Still At It
May 5, 2008
I am in a flow state about knitting Sean Scully paintings. My condition can only be described as Cara-esque. Over the weekend, reader pal Kelly fed the flames by sending me a booklet from a recent Scully show at Dartmouth in which the painter comments on a series of paintings going back to the beginning of his 30-year plus focus on stripes. I like to think that as a knitter with a strong (ahem) “focus” on garter stitch, stripes and blocks, I can appreciate an in-depth, 30-year plus devotion to “the stripe”. I hear you Mr. Scully! The tenderness of the edges! The surface? –Don’t get me started on the surface! I could go on for days about the surface. Let’s do lunch!
Although I do not deny thinking about sending Sean Scully a tribute blanket, I have read just enough of his commentary on his own work to know that he probably wouldn’t approve of what I’m doing–which is essentially looking at his paintings as graphic design–as pattern. (Similarly, I’m not sure Klimt is thrilled about those needlepoint cushions.) I can’t help it, though. One thing you don’t find a lot of, in knitting, is paint. I’ve seen some of the paintings in the museum, and can appreciate that the colors are not ordinary colors, but layers and layers of pigment applied laboriously by hand. You can’t do that with knitting. (No, Ann, not even with shetland wool.) (No, Belinda, not even with denim.) But here I am. A knitter in love with paintings. I can’t think of anything else to do but knit them. (Well, I have thought of quilting them. I just don’t have the stash of hand-dyed solids.) (Yet.) (Kidding!) (Not dyeing fabrics in the kitchen sink!) (Yet.)
And now, some instructions for my imaginary friends who are knitting the Wall of Linen blanket. (I love you guys!) Everybody else (i.e., actual people), skip the next few paragraphs.
Wall of Linen Square 4
Instrux: Cast on 48 in navy. Work 10 garter ridges and knit the next (RS) row.
On the next row (WS), change to cream and work 4 rows, ending with a RS row.
On the next row (WS), change to navy and work one row. Work 9 garter ridges and knit the next (RS) row in navy.
On the next row (WS), change to cream and work 6 rows, ending with a RS row. On the next row (WS), change to navy and work 1 row. Work 7 garter ridges and knit the next (RS) row.
On the next row (WS), change to cream and work 4 rows, ending with a RS row. On the next row (WS), change to navy and work 1 row. Work 5 garter ridges and knit the next (RS) row.
On the next row (WS), change to cream and work 8 rows, ending with a RS row. On the next row (WS), change to navy and work 1 row. Work 15 garter ridges. Bind off on the RS but do not cut the navy yarn.
Turn the work one quarter-turn to the right. Pick up 60 stitches, one in each of the garter ridges on this edge. Work 12 garter ridges and bind off on the RS. Finish the square by cro-Kaying all the way around the edge (if desired).
Wall of Linen Square 5
Let us join hands together and rejoice that we are done with navy, for the time being. We like navy, but we are glad to say hello to Euroflax’s Aqua shade, which to my eye is less of an aqua and more of a robin’s egg blue.
Instrux: Using cream, cast on 25. (Yes it’s shocking! Not a multiple of 15! I’m messing with you!) Work garter-stitch stripes as follows:
12 ridges cream
12 ridges aqua
6 ridges cream
6 ridges aqua
6 ridges cream
12 ridges aqua
6 ridges cream
Bind off on the RS. Finish the square(tangle) by cro-Kaying all the way around the edge (if desired).
Nose Under (Striped) Tent
When I was picking up yarn for the Wall of Linen, 2 skeins of Claudia’s Handpainted Euroflax, in blues and browns, gave me the ol’ “hey, wanna party?” This has happened to me before. Claudia is like that with the handpainting. But as in the past, I had no idea what to do with it when I got it home.
Luckily Veronik Avery was driving by in her bandwagon, pulled into the driveway and honked the horn (infuriating my dad). I jumped on, and cast on this addictive little pattern. (Can 779 Ravelers be wrong? Can I get a “moo”?) I think this scarf is for me, but if, as has happened before, a variegated yarn breaks my heart by being less compelling knitted up than it was in the skein, I know someone who will love it. As much as I like the yarn, I’ve already had a few sneaky thoughts about how I would love to have several scarves, in each of these saturated, eat-em-up colors, instead of one scarf in all of them together. I never learn this about myself. But I need this project right now, to spell me from the Wall of Linen garter stitch.
Our young friend Ben had a solo in his very first opera Saturday night. It was the first performance ever of a new opera, Korczak’s Orphans, about a doctor who took care of 200 orphans in the Warsaw Ghetto during World War II. After creating the role of Marek, a boy who forgives his teacher for boxing his ears, Ben was greeted backstage by many tulips and Carrie (whose talents lie more in the area of wearing hats all the time.) It’s a hard-knock life.