Friday, August 15, 2014

Piecework Knitting Traditions 2014

I love working with the staff of Piecework! Each time has been a blessing, a learning experience, and just delightful! This project has been one of my favourites. And there is no holocaust story to make ya'll sob this time!
I present to you Fritillary Mittens
Isn't the photography great? This is by Joe Coca, from the magazine spread.
The story:
Several years ago, a friend of mine made some delightful socks with singing birds on them. The pattern was so beautiful. It turned out they were a charted embroidery pattern she had fitted to colorwork knitting.
Intrigued by the idea, I began researching old embroidery pattern collections to see how I could apply them to my own knitting. Many of the designs I found were hundreds of years old. Some were spaced so that they stitch work would be better if duplicate stitch, others were perfect for basic colourwork knitting.
I love colorwork. I find I knit faster completing a section here and there. I am motivated to complete a picture in the wool I am knitting.
For the Fritillary Mittens, my botanic arts background drew me towards a particular motif. The checkerboard in the flower reminded me of Fritillaria meleagris. The common names for the flower include Snake’s head fritillary, guinea flower, or chequer lily. It is very rare to find square shapes in nature. They can be quite mesmerizing when you do. The name “fritillaria” comes from the latin word fritillus meaning “dice box”.

I added a knit border for the cuff from a 1912 filet crochet booklet. The main chart is modified from an old page that was tucked into a French embroidery book from 1886, source unknown. I charted the main flower, flipped it and manipulated it a bit so the floats between colours would not stretch endlessly.
you can find more info on ravelry...see projects and mittens in other colours.
http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/fritillary-mittens

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