Knitting, design, wool and other gatherings….


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I´m currently working on a project that includes small sections of intarsia. This made me try to recall the last time I was using this method. Apart from small projects, like a dish cloth and a hat, I don´t have enough fingers on my hands to count the years back….

I think it started in the 80´s….I can´t present you with a picture, but the sweater was blue, grey and pink in Sandnes Kitten Mohair. The front and the back were both alike, and the arms were blue. It was my own design, and I remember being very pleased with it! It looked something like this:Yet still; the height of my intarsia career came in 1993. Kaffe Fassett had some years earlier designed «The Foolish Virgins», and I fell in love! Not that I could really picture myself wearing the jacket, but it was the complexity of the design, and the history behind it …and I´m a sucker for history!.

Fassett based the design on a history of Norwegian tapestries.Luckily I have an aunt who would love to wear this (….or rather; lucky her!), and it was really an adventure in itself just picking out the colors for this jacket. Being a wool-lover, I discarded the designers instruction of using cotton in this design. ( In addition; my grandmother was a weaver, and she would have «killed» me if I chose cotton for this project! In fact she refused to ever mentioning the designers name again (Fassett – that is) for  even considering using cotton in this design!…) I chose Rauma Finull, who have a wide range of colors to choose from. If I were to enter this project again, which I´m definitely not!!, I would have chosen a softer kind of yarn, maybe a fingering weight merino, like the Pickles; Abuelita 3 ply merino…..

My «Foolish Virgins» jacket is now living it´s own life in Western Australia, where I presume it´s main task is to keep my dear aunt warm enough during those long, cold winters ….!

I have actually won a price for my intarsia, and we have to travel back to the year of 1995 to meet the young and promising (?) me, who came second in a knitting competition for a Norwegian weekly womans magazine:Looking back, I remember I would like to have told that stylist a thing…or two. When you enter a competition like this, you don´t own your design anymore, and the way the garment is presented is out of your control. At the same time it´s interresting to observe how other people interpret the design. It´s all about perception.

I remember sending the garment off by post, after months of designing, calculating, casting on, ripping-out, casting on again, and then seeing your work grow…..-and having to rip it all up again…… until you finally get it right! A fair amount of work later, I almost attacked the woman behind the counter at the post-office when she just threw the package into the pile along with the other anonymous post! It´s like sending your «baby» off to University…I guess (haven´t been there yet…).

On the other hand; seeing as how I´ve used the color green in the design, I guess I knew it was never to be «my» sweater anyway…. When I got the sweater back, it stayed in my cabinet for a while, and then I sold it. I don´t know who bought it, but I hope the person in question took pleasure in wearing it, and that the sweater has had a good «life». Maybe it still exists? Maybe it´s still out there somewhere….?

Author: woolandgathering

I´m a dedicated knitter. I share my house with an unknown amount of wool. My kind of wool seems to multiply like quicksilver, -drop a skein to the floor and you get 10 in return….. (well… get is maybe an exaggeration….) So I keep on knitting to try to get on top of it, enjoying the process, the texture of the yarn and the endless possibilities in creating new garments.

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