Saturday, March 27, 2010

Back to Traditions

Here's my latest custom order, a cardigan for an american girl doll. I have been thinking of knitting in a new level lately, thinking about what kind of fascinating objects can be manufactured by knitting. And at the same time, I am feeling tired of always trying to find new perspectives and new solutions. This must have something to do with my day job where I design services and develop concepts behind them - full time problem solving that is.
Sometimes it is good to take a step back. In this cardigan my goal was to develop something very traditional and Scandinavian in a new way. It is called winter storm and I tried to create a scenery of a little village surrounded by a snow storm. Talking about problem solving, this cardigan really required constant calculation of stitches and patterns. I am pleased with the result, but now I really need to start one project that is totally mindless. It is like taking 20 steps back to have that relaxed feeling about knitting again!

Sunday, March 7, 2010

The Process of Making Folk Bags

I want to share with you how I make folk bags!
I start my bags usually by sketching the idea of form, patterning and structure. If I make the regular folk bag, I usually skip this phase and start by choosing a color to my liking and crocheting the bottom. This gives me time to think about the theme of the bag.
After I have finished the bottom part I usually have the idea of what the story behind the bag is. I use the story to guide the creative process. If I need some more inspiration at this point, I go to my huge stash of fabric. Sometimes I choose the fabric before starting the knitted part, sometimes I choose the fabric after I have finished knitting. Either way, it is very important that the proportions and colors of the patterns in fabric are in harmony with the knitted part.
I never draw charts for the stranded knitting. I only browse few chart books and then combine and form the motifs in my head. I never plan in which order I use the colors. When I start knitting it is like painting: you have the colors and the tools and the process guides you. I often find myself in a flow state when knitting, I think it's the best and the most creative part when making these bags. I absolutely love knitting little motifs and changing colors even more often than necessary. I mostly use Estonian wool as it has many shades in the same yarn. This way I can have very subtle changes in color and make the bag look lively.
I try to watch the proportions of each part of the bag. I often add decoration to the bottom by crocheting when the bag is almost finished. Sometimes I add a decorative ribbon or embroidery. I try to keep everything balanced but maintain necessary contrasts to appeal to the eye.

Here's my newest folk bag that has a very romantic name: Flower Fairy's Treasure. These colors remind me of fairy tales and everything whimsical!

Friday, March 5, 2010 meeting at Helsinki

See Etsy's blog for pictures from Etsy Europe's meeting at Helsinki!