Thursday, October 21, 2010

More inspiration to knit from Iris Bishop

This was the first time some of our hand knitters had heard Iris talk and they were amazed at what she talked about and showed us. The machine knitters had heard Iris talk before and had made every effort to be there as she always gives us food for thought and inspires us to go home and knit. Well, maybe not straight away as it is a bit late to start straight after club, but we can start planning and then knit next day!

Iris told us how fair isle patterning is coming back, but with a new and different twist. It isn't all over the garment, just in selected areas, which for a machine knitter means it is quick and easy to do. So whether you choose to put your fair isle patterning just above the welt, or as a yoke you will find yourself in fashion. She also said that 3D is fashionable as well. Take a look at the picture below. The right hand side is just normal flat fairisle whilst the centre and left has been trimmed with i-cords which give a raised 3D effect.

In the next sample Iris has made use of the patterning on the punchcard machines. By changing yarn colour and ply (thickness) she has achieved what looks to be a very complicated pattern, but one that is easy to knit. The coloured section is knitted using thicker yarns and every other needle, whilst the black/white is knitted over every needle using 4 ply yarns. The hardest part is making sure that your punchcard and needles line up as you are knitting on alternate needles for part of the pattern.
Iris has also been experimenting with cut floats again. This time she has been knitting the thicker yarn in, rather than weaving it. Because you are only knitting a few selected needles in the thicker yarn, the machine seems to accept it and the adjacent stitches make room. In the next picture there was 4 needles out of the 24 stitch repeat knitting in the thicker yarn.

In this next picture Iris has taken the technique one step further and only used 2 stitches out of the 24 stitch repeat to knit the fairisle. This creates extrememly long floats, (something you don't normally want), but on this occasion you do. Cut the floats and you have long "shaggy" pile. The look will vary depending on which yarns you use. And because they have been knitted in, rather than woven, they don't pull out.

That's just a taste of what she told us. We could have listened to her all night! And I'm sure it won't be too long before we ask her to come again.

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