Posted in Brandt Cardigan, Design Process, Ferrovia, Inspiration, Original Pattern, Quotidiana Hat, Renee Pullover, on 4 June 2012 - 11:52am
It was while we were living in Como, Italy that I started to take note of the many examples of decorative wrought iron around the city: gates, fences, transoms, railings; many were simple or oft-repeated, but occasionally I would spot a unique and/or particularly striking specimen. However, the inspiration for this first booklet came from the Exposition des Arts Decoratifs, an exhibition of architecture and decorative arts held in Paris in 1925, and which gave rise to the term "Art Deco;" after my interest in wrought iron was piqued by our time in Como, I found a book which included photos of many of the unique wrought iron pieces from this exhibit.
I confess that much as I love the results of stranded knitting, for me it is a slow process, as I have not yet learned to carry a color in each hand, or two colors in one hand; I pick up and drop the separate strands of yarn each time there is a color change. So I decided very early on to use stranded motifs as accents rather than an allover pattern.
Technically the stranded portions of the two sweaters are a bit challenging; although the swirls within the motics do mirror each other, they are linked in such a way that the overall designs are asymmetrical. The hat motif is simpler, and clearly symmetrical. The longest floats span 7 stitches in the Renee Pullover, 6 stitches in the Quotidiana Hat, and 8 stitches in the Brandt Cardigan.
The Renee Pullover, Quotidiana Hat and Brandt Cardigan can be purchased as separate patterns (all patterns are sold in the form of downloadable PDF files); each individual sweater pattern is $7, and the hat pattern is $4. But the Ferrovia booklet, at $12, is a substantial savings (33%) over the total price of the individual patterns.
Now that these patterns are finished, I can turn to an extensive library of photos of wrought iron I took around Como for further inspiration; and then there is all of the wonderful Art Deco ironwork in New York City; Paris; San Francisco; the gorgeous Niagara Mohawk building in Syracuse, NY (where I grew up); and then I can envision not only stranded, but cabled and textured designs using wrought iron as inspiration... so perhaps someday I will get around to Ferrovia booklets II, II, IV....