I heard about the Knitsonik book ages ago, but I was a bit wary of it. I’d never really understood Felicity Ford’s connection between knitting and sound, and I wasn’t at all sure I needed a book of stranded colourwork patterns based on bricks or leaves or whatever. But now that it’s out and after I’d read a couple of reviews of it, I realised that this wasn’t quite the book I’d imagined. So I ordered it, and I’m so glad I did!
It’s a bit shorter than I’d imagined, but the pages are beautifully printed and the images are amazing. The book it most reminds me of is Kaffe Fassett’s Glorious Inspiration, which is full of beautiful pictures of all kinds of things and shows how he translates images into needlepoint. I love that book so much. And I think the Knitsonik book will become equally beloved. It’s mostly about colour and pattern which are two of my favourite things in the world. Also it’s about colouring in graph paper, which is excellent. And, yes, it’s about knitting.
There are knitting patterns (two) and colourwork charts (not sure how many), but they are not the point of the book. This is not a book for following instructions to end up with a particular garment. This is a book helping you work through a design process in a really fun way. So I thought I would attempt to follow her process and document my results here on the blog. The first step is to find your inspiration.
Ford is very keen on finding inspiration in your own location and its history. That’s fine, but actually the method works wherever you like to take inspiration, and I could have done with slightly less pontificating on finding links with the people who used to live and work where you do now, and such like. YMMV.
Anyway, in the spirit of the book, I’ve taken inspiration from my house.
My house has beautiful walls which are excellent for insulation and rubbish for keeping mice out. I cleared away vast quantities of a sprawling clematis a couple of weeks ago and discovered that underneath it, some of my geraniums (yes, I know, pelargoniums) are still flowering.
I love the vivid pinks and greens of the geraniums, the dark compost and the bright white of the belfast sinks. I love the multiple shades of sandstone and mortar and moss on the wall behind. I love the irregular shapes of the stones, forced to tesselate with each other in order to make a stable wall. Almost literally a stable wall, though this building was originally for sheep, not horses.
The next part of the process is to make a simple drawing of the inspiration and add some more photos. And then the really fun part starts – picking your palette. Not having access to the entire Jamieson and Smith range, nor even a shade card, I am going to have to improvise here, but I think I have some ideas for how to make it work.