With so many possibilities of color and pattern, figuring out the rules of the game—the constraints—is crucial. And fun.
What kind of constraints do we have to consider when it comes to knitting? Materials, design, and color. And, sometimes, time.
Here are the constraints I’ve been working with.
Materials. Rowan Felted Tweed. That was easy.
The Diamonds motif turns into a cool interplay of positive and negative pattern when you repeat the motif.
Color. I wanted to have a ton of color at play—and I didn’t want to chart it out ahead of time. I decided to let the color selection flow until I get halfway through the blanket, at which point I’ll stop adding new colors and work with the palette that emerged as I made the first half. I’m approaching the halfway mark, and I’m glad that the second half is going to require me to find new combinations of these colors.
Green is my favorite color, so it’s no surprise that I beelined straight for greens.
I’m sort of following the rule of Juicy and Blah, though not rigidly. (See last week’s post on Juicy and Blah if you’re trying to get a handle on a lot of colors.) Felted Tweed is rich with both saturated and soft colors. It’s hard to really screw it up.
Design. I decided the motifs must have a certain heft to them—not the tiny two-row motifs, or single-row stripes of solid color. Repeat a motif in order to create wider sections. Each section is separated by a single row of dark color. Each motif can be used more than once, but not in the same colors. No repeats of color combinations. OK to repeat motifs, though in differing widths when repeated.
This box motif is edited down from the chart featured in Field Guide No. 13. I took out the dots in the center of the boxes.
Human endurance. How much blanket can I crank out? Will I finish this before I expire? So far, I seem to be following that MDK Rule: No project is too ambitious if you crave the result enough. I crave! I crave! I am strong for this.
Dereliction of duty. How long will it be before people notice that I’m not around anymore? That I’ve stopped doing anything except this blanket? So far, so good. I’m doing an excellent job of procrastinating many other tasks.
The Coins motif here differs from the chart in the field guide—I blew it by putting two stitches between coins, not one. So I went for symmetrically spaced coins.
Time available to stare at knitting. This constraint is possibly the hardest of all. I could sit here and ponder this project all day long.
It truly is irresistible.
Portability. I’m about to head out of town tomorrow, as I write. At some point, this blanket is going to be too big to carry on. I think I’m about to redefine the word “portable.” Let my seatmate deal with the constraint of my giant knitting project!