I'm a pretty symetrical girl where my knitwear design is concerned. I know it has to do with the way knit stitches are lined up on a graph - you've just gotta follow that grid. For me, knitting in two colors and following a symetrical knitting chart is relaxing and almost (I'm saying almost here because I've still got to follow that chart and establish the motif with the two colors and the needles!) meditative. Most of my knitting charts are based on quadrants - I draw one quadrant on a piece of graph paper and then I flip it around 3 more times to create a symetrical knitting chart.
But in life, I'm nowhere near symetrical - I'm not at all easy to pin down to dates and appointments. I like to live on the edge, not knowing how things are going to turn out. And in my art - it's all about not knowing what's going to happen when I get out the brushes or camera. It's all so organic and loose and fun.
That's what I love about embroidering on knitwear. I can have a mental picture in my head of how a piece of stitchery is going to turn out. But then I take up the needle and the colored yarns and wow --- something else starts appearing before my very eyes. It is such a blast!
The other day I was out taking photos and I took this close-up of a bunch of lilacs. My goal was to capture the colors and the blooms and how they looked against the knitted, felted fabric below. When I got to the computer and actually started examining the images, I was struck by the construction of a lilac bloom. The total effect is breezy and voluptuous and smelling of springtime beauty. And then you look close at the make-up of the bloom and it's built of all these little symetrical four petaled flowers. But then nature puts them all together into a great big showy bloom in crazy abandon and they turn into a lilac. So glorious, those flowers are, aren't they?
Way back, a long time ago, Jillian and Amy asked me to do a "Big Girl Bag" for their More Big Girl Knits book. I have been anxiously awaiting the release of their new book. For me, the most satisfying part of doing a project for a book or a magazine is seeing the printed page with my knitwear on it. They wanted something bright and cheerful and big.
So here it is - my Big Girl Bag. I channeled Julia's favorite colors of pink and purple. These shades are a real departure for me. But I love the way the bag turned out. Knit in Julia, it was then felted in the washing machine. After the hot water worked its magic, I added lots of embroidered flowers in my favorite stitches of spider web, chain stitch, french knots and lazy daisies. After that was all over, I lined it in a light green gingham check.
And then lo and behold, the bag came back to me along with my copy of More Big Girl Knits just as my lilacs were blooming. I couldn't resist filling up the bag with a giant bunch of flowers and hanging it on a fencepost near our orchard.