DOT PRIZE #2: REACH FOR THE STARS

My plan for these posts about DOT-THEMED-PRIZES was always to explore the vast scope for creativity and reinvention that might be found by playing with dots. Yesterday I spoke about the Japanese artist Yayoi Kusama who has really redefined what you can do with these seemingly simple shapes.

Today I’m following up with more thoughts on creative adventures in dotland. My quest for dot-themed prizes led me on all sorts of exciting online searches, one of which involved the discovery of the wonderful dot-themed stickers designed by Sophie of TigerFraeulein.

TigerFraeulein is a very small stationery business producing all sorts of amazing things for use in planners, sketchpads and bullet journals. However, I particularly love Sophie’s dot-themed stickers in which circles are used to encase a wide variety of themes.

Sophie makes watercolour dots, patterned dots, dots with nature scenes in them, dots with calm colours, dots with loud colours, and dots containing galaxies.

How could I not include some of these special sticky dots amongst the prizes for this KAL?

To complement these stickers and to add a knitterly dimension to them for a prize, I sought out yarns with a similar palette, eventually settling on these two contrasting skeins of Gytha Worsted Weight Yarn dyed by Lola Johnson of Third Vault Yarns.

The yarn-base Lola uses for Gytha is superwash-treated worsted-weight Falklands merino, spun by John Arbon… so a not too distant cousin of the John Arbon Knit By Numbers Yarn with which I designed POLKAMANIA! This is what Lola says about this yarn:

Gytha Worsted is named after a Nanny Ogg, from the Discworld Series. She is a loveable and much liked character, to all but her many daughters in law (which is said by many to be her only failing). This warm, welcoming, fully-figured mother and witch embodies this yarn. Its ridiculous softness and ability to take colour, along with its good wearing qualities, make it the perfect yarn for something next-to-the-skin-soft or to wrap you up in warmth as a jumper; it’s almost magical ;D. This superwash Falklands merino yarn is specially spun for Third Vault Yarns, it’s hand-sourced in the Falklands, treated and spun in the UK.

I love this description, and how Lola celebrates Nanny Ogg (secretly my favourite Discworld character) so appositely in yarn. To my mind, these two plump, contrasting skeins in the moody blue-purples of Locs and the soft grellow tones of Charcoal Ash go perfectly with Sophie’s spotty stickers.

There’s also something really pleasing about combining galaxies and stars in stickers with the magical, mythical worlds that inspire Lola’s colourways and the book/yarn clubs that she runs through Third Vault Yarns: there really can be universes in our knitting. And who can argue with the lovely connections between the smudgy watercolour dot stickers, and the painterly quality of hand-dyed yarn?

Along with creating her delicious colourways or rather, as part of that creative practice, Lola runs book clubs in which richly-dyed yarns are released along with details of the science fiction that inspired them. This framework offers knitters a really rich knitting and reading experience, and in 2019, Lola has been using this format to centre and celebrate female and non-binary led science fiction and fantasy. Each month involves a custom-dyed yarn which celebrates a particular book or author. I really like how books and stitches can be combined in our laps and imaginations when we sit down to knit. It’s not science fiction, but reading Yayoi Kusama’s autobiography while knitting on my POLKAMANIA! cowl infinitely enriched the experience of its making, and changed how I think about its dots.

I called this second prize REACH FOR THE STARS because I wanted to share, with another KAL buddy, that sense of a universe within a book, a ball of yarn, a knitting project. I hope this yarn from Third Vault Yarns and these stickers from TigerFraeulein will give someone further adventures in knitting which – of course, because of the contrasting shades I’ve chosen – may yet include more dots.

YOURS IN STARS AND STITCHES,
MORE SOON –
FX

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