Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Jumping into the deep end of the pooling

I'm forever trying new knitting techniques, stretching my boundaries and exploring new territories for design inspiration.  Most recently, I've been playing around with the techniques presented by Laura Militzer Bryant in Artful Color - Mindful Knits and her companion class on Craftsy, Color Patterning with Hand-Dyed Yarns

I love hand-dyed yarns. I've amassed quite a collection as anyone looking at my ankles can tell you - I've knit MANY socks with hand-dyed yarns! - but sometimes I feel... limited.  What? I know, that sounds really weird.

Hand-dyed yarns, although offering gorgeous colorways with vibrant self-striping patterns often detract from the look of fancier stitch patterns.  Sometimes you want the stitch to be the focus, sometimes you want the color to be the focus, and sometimes you want to approach the delicate balance of both.

Laura Militzer Bryant presents her close study of hand-dyed yarns and the math necessary to CONTROL them.  Through use of a "Magic Number" which is actually a simple measurement and calculation of color repeats, you can actually creatively FORCE color pooling into more pleasing stripes, stacks, argyles and controlled chaos.

Want to play?

I purchased the book before she developed her Craftsy class, and can honestly say I'm not thrilled with the presentation.  It was a lot to swallow and wordy with tons of high-gloss vibrant pictures that left me just overwhelmed.  (That's me - this is my personal opinion.) Then the class came along.  In her Craftsy class she presents the concept, math and examples clearly and concisely with a complementary video format that allows me to go back and watch it again, make notes and even ask HER questions.  Having taken the class and referred back to the book, the book has become more comprehensive and manageable. (Again, all me, all my opinion. You may find otherwise.)

So, what did I learn?

Cool math, neat yarn magic trick, and that overall, I'm not interested in designing with this technique in mind, but I'm likely to try to make someone a gift only because controlling a colorway in this manner is a super-cool impressive knit-master kind of thing to do.

And here's where I tell you, no one asked me to review this. I'm not getting paid.  The only benefit I could possibly get for this is if you use one of the Craftsy links here on my blog to purchase a class, I will receive a minor referral fee (and thank you very much if you do), but I don't request or require it of my readers.  I simply tell you about things I like.