Posts Tagged ‘Changing Tack’

Design Inspiration with Fiona Ellis – a study of lines

Tuesday, September 22nd, 2015
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For the blog post this month I’m not going to be exactly “changing tack” but hoping to show you another way that I look at the lines formed by cables. If you have read my blog posts in previous months then you already know about my photo collection. This month I want to show you some photos that I have taken which I think show how a simple line or lines can become really interesting.

Design inspiration for Fiona Ellis, WEBS 2015 Designer in Residence. Read more on the WEBS Blog at blog.yarn.com

Firstly here is a definition of how line is seen as a design principle- taken from an exhibition at the Cooper Hewitt Museum that I saw earlier this year.

Design inspiration for Fiona Ellis, WEBS 2015 Designer in Residence. Read more on the WEBS Blog at blog.yarn.com

When I spot an example of interesting lines I try to move around the subject and take several photos from different angles trying to get shots that play with the way that the lines interact with each other. Here are just a few of them. Do you notice that the carpet pattern (bottom right) combines some of the same combinations of lines as the railway tracks? (by the way it was a dis-used track- I don’t want you to think I was risking my safety to get the shot). The photo in the top left corner is about parallel lines, I love how the spacing between each changes throughout the image.

Design inspiration for Fiona Ellis, WEBS 2015 Designer in Residence - Changing Tack pullover. Read more on the WEBS Blog at blog.yarn.com

Spending some time out in Vancouver by the ocean I started looking at the patterns “drawn” by vessels moving across the water. Now I must admit these observations didn’t become much more than a kernel of an idea. So rather than coming up with my own cable pattern, or re-inventing the wheel, I went back to one of my all time favourite already established cables. This is the smaller one used in Changing Tack. I love how this one zigs back & forth with each cord moving at a slightly different speed to allow them to cross over each other. It reminds me of watching a yacht tack into the wind. Not moving in a straight direct line from A to B, but zig-zaging, all the while aiming towards a specific point. This is where this sweater got its name.

If you have been following my work you will know that I love asymmetry. I know that it doesn’t appeal to everybody and that in some people it can cause him or her to shudder – I’ve seen it happen. But I couldn’t let my year as Designer in Residence go by without including an asymmetric design. So I decided that it needed to be an exercise in subtle asymmetry, one that might even tempt those lovers of symmetry.

Design inspiration for Fiona Ellis, WEBS 2015 Designer in Residence - Changing Tack pullover. Read more on the WEBS Blog at blog.yarn.com

Changing Tack has the patterning arranged so that an even number of small cables is divided, but not in half (symmetrically), rather three placed on once side of the larger cable and just one on the other side. Then I played with the larger cable, changing another tired and true pattern, changing it so that it is no longer symmetrical about the horizontal axis, the upper section does not mirror what happens in the previous rows. I hope that these playful tweaks give just the air of asymmetry without being wildly so. By the way if even this challenges your love of pure symmetry you can always work the pattern by placing two small cables either side of the larger one and mirroring the lower (or upper) section of the larger cable.

I can’t wait to show you what I’m working on for the November pattern release!

Designer in Residence – Changing Tack from Fiona Ellis

Wednesday, September 2nd, 2015
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Fiona Ellis WEBS 2015 Knitwear Designer in Residence. Her fifth design, the Changing Tack Pullover, in Valley Yarns Brimfield - learn more at blog.yarn.com

September always seems to sneak up on you. The last heatwave of August rolls right into the first frosts of autumn.  To celebrate the changing of the seasons why not knit Changing Tack, the newest pattern from our  Designer in Residence, Fiona Ellis. The Valley Yarns Brimfield is a gorgeous blend of extrafine merino and silk with a shine you won’t believe. Be adventurous and use the peridot color in the sample or try one of a dozen other shades.

Fiona Ellis WEBS 2015 Knitwear Designer in Residence. Her fifth design, the Changing Tack Pullover, in Valley Yarns Brimfield - learn more at blog.yarn.com

Changing Tack is a perfect between-season sweater, inspired by traditional cabled sweaters but with a modern twist. The pattern placement and repeats are set asymmetrically on the figure-flattering silhouette to give an updated look. The slightly flared sleeves add to the feminine appeal. Knitting with Valley Yarns Brimfield takes this pullover to the next level with gorgeous stitch definition and a wonderful sheen from the silk.

Fiona Ellis WEBS 2015 Knitwear Designer in Residence. Her fifth design, the Changing Tack Pullover, in Valley Yarns Brimfield - learn more at blog.yarn.com

Five gorgeous patterns already this year. Where does the time go?! You have just enough time to knit Changing Tack before we reveal the final design from Fiona in this Series. Which design has been your favorite?