Mesmerize Jewel Binary Jacket by KT Baldassaro, Feza Yarns

Aug 16, 2011
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KT Baldassaro from Feza Yarns appears on Knitting Daily TV. An expert working with novelty yarns, she shares her experience designing the Mesmerize Jewel Binary Jacket. Download this novel pattern today.

When I was a kid, I rebelled against the concept of wearing handmade clothing. I was mortified by the idea that I would be wearing something completely unlike anything my peers had, that it would literally single me out as "different." Nowadays I see parents encouraging their children to be as different from the mainstream as they can be. Perhaps this is just one of those things you notice as an adult, but not as a child. I can, however, still vouch for musicals being completely uncool in the 90s. Given the popularity of Glee, I can only conclude that people are becoming more comfortable expressing themselves than ever before! This is a welcome trend for any designer, especially those of us using 'novelty' yarns.

When I began designing the Binary Jacket, I wanted to capture the concept of two parts coming together to create a new whole. Although the result does bear a striking resemblance to the computer screens in The Matrix, that's not exactly the "binary" I meant.

I thought back to an experience I was fortunate enough to have several years ago - an exciting weekend taking a Saori weaving class in Massachusetts. One of the concepts of this type of weaving that has always stuck with me comes from its name. "Sa" is a Zen Buddhist term meaning "everything has its own unique quality."

Each knitter has his/her own uniqueness to express, even when they are following another person's pattern. Keeping this in mind I sought out a design for knitters that would allow them to combine two yarns while embracing the wabi-sabi aesthetics of simplicity and asperity, and that's when it hit me. I kept asking myself: "what is the difference between two knitters who follow the same pattern?" - their hands.

When working these yarns held together, allow yourself to knit smoothly and freely; do not concentrate on feeding the yarns through your fingers without them twisting together. Allowing this to happen will alter which of the contrasting yarn strands will show more to the front, creating the striped effect shown in the garment. (I also experimented with a ball winder and wound the two yarns together into a master ball from which I knit.) In this way, each knitter creates an anomalous fall of the stripes through the uniqueness of her own hands, through which these two yarns come together to create a whole garment.

Sponsored by Feza Yarns.


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