Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Fabric Strips for Knitting - A Very Creative Medium!

I'm always distressed to hear people say they tried to knit and didn't like it -- bored with scarves, etc. (Of course scarves are boring.) This is right up there with losing potential needlepointers due to their being told they have to begin with very complicated stitches all over the canvas with lots of toys and tools and expensive threads.

I'm also of the opinion that people don't like knitting because someone has resurrected those dreadful straight needles that I hoped were banished forever by the mid 80's. They make the neck and shoulders hurt, and many stitches are dropped. One may knit back and forth on circular needles in comfort and with ease, and never drop a stitch. The weight of the work stays in the lap.

I've been knitting since I learned to read, as I taught myself from the little green Coats & Clark book purchased at Woolworth's in the 40's. It is perhaps the most creative of the fiber arts for me, and I've never tired of it. My children treasure still the sweaters and tattered afghans I made for them when they were young. Yarns and patterns and styles and techniques are endless, and there are so many things to make, it would take a long lifetime to do it all..

But that isn't the topic here. One of my very favorite of knitting phases has been the fabric strip knitting, which I believe is of interest again. I was introduced to this in about 1987 in Tallahassee, and have periodically enjoyed it again. The look of it is what I call "Raggedy Chic" - as it's not shabby chic, nor is it "country" or "rustic." Maybe the "Lodge Look" would do. It's actually rather sophisticated - and the little threads from the cut edges (ALWAYS cut on the straight of the fabric, not on the diagonal) give it an informal appearance.

I'm showing in the second and third photos, the fabric and then the resulting tote bag. That was a learning experience - as I was determined to practice my intarsia skills and also to do this thing with gussets, and all in one piece - Thank Heaven for asymmetric graph paper for knitting patterns!

The two pieces with circular elements were another experiment - worked out, again, on the knitting graph paper. Knit stitches are wider than they are tall, so it's a different method of drawing a circle, which I'll explain in a tutorial on Freebies, Etc. when I get it together.
This is going to involve digging deep into the back of my filing cabinet to find the patterns I wrote when doing this the last time - about four years ago.

1 comment:

Edy said...

This is cool - I might get back to knitting like this.