In early September, Sarah and I were in North Carolina for the installation of her work “Alenda Lux Ubi Orta Libertas” which part of Davidson College’s permanent collection. As part of celebrating her art being installed at E.H. Little Library, I gifted her a knitted and fulled bag that I had made based on another of her paintings. I also broached the idea of using her artwork as inspiration for more knitted pieces.
Sarah is a lovely person who encourages joy, the pursuit of joy, and artistic endeavors. She graciously agreed to let me explore joy through a fiber art via her art. She also agreed to provide feedback on colors as I do have issues with properly seeing color.
I decided to start my journey with “Splish Splash Seashore”. This piece is all sky with a strip of beach (although I might be tempted to hang it upside down so that it is all water rushing up to greet the beach).
My goal is not to faithfully recreate Sarah’s art, but to give it a nod in my own way. Finding the right stitch was my first priority. The stitch had to give a nod to Sarah’s brush work. It also needed to be reversible as I planned to make a scarf. The raindrop stitch seemed appropriate as it was reversible AND created a fabric that didn’t roll up along the edges (the bane of those who knit scarves).
Next up was what yarn to use. MadelineTosh sock yarn is one of my favorites. They have a vast number of colorways. After looking through the options, I had it narrowed down in my head, but blue is one of my problem colors. I asked Sarah which colorways she would use. We had one in common, but I bowed to her choices for the others. I will admit that I had a different vision of the shore than she did, so ordered them both to be on the safe side. Chosen blue colorways were Deep, Arctic, and Midnight Pass. Sarah had suggested Short Court for the beach, but I preferred Brick Dust. When looking at those 2 against the blues, I opted for Brick Dust as the color appeared coppery to me and reminded me of the late day sun glinting on the sand at my favorite beach.
Once the yarn arrived and I had oohed and aahed over it for a ridiculous amount of time, I wound it, stared at it some more, then decided to jump in and cast on.
I like wide scarves. The kind you can almost use as a blanket. Okay, that you can opt to use as a wrap. Or maybe a baby blanket if pressed to do so. Sarah’s was going to be 15 inches wide and just over 5 feet long. My yarns were going to be doubled and switched out when I felt read to switch them. The exception for that was Deep. Deep was the darkest shade, but it was also going to be more of a background to the part that would be my interpretation of “Splish Splash Sunshine”. Deep would clearly a part of the overall look, but was meant to allow the “art” and flow of the other colorways to shine.
Deep would then twine with Arctic before giving way to Arctic alone. Arctic would join with Midnight Pass before fading to only Midnight Pass. And then Brick Dust would stand alone at the end of the scarf. Just a bit of shore shining on its own. (Note: I ended up twisting Midnight Pass and Brick Dust together for 2 rows.)
And so I cast on and began my own joyous journey into color and the meditative process of knitting. I took my time. I stretched out this journey for several weeks. I dragged my feet to finish it, because I was enjoying the process and watching how the color variations played in different lighting. One of my cats also enjoyed the knitting of this scarf. Nothing would convince her to leave it alone.
And then suddenly I was done.
Joy can be found in the finishing. The weaving in of the ends. The washing and blocking. The folding and wrapping to ship to Sarah. I did take a photo of the finished scarf. Perhaps the photo will explain my purpose in that extended length of the Deep colorway. I did not take a picture of me wearing the scarf. The piece is for Sarah, and I want to see how she chooses to wear it.
The pattern is very simple. If you can knit single ribbing, you can make this scarf. The simplicity of the pattern makes the joy more accessible.
SPLISH SPLASH SEASHORE SCARF
Yarn: MadelineTosh Sock Yarn: Deep (2 skeins), Arctic (2 skeins), Midnight Pass (1 skein), Brick Dust (1 skein) Note: Brick Dust will need to be wound into 2 balls or you can opt to draw the yarn from the center and outer.
Needles: size 8 (I used a 24 inch circular needle)
Holding together two strands of Deep, cast on 86 stitches using long tail method.
- row 1: K3, *P1, K1* until last 3 stitches, k3
- row 2: slip 2 stitches purlwise, purl 1, *P1, K1* until last 3 stitches, P1, slip 2 purlwise
- rows 3 and 4: repeat rows 1 and 2.
- row 5: K3, *K1, P1* until last 3 stitches, k3
- row 6: slip 2 stitches purlwise, purl 1, *K1, P1* until last 3 stitches, P1, slip 2 purlwise
- rows 7 and 8: repeat rows 5 and 6
Repeat these 8 rows until you have knit the scarf as long as you wish it to be.
Follow the pattern with the 2 strands of Deep until you have 17 repeats of the 8 row pattern. Continue with 1 strand of Deep and one strand of Arctic for 5 repeats of the 8 row pattern. Continue with 2 strands of Arctic for 13 repeats of the 8 row pattern. Switch to one strand of Arctic and one strand of Midnight Pass, continue for 8 repeats of the 8 row pattern. Switch to 2 strands of Midnight pass for 5 repeats of 8 row pattern. Continue for 2 rows (row 1 and 2 of pattern) with 1 strand of Midnight Pass and 1 strand of Brick Dust. Finish the 6 remaining rows of the pattern in Brick Dust, then repeat the 8 row pattern twice. Bind off in pattern.
Please note that this pattern can be narrowed considerably as not everyone wants a wide scarf. It can be made using only one colorway or many many colorways. One doesn’t have to switch colorways when I chose to. Basically, have fun with the pattern. Make it your own. That’s where joy can be found – where you find inspiration and creating something uniquely yours.
Sarah’s artwork can be enjoyed and purchased at https://www.artistgu3.com/joy
The yarn that I used can be found at https://madelinetosh.com/collections/tosh-sock