Monday, 1 March 2010


WIP: Zaire by Isager
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To my surprise I've started a project that features - heavily! - no less than three knitting techniques I'm usually not attracted to:

1. Garter stitch: too monotonous to knit in my opinion.
2. Intarsia: difficult to make neat joins.
3. Entrelac: also difficult to make neat joins, and I seldom like the way the results look.

What happened? Well, in short I was looking for inspiration how to use some beautiful colours in my stash, opened Marianne Isager's Knitting out of Africa and saw her design Zaire. A perfect pattern to display colours and to see how they interact.

My choice of colours is far less dramatic than Isager's, but I've kept her arrangement of dark and light areas. I've added a horizontal zigzag line at the bottom, partly because I was getting tired of green garter-stitch knitting and wanted a change, partly simply to see how it would turn out. I rather like the way it reaches the very edge.

Now that I'm into this project I find myself more positive about the three techniques, very much thanks to how they improve each other: the colour changes make garter stitch less monotonous, and garter stitch makes the intarsia and entrelac joins neater. What's more, it keeps the entrelac from "billowing", which is what I personally don't find attractive about the technique even though I admire the skill it takes to knit it.

My first entrelac join was clumsy (between beige and green areas). It was a really good exercise for me to analyse why it turned out that way and how I could improve it, so it was worth the time it took. I rather like having to solve problems, since it makes me feel I learn new things.

The problem here seemed to be knitting not only two colours together, but also a knit and a purl stitch. Therefore, I added a beige row to the green part. Lo and behold, knitting two identical stitches (beige purls) together made quite a difference!


Anonymous said...

I admire you for sticking to something you don't necessarily like. I love to see garter stitch and it is a rather neutral thing for me to do. I really like your colour choices. Good luck.

Marias garnhändelser said...

Ibland undrar jag om man skulle kunna hålla på att bara göra provlappar. Gillar lösningen:-)

Unknown said...

Everything you do is magic!Are you popping down to Marias garn on the next knittingcafé? (26 th of March)

Unknown said...

Ooops 27 of March it is!!!

Asplund said...

I think I could manage that - would be a lot of fun!

Anonymous said...

Great work!
Did you sell some clothes?

Karen said...

This looks tricky to knit but it'll be well worth the work. Love the garter-stitch rustic look of it!

Asplund said...

Haven't sold much over the years - usually knit for family and friends. Not to mention myself!

Thanks, Karen! It isn't as tricky as I expected, and I really enjoy the variety in the design. I like the rustic look too - it's nice making something really different from what I usually choose to knit!

Unknown said...

Beautiful work, and now you've inspired me to get out my Isager books and try some of her work again.

It's been a while, but I never go through her books without being very inspired.

Asplund said...

Same thing here - I always discover new details when I open her books!

Anonymous said...

I love it when a project I wouldn't normally think of knitting catches hold of me. Great color choice!