A few weeks ago I finally finished my Year of the Monkey design, the Shadow Monkey Hat-- just in time for the end of the year. Now that we've entered the Year of the Rooster, I've started thinking about what to create for this year's design. For me it will do double duty as a nod to my last name, Hahn, which means rooster in German.
Although I've done several stranded designs in past years (Sheep, Horse and Rabbit), I try to mix it up a bit, doing lace one year (Year of the Dragon) and cables another (Year of the Snake), and I've tried not to simply translate a picture of the animal into knitting every time. For the Sheep/Goat/Ram project I did a fairly abstract representation of a ram's head, made into a border; for the Horse project I used the Chinese character for horse. For the Shadow Monkey Hat, I tried several different motifs before choosing the one I derived from the "Barrel of Monkeys" game, even though it didn't look like the monkeys usually depicted in artwork celebrating the Year of the Monkey. (Nor did I use the bright primary colors found in the game, preferring the slightly sinister effect of dark monkeys marching in rank...I suppose you could add wings if you really wanted to get scary.)
So I'm thinking about doing something more abstract for the Year of the Rooster; whenever I look at rooster photos, I find myself focusing on the gorgeous iridescent feathers. This led me to wonder whether there was an iridescent yarn, or a variegated yarn that imitated that effect, that I could use in my design. In just a few minutes of Googling, I found Tahki Tandem yarn (above), which is a blend of different fibers and has an iridescent sheen, and Manos del Uruguay Wool Clasica Space Dyed (below), which is 100% worsted wool.
So now I'll have to think further about how I could incorporate an iridescent-effect yarn into a rooster-themed knitting pattern. Fun, fun!
(Top photo found here.)