Knitterlogue: I have Googled, and Now it Is

Travelogue: a travel documentary, a diary written during a journey, or a work of literature describing a journey.

Knitterlogue: a knitting documentary, in my case a knitting documentary of the design process, a diary of the design process. The story behind the knitting.

Yes, I did Google Knitterlogue, but nothing came up.

I don’t believe many of you know about a book project I have had on the back burners for some time. The idea is to have a book of designs that are inspired by animals at the zoo. None of the knitting looks like a particular animal in a representative way, rather the knitting has classic and yet up to date projects that have elements chosen as an abstraction of the inspiration. An Orangutan inspired design for example will not be the color of an Orangutan or have an Orangutan face on it. Rather, design elements are chosen for what I want to communicate about that animal. What stuck out in my mind, be it color, line of body, habit or habitat. Or what sparked in my imagination from thinking about the animal in question.

Traditional or classic types of techniques can still yield some very artful abstractions, without obviously being abstract art. For those of us who like designs that lean towards the classic (think Interweave Knits), that can be quite a revelation.

To be honest, there is a lot of abstract art that I don’t like because I don’t know how to relate to  it.  I don’t speak it’s language. I guess that is one of the reasons why I put the story out there. For those who want to design, reading about the process and the choices helps them think of their own choices and methods of expression.  All of my designs tell a story. I try and put that in each of the patterns, so the knitter has a sense of what my vision is and why I chose the things that I did to support the design. I think it makes for interesting reading, and when you are wearing it, it is like having a special little secret you are privy to that not everyone else knows.

I have showed that collection of swatches to a number of individuals in the business, and have been encouraged to pursue finding a publisher.  I did submit it to one publisher, but  it did not fit with what they felt their vision was at the time (and, my submission was inadvertantly returned to another designer, fortunately someone I knew who has scruples and would not “borrow” any of my designs…probably why I have been loathe to do anything with it since).

After having my work in Handknit Holidays, I was fortunate enough to talk with Melanie Falick at TNNA last summer (The National Needlearts Association trade show in Columbus OH). I talked with her about my ideas and she told me when I had it fleshed out more to let her know. I really need to get it in gear and talk to her about it. I don’t know whether or not it is a project she would want to take on or not, but it is one I love the idea of.

There are changes now in the market which lead me to think maybe the time is better now for this book, as there is a return to the types of designs that I like to do. And, there are now books that have that creative process as part of the book. Breaking into new territory or niche knitting in a successful book is not easy if you are not one of the better known designers.

Two books that caught my eye that are new include fine gauge knitting (Knit So Fine ), and design (Inspired to Knit). I was quite happy to see both publications, as I love talking about art, inspiration, and the design process, and I love fine gauge knitting. One of my distributors did not know I love fine gauge knitting, as so many of my designs are in worsted weight. What she did not know was that was because it suit the market.

I have all you sock knitters out there to thank for the wonderful array of fine gauge yarns that are coming out right now, as sock knitting is very popular. I personally don’t knit anything heavier than worsted weight. It just isn’t me.

Anyway, when I finally do a book, it will have a story as well. A story of many little stories, each one about the design process of something which sparked my imagination.

I dream about it, and it is a journey. They are all journeys, in their own way. With each design I pick different things to express what it is that has fired my imagination. But that is only the beginning of the story, or the start of the journey. I only deal with the first chapter, and it is up to each knitter to to take up the story in their own way.Peach and Knitting, JoLene Treace

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One Response to “Knitterlogue: I have Googled, and Now it Is”

  1. Ginger aka Beethoven Says:

    Oh can’t wait to read your book if you write one! We love stories!

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