Friday, October 14, 2011

Something Crazy

I'm really, seriously thinking about taking on a new project.  There's a book I've read in the last few months, and it's stuck with me a bit.  Even better, it has a gorgeous cover.

Delish, don't you agree?
What I'm thinking of doing is knitting a shawl inspired by the book.  (No, there is no knitting in this book.  Just hot, macho, New York firefighters.  But knitting is my medium.)

There's a very popular shawl pattern called Clapotis.  (Pronounced clap-o-tee, or so I'm told.)  I like the concept of the shawl, but it's a rectangular, and I really prefer triangle shawls.  So right now I'm doing a bit of sketching and calculating (well, it's too late for calculating tonight, but definitely sketching) to see if I can convert it.  Several other people have done so, but not quite the way I'd like to do it.  So this will be a Becky Original, as well as my first attempt at knit design.

I've been looking for yarns to make this in, because I have a very particular idea in my head of what colors I want and how they should be used.  No dice, of course.  So I have two options as I see it.  First, I find an experienced dyer, try to explain my insane vision, and hope that whatever they come up with is in the ballpark.  Option two would be to buy some undyed yarn and all the pots and chemicals and try my hand at it myself.  While I think it would be great fun to say, "See this?  I created the design, dyed the yarn, and knit it, all by myself!" in not sure it's practical.  I keep getting hung up on the pots and chemicals (and face masks) and mess and expense of trying to dye it myself.  I've never done any dyeing, and I can't guarantee that my results would be any closer to what I see in my head than what an experienced dyer could do.  So there's that.

What I see is a shawl with lots of smokey black (they are fire fighters after all, and one of the heroes is Italian with gorgeous black hair) and splashes of red and yellow and orange.  Something that screams heat and fire.  (And also the orangey red is the hair color of the other hero.)  I want to make sure I get that smoke and fire theme across, because it would be very easy for these colors to get Halloweenie.  I don't want the yarn colors to mingle too much, or stripe.  I want what we in the fiber arts community call pooling or flashing.  Pooling is when you get, well, a pool of one color.  It can line up funny that way some times.  Flashing is like pooling, except that it zig zags across the piece creating a lightning bolt-ish effect.

If all works out as planned, I'll call the pattern Not Clap (because it borrows the theme from the Clapotis, and it's know casually amongst the knitting community as the Clap).  And then my particular shawl will be the Hot Clap-- a reference both to the pattern and the book that inspired me to knit it.

What do you think?  Too crazy or what?

Oh, and the Lip Balm of the Day is Pink Cake.  Too lazy to look up what all is in it right now, but it's yummy!


  1. Anonymous4:18 AM

    Let's see if the changes (and the "good" computer) will be the Golden Ticket to get me in. Fingers crossed that this one shows up.

    Oh hell yes you need to dye your own yarn. (Love the inspiration!) But hey, not all of them use harsh horrible chemical products. There must be things found in nature you can test with. I've done over-dyed linen and tea dyed cotton as well as linen, all for cross stitching and one time for a quilt because the background color was too white. Poke around and see what you can come up with regarding vegetable based dyes, bark and herb based. I know even some minerals (rocks!) can be used. Of course, there's also coffee and tea.

  2. I got a visual of very flat black yarn as the background with deep grey, reds and oranges and possibly a bit of that cool blue at the base of flames in a more mohair kind of yarn. Since I've only knit 4 scarves and 2/3 of a baby blanket I'm not sure how mixing different yarns would work, but the picture inside my brain sure looks cool. Good luck with it and show pictures!


Thanks for taking the time to read and comment. I appreciate it!