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
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.