April Knit Lab V: Subtle ZigZag Hat (III)

For my third iteration of this hat I decided to knit the brim without any increase/decrease a bit longer than the second version. I also reduced the size of the decorative band between the brim and hat body – it consists of 2 rows of garter stitch twice with 2 rows of stockinette in between. I also switched yarn to Malabrigo Silky Merino in Smoke, which shows the pattern off beautifully and has a wonderful feel.

I really like how the subtle changes from the last hat made this version feel more appropriate for both men and women. I think I will do one more iteration on this hat to make the brim just a bit longer and remove the decorative garter stitch rows. The pattern in the hat body are distorting the top garter stitch row a bit and I’d rather it be more streamlined. I think I’ll get some more of this yarn for the last version.

Things We Like: Jacques Villeglé

I was reminded the other day of the work of Jacques Villeglé, the French artist whose décollage works explode off the surface with pasted, torn, scraped, shredded and repasted handbills on canvas.

I was first introduced to his work at the Guggenheim Museum in a show entitled Rendezvous which brought pieces from the Pompidou Centre together with others from the Guggenheim. Visitors were treated to great pieces by all the usual suspects of all the great movements of modern art. Or so I thought. As I rounded the corner into the Pop Art section I was confronted by a large scale piece worked on jointly by Villeglé and his contemporary Raymond Hains—two artists I was unfamiliar with. I’d not seen anything like it. It looked like a bomb had shredded a billboard and there was no discernible subject matter save for the waves of texture and explosion of color that pulsed across the canvas. Well, those and the shards of words and images that remained from what had been printed on the source material.

What got me was that the piece was more of a destruction or subtraction than a creation. The act of removal or negation was acknowledged as a viable artistic gesture. And there was absolutely no sympathy for or allegiance to the source material. It was used just as any other material for manipulation like ink, paint, clay or stone would be.

The compositions appeared to be created spontaneously and totally in the moment without any preconceived notion of what the end result would be. There was an irresistible energy that just slashed across the surface with complete abandon. And there was a total disregard for traditional subject matter. It’s as if the artists needed to destroy all that they knew in an effort to build again from scratch in a language that they could understand.

If you like this work as much as we do, then you should also check out like-minded artists such as Raymond Hains, Mimmo Rotella and, occasionally, Wolf Vostell. You won’t be disappointed.

April Knit Lab IV: fine knit Cloche II

I really liked the way the first hat turned out, but I wanted to try another version with a shorter brim and a transitional element between the doubled over brim and the body of the hat. While I like seeing more of the pattern in the hat, I think I would have preferred not including the increases in the doubled over brim section. Its short enough that it doesn’t really need any flare. This one is also a bit longer, which I think will work better for people with long or thick hair.

I may try one more version with one last modification somewhere in-between on the brim before writing out the pattern. I really enjoy the subtle pattern of the hat – its a departure from the really textural stitches I usually pick.

April Knit Lab III: fine knit Cloche

I’ve had this beautiful fine baby alpaca yarn in my stash for a while (thank you Emily!) and I’ve been waiting for an idea to come along that is worthy of this yarn. I finally decided on a cloche type hat and above is my first attempt. I am quite happy with this one – both proportionally  and the use of the subtle texture pattern. I’m working on a second version that may eventually become a pattern offering.

Print: Untitled

I finished up another edition over the weekend. This time I wanted to try printing white ink on a colored sheet. The ink went down smoothly and crisply to my delight.

I’ve updated my documentation style by photographing the prints in a frame to offer a bit of context and a better sense of scale.

Available at Etsy:
Untitled (Chevron) 

Free Knit Pattern: Interweave Hat

Here’s a quick bonus pattern for you to download for free! I like making this with a worsted weight and a sock weight yarn knit together to create a custom marl/tweed. The box crown makes the decrease at the top really fast. Enjoy!


Updated pattern 01.24.13

Knit Pattern: Gingerbread Icing Ear Flap Hat

After a few tweaks, I have finalized the last Gingerbread Icing pattern for the ear flap hat. This pattern knits from the bottom up starting with the ear flaps. They are knit flat, then connected with a cast on brim that knits in the round. I hope you enjoy!

Available at Etsy for $2.50:
Gingerbread Icing Ear Flap Hat Pattern

Also available on Craftsy for the same price:

Prints: New Edition


Finished up a new set of prints this weekend. It turned out better than I ever thought it would. The inks were looking a little too thin as I was mixing them up, but both the white and florescent orange went down smoothly, crisply, flawlessly, effortlessly. I’m quite pleased. The finished product will be up soon.

April Knit Lab II: Gingerbread Ear Flap Hat

I’m revisiting the gingerbread icing pattern one more time to create an ear flap version of the hat. I’ve made one or two of these in the recent past, but wanted to figure out the pattern and make it available to you! On this first prototype I’m adjusting the pattern on the ear flaps and trying out a rolled over brim for a cleaner edge. It will probably take one more prototype to finalize the pattern before I have it available.