August 24, 2006
The sweater is progressing. The back is completed, the front is about two inches below the neck division and I’ve done about half of one sleeve. It also has a name now in my mind, the “Bamboo” sweater because of the look of the tied cables.
One of my artistic loves is something that uses its medium perfectly: a ballet dance that couldn’t be done in anything other than ballet or a sweater that could only be knit. An example in knitting is a cardigan design by Patricia Roberts I recall from when I first began to knit. Instead of using princess seams or darting or another method imported from sewing, the design inserted cabled darts to shape the waist. It’s a solution to shaping that’s unique to knitting and I love that. As inspirational as I found Kaffe Fassett’s work, my one reservation as I became a better knitter is that he saw knitted fabric the same as a painted canvas and kept trying to force knitting to be painting. He never explored what knitting could do other than color, but color was his love - not knitting. He explored one aspect over several media rather than several aspects of one medium.
The bamboo sweater is a knitterly sweater. Its approach to shaping – using ribbed fabric - is from knitting. Its patterns are all organically based on 2x2 ribbing. The knitting is a good balance for the knitter between repetitive and variable. It accounts for the qualities of the yarn (cabled construction and bulkiness) and shows them off.
The flip side of this for me is that creatively, I don’t always get the fascination with (or necessity of) “thinking outside the box”. I’m usually more interested in exploring what the box does best.
Posted by Leigh Witchel at August 24, 2006 11:10 PM
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