Design Discussion: Squirrel Monkey

Squirrel MonkeyThis is a woman’s pullover knit with Interlacements Toasty Toes. Finished chest measurements are 36, 40, 44, 48, and 52 inches. This is a nice project for knitters who want something a little different and a little classic at the same time. It features cables and lace, and I am currently looking at sizing it for men. Interlacements has told me that there has been some interest in a men’s garment with this design.

This design is from a collection inspired by animals at our local zoo. I mentioned this collection in the post on Zambesi River (a lace gaban for women). I love looking at the colors and textures of flora and fauna. Often when something catches my eye other things start coming to my mind which influence design choices too. I have often said the imagination is just as valid with design decisions as more objective points of reference. It is our imagination which colors our own inner landscape and helps create meaning.

In the case of this particular design, the inspiration was a small and delicate monkey known as a Squirrel Monkey. This particular monkey has some striking coloring mixed in with your drab browns, which range from bright orange to yellow to cream. This monkey is native to virgin and secondary forests of South America. They are typically one of the most peaceful of the primates.

In this design I decided to focus more on the delicate appearance of this monkey, and the playfulness of monkeys. Here is where the imagination comes in, as I had this picture in my mind of these little monkeys careening about in the forest.

I love combinations that are a little different, and when I saw the stitch pattern in one of the Barbara Walker stitch pattern books, I knew it would be perfect. Cables and lace, that tilt back and forth.  I also knew that I wanted a finer gauge yarn since I wanted to keep the delicate feel, so I decided to look for a yarn that was not any heavier than a DK weight. I saw Interlacements Toasty Toes at Stitches in the Olive colorway and knew it would be perfect for this design. It is a Sport to DK weight yarn, and I loved the varigation of the yarn. It has a little yellow in it, and the variation in the greens is enough to enhance the design rather than detract from the stitch work. It made me think of the leafy canopy these little monkey’s play in. The yarn has excellent stitch definition and a nice soft hand.

You will notice how the design has simple garter stitch bands. There are some that don’t care for garter stitch, but it is a stitch that I really like. In this case, it provides a nice non-rolling band to a garment that has a lot going on already between the varigated yarn and the busy stitch pattern. Part of good design is knowing when to stop with the detail, so that not every part of the design commands the same amount of attention. Not every piece of knitting needs to have a lot of detail. The important thing in choosing how much detail you are going to add lies in what you want for your knitting. That is the most important factor of all, what you like and what has meaning for you.

Peace and Knitting, JoLene

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2 Responses to “Design Discussion: Squirrel Monkey”

  1. naisioxerloro Says:

    Hi.
    Good design, who make it?

  2. goneymournorp Says:

    I was exactly looking for something like that. There are very few things like my testy nerve Nice joke! Why does Santa Claus go down the chimney on Christmas Eve?Because it SOOTS him!

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