Tuesday, 26 August 2008

A bit about the exploration process

I discovered the patterns in the swatch below today. I thought I put it up whilst I’m at it. I have only done 4 colour sequences so far, but I am amazed by the fairly different texture and patterns the structure yields on the two sides of the fabric.

When I knit the swatches I never know what the results will be beforehand. It can’t be foreseen. A computer programme that could create the patterns from the charts would be handy, but I consider it impossible. How could a computer simulate the behaviour of the threads, the interaction of the stitches, and colours, the tensions in these fabrics? By the way, if someone knows of any scientific/theoretical description or explanation of the knitted fabric structure for common stitch patterns or even stocking stitch I’d be grateful to get a link to it.

I tend to describe for myself what I’ve developed meanwhile as a kind of grammar. I have the four elements K, P, X and O (or A, B, C, D privately) and put them on paper in basic arrangements. A few restrictions come from the knitting technique itself; such as you can’t slip all stitches in a row, nor slip a stitch vertically all the time.
These basic arrangements could be called morphemes. These then undergo further transformations, much based on symmetries really. There are many possible transformations, and what I get sometimes opens up the possibility of new transformations on earlier ones. And added to this for each resulting structure are the various possible colour sequences. Sounds a bit technical, I know. But is also for me a kind of an evolutionary process. Sometimes my mind boggles, and I have difficulty to remember earlier stages. Anyway, there are so many possibilities and I can only knit some of them.

The funny thing is, if the letters on paper would for example stand for four types of vegetables to be planted in that order in a flower bed, we would get an analogue order on the flower bed. But with the dimensions in knitting the resulting pattern is hard to be related to the letters in the chart. It’s also different to weaving, where you can arrive at a drawing of the pattern quite easily from most charts. In a way I don’t know the meaning of my charts until they are knitted.

Okay, here is today’s swatch, and the chart is below. One side has a distinctive horizontally ribbed texture. I’m not sure if the picture can show this properly.

Colour sequence 1 is at bottom of swatch, 2 and 3 are above respectively.

The other side is much more flat, but still has a lovely texture even in the one colour-version.

There is a little mistake in 3 here. See it?

The black area between 1 and 2 here is a result from changing the colour sequence.

Here is the chart

Thanks to yarnpiggy for her encouraging comments.
I've meanwhile done five more colour sequences on this structure, and wish to add them here:

1 comment:

  1. You have a really fascinating blog! I haven't really done any colour work yet, but you've given me some inspiration. :-)