Swatches from around the world…

It has been extremely humbling and rewarding in recent weeks to see what talented knitters are doing with the ideas in my book. In their deft hands the KNITSONIK system really comes to life, and seeing what folks are making has completely blown my mind!

CHECK OUT THESE TURBOSWATCHES!
CHECK OUT SOME OF THESE TURBOSWATCHES!

I love seeing the unique ways in which we draw inspiration from the world around us and one of the most wonderful things about seeing other people’s colourwork swatches is that each one is truly a marvelous surprise. I could never have pictured what people would knit when I published the KNITSONIK Stranded Colourwork Sourcebook: I just hoped it would give folks the impetus to take up sticks and string and start celebrating the world in stranded colourwork.

These expressive and beauteous pieces of knitting speak of the creativity and imagination of their makers, and it makes me foolishly happy to feel that I have played even a tiny part in their making. Please regard these stupendous translations of things, places and plants into stranded colourwork and huge thanks to Laylaknits, Paisley and BirtheP for allowing me to share your original creations here. Each photo and design shared here is © their creator and shared with kind permission.

Red Bamboo Bowl immortalised in stranded colourwork by LaylaKnits on Ravelry (click image to see project).
Red Bamboo Bowl immortalised in stranded colourwork by LaylaKnits on Ravelry.

This swatch by LaylaKnits celebrates her red bamboo bowl. I love the sophisticated palette of shades that she uncovered in the grain of the bamboo and how lively and rich the red looks against those subtle pastels. I also love that in all the photos of her knitting process the bowl is present – companion and inspiration to (and container for?) the knitting in progress.

Bamboo bowl, palette of yarn shades and knitting in progress, in bowl by LaylaKnits
Bamboo bowl, palette of yarn shades and knitting in progress, in bowl
The beautiful swatch with the very object which inspired its creation
The beautiful swatch with the very object which inspired its creation

The documentation of creative process in these swatch projects is fascinating – palettes, drawings, notes, sketches, photos all tell a rich story of how individual knitters assemble creative ideas… Ravelry user Paisley created a kind of Lookbook for her swatch: an amazing celebration of red, green and grey as they are juxtaposed in different environments.

Some of the images cited by Paisley as inspiration sources - check out the reds, greens and greys and the strong angled lines and geometry in the photos
Some of the images cited by Paisley as inspiration sources – check out the reds, greens and greys and the strong angled lines of perspective in the photos

A sequence of lovely photos shows the process by which Paisley found yarn shades and patterns in her inspiration source. To my eyes these WIP pictures reflect the same geometric sense of shapes and lines present in the photos that she took for her inspiration source.

Paisley's charts and designs on squared notepaper, notes on yarn shades - both in terms of value (contrast) and hue; lovely composition of knitting + notebook.
Paisley’s charts and designs on squared notepaper, notes on yarn shades – both in terms of value (contrast) and hue; lovely composition of knitting + notebook.

The strong sense of shapes and lines continues into Paisley’s wondrous swatch with its gingko leaves, stacks of architectural patterning and delicious palette.

Paisley's gorgeous swatch in reds, greys and greens celebrating a range of shapes and details found in different environments
Paisley’s gorgeous swatch in reds, greys and greens celebrating a range of shapes and details found in different environments

BirtheP took a Rowan tree as her initial inspiration source exploring details like the texture of the bark, the shapes of the leaves and the colours created by the tree against the sky and the changing light around it.

Rowan tree - Røn in Danish - with distinctive bark, leaves, berries - inspiration for BirtheP's stranded colourwork swatch
Rowan tree – Røn in Danish – with distinctive bark, leaves, berries – inspiration for BirtheP’s stranded colourwork swatch

Birthe has drawn an exciting palette through observing the tree in its environment, finding rich purples, lilacs, blues, browns, reds, oranges and whites in the light and shade of her inspiration source.

All the lovely colours found by BirtheP in the Rowan tree!
All the lovely colours found by BirtheP in the Rowan tree!

The eventual swatch is full of shapes and patterns found in the details of the tree. I love the botanical accuracy of the leaf-shapes and the unmistakeable berry-like roundness of the dangling fruits. The organic shapes in the patterning of the bark are soft, round and beautiful; they seem almost as tactile as the tree itself and I am reminded of drawings in old books in which the specific details of plants are carefully emphasised by the illustrator.

Rowan tree richly rendered in stranded colourwork by BirtheP
Rowan tree richly rendered in stranded colourwork by BirtheP

I hope you have enjoyed seeing these beautiful and imaginative pieces of knitting as much as I have.

If you are knitting stranded colourwork based on everyday inspirations there is a swatch-a-long thread on the KNITSONIK Ravelry group that you are warmly invited to join. The intention is for this to be a shared online space in which folks wishing to translate the world into stranded colourwork might share knitterly knowledge and discoveries; it was in this thread that I first espied these fantastic swatches. And of course, if you want the book with the KNITSONIK System in it, you can find it here.

Happy Knitting and turbo inspiration to you all,
Fx

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3 Responses to Swatches from around the world…

  1. Joanna says:

    Absolutely glorious. My life is sadly lacking in knitting time at the moment, but I have so enjoyed looking at these swatches and, of course, your beautiful book.

  2. kate says:

    Wow – I have only just drooled at the pictures in your book, I’ve not had the time yet to try – festive knitting is getting in the way – looking forward to the new year when I can spend time playing using the swatches as inspiration!

  3. Caroline says:

    Wow, lovely. I hope someday to have an extended period of available time to be able to relax and try doing something like this! I wish I had a cabinet full of J&S yarn to match to things in my environment…

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