky across the face of this stole. Is the knitting hard? NO, it is stockinette with an I-cord edge (or whatever edge I decide on later). Why? Because, it is my artwork. LUISA, from Harrisville Yarn, was a HUGE help and very patient. We had lots of fun choosing the colors for this next creation. She totally gets “WANT” and “NEED” and how those terms have meaning for knitters and their yarn.
It is my hope this post leaves you inspired. Allow yourself to play with color. You don’t need to swatch. Just stack balls of yarn together. Or, wrap yarn in different widths around a piece of cardboard. Explore how colors impact on each other and how they force you to look in certain places (how colors make your eyes “move”). I also love working with crayons or oil pastels when I am dreaming up color pallettes. My moods and my colors change all the time — in good ways. How do your color choices change? Maybe keep a monthly diary this year…once a month put together the colors that speak to you most and then put it away in a box. At the end of the year you may be surprised and even more inspired by the results.
with loads of love, color wishes and light,
Mary Ellen aka TheHumanLoom