Wednesday, March 2, 2011

The excited knitter...

And how to avoid becoming one...

What's wrong with being excited... nothing really. It's just that I see a lot of knitwear design intended for people who knit them self, that are just too much and why is that ? Well a lot of knitters are quite interresting people who wants patterns, colours and interesting techniques. But will it be wearable, or did they get carried away when choosing yarn and design? Just a quick look around Ravelry always makes me wonder... Not a lot of wardrobe stables there. That's sad... I myself am trying not to become to excited, and think more in the sense of knitting for wearing... Its a luxury to have a basic silver grey cardigan in why not knit that !?

A knitwear designer that does a fine job is Helga Isager. I like they way that her designs are understated but still very interesting. Her designs feels very finished like she has looked at it over and over... asking herself: "Is this it ? Is it they way it should be? Would I wear it? and what will it look good with ?". To me it seems she is a person interested in fashion and design in general, and it shows.

I have never knitted any of her designs since I mostly make my own designs, but she is a great inspiration for how I think it should be done. One day I have to knit one of her designs just have to decide which one...

Her fall collection is beautiful and it only makes me smile when I read any criticism about her designs being boring. She is very much a nice fresh breeze so needed in the danish world of knitwear design.

she applied for the danish school of design and was rejected, and just started on her own. I would love if her collections would include sewn pieces. I am sure she would do a fine job. in some of her past collections she had some clothes but I never really figured it out... Was it something one could buy? And where ?...

Here is a little look at some of the swatces I have made and my quick little sketches done with a child in my arms ( So please don't be too hard when judging them... )

Another thing that has been very much on my mind... Does knitter think about the fact that when knitting they are actually knitting a fabric. Do they ask the question how does it feel?, how will it drape ?. Does the thickness and warmth fit to the design? It doesn't really make sense to knit a sleeveless top in thick wool. It might look good but is not functional.

There are so many patterns available for knitters (Go buy Barbara Walkers books on knitting patterns...) Every single pattern does something special to all these things mentioned. Some patterns are thick and sturdy but still very open in the knitting like a lattice. So it is thick but will not drape but hold its shape like corrugated cardboard. It will look sturdy but not at all keep the wind. Do I make any sense? So now it is time to mention the most important thing in knitting a garment...swatching

Here is what Barbara Walkers write in "Treasure of Knitting Patterns - Volume 1":

"Even the best of illustrations are often deceptive , and no one can visualize the total effect of a pattern by reading it, any more than the reading of a recipe can give you the exact taste of the finished dish. it is essential to see and feel a knitted pattern before you really know how, or whether to use it."

I find that something as simple as choosing different gauge for plain stocking stitch can make a big difference and be used for great effect in the final piece.

My last word today is going to be from Barbara Walkers:

"So-don't just knit something. Knit something beautiful."


Anna McClurg said...

i agree. a wonderful post! i have spent hours on ravelry in the past just looking for a basic cardigan. it is so hard to find the basics! i'm not the best knitter out there, so when i knit something, i want it to be practical and something i'll want to wear often.

Marianne said...

Hej Mette
Dine skriverier og dine illustationer er altid fantastiske. Jeg nyder virkelig at følge din blog.

Ellen said...

I like more unusual knitted designs for things like scarves or neckwarmers or hats and gloves. But I agree with the sweaters - I want simpler designs that are well-made. My problem is that (a.) my knitting skills are improving but not great yet and (b.) finding a pattern that fits a larger person is very difficult.

I like your swatch board with all the swatches. Lovely color choices.

Clara said...

I agree with everything you wrote in this post! I have asked the same questions many times... At the moment I'm working on my first pattern for a sweater, and finding it harder than I first thought.

Thanks for the tip about Helga Isaker, I had never heard her namne before but now I'm in love!