Jess Hutch.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

knitted picture

intarsia
Here's a little knitted picture I did this weekend - it's sort of a proof-of-concept for a project I'm working on (more on that in a later post). It was odd doing something in 2D, since I usually make 3D figures, but I like how it turned out.

Intarsia is much easier, I've found, if I just kind of ignore the increasingly tangled mess in the back. I just pretend like it's not there, until it gets too big to ignore, then I slowly extricate all the yarn bundles and keep going. This piece is about 6 inches wide by about 8 inches tall, and I only had to untangle the back once. I used to use plastic bobbins, but the weight of them kind of bugs me, so now I just wind little balls of yarn (before I start, typically - whoops) and use those.

I've also found that blocking does wonders for the weird puckering at the edges of color blocks. It doesn't seem to go away completely - some of that seems normal, some of it will probably go away with more practice - but it does even out somewhat.

I would like to be able to hang this on a wall - any ideas for how to do this? I don't want to put a frame around it, but I need a way to stabilize it (to keep it from sagging) and a way to flatten it out (since it's stockinette, it curls in a bit on the sides). I was thinking of sewing on a muslin backing, putting a long pocket along the top and bottom, and sticking dowels or wooden rods in the pockets. Perhaps this will work...

Another cool intarsia image - the Foggy Panda sweater vest in a recent Rowan Yarns publication - it was designed by Kid Acne, a British graffiti artist/mc/dj. The front (only) page of his website seems to be an homage to the cover of Hounds of Love - yeah! Kate Bush is deeply #1.

28 Comments:

At 7:19 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

My grandmother (master weaver/knitter) used two dowels at the top and bottom to stabilize her work, and the pieces display nicely. Gorgeous picture, I can't wait to see what else you have in mind!

~ Lindsey

 
At 7:20 PM , Anonymous tammie said...

i LOVE this little guy!
i can't brave intarsia yet - someday - especially now that i see such cute things can come about

 
At 8:57 PM , Anonymous Emma said...

Goegeous! I love the colours too, but can't help you out with how to hang it :S

 
At 10:33 PM , Anonymous jen said...

i've done simple intarsia blocks for patchwork blankets (not as complicated and creative as yours!) What seemed to help with the curling of the edges is to give it a knitted border. I did a moss stitch border that had mitred corners. I then attached the edgings to the block and to each other. I followed a pattern from Zoe Mellor's Double Knits. Anyhow, these edgings would work to make the block look more finished, but i'm not sure about getting it up on the wall. Good luck!

 
At 10:41 PM , Blogger kt said...

Oooh! Kate Bush! I stumbled across the Brit awards on the telly and saw she'd been nominated for her first album in 10 YEARS! Wow! Way to make me feel old! She IS amazing.

 
At 12:00 AM , Blogger *karen said...

My goodness. This is what intarsia is all about!

 
At 2:51 AM , Blogger Seahorse said...

That is so sweet. I've been reading your blog since your Knitty debut and I love your work. I don't know if it's the effect you'd want but you could mount the picture on a lightly padded board (just card with felt over it or something would work) and lace the edges gently together at the back. Then you could mount a ring or string onto the card and hang it up. There's a demo of lacing right down at the bottom here:

http://www.windflowerembroidery.com/hints/hints.htm

 
At 6:14 AM , Blogger sarah said...

Jess - Am loving that panda vest! I like how the panda looks like a child is wearing it as a costume. Very cute! : )

 
At 6:57 AM , Blogger Carolyn said...

I don't know how big this picture is but you could mount it the way they do baby blankets in Pottery Barn Kids--using those white clamps? It might interfere with the beauty of the work though. It sure is pretty!

 
At 7:09 AM , Blogger fillyjonk said...

I like the idea of the dowels, that's what I thought of first.

For the long edges, to stop them curling, you could also sew grosgrain ribbon on the backside along the edges. (That's an old trick for cardigan sweater button bands).

Another option would be to find some kind of fine but firm, non-rusting wire and use it like blocking wires, but permanently.

 
At 7:19 AM , Blogger gleek said...

very very cute! i love the combo of intarsia and embroidery. what about instead of putting it IN a frame put it ON a frame. like stretching canvas over a frame. that should work.

 
At 8:11 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

very pretty!

-rachel

 
At 10:07 AM , Blogger E said...

oh, that is so sweet!

my first thought was to knit a back piece and place heavy interfacing in between, kinda like a pillow but with interfacing instead of stuffing, so it's flat. then i thought, you can also just make a little pillow and display it that way. not quite wall hanging, but just as cute.

 
At 12:28 PM , Blogger Acornbud said...

Very cute:) There is knitted iron interfacing, too. It's not that firm but could stablize the knit. If the item will be washed in the future, preshrink the knitted interfacing first by soaking it in cold water and hanging it to dry.

 
At 1:21 PM , Blogger Lori said...

Maybe make a pillow out of it and frame it in a shadow box with another knitted toy.

 
At 1:53 PM , Blogger molly said...

i love it. what a great idea. i think your dowel idea for hanging would definitely work. i like the idea of hanging much better than framing.

 
At 3:07 PM , Anonymous tania said...

woo! that looks great!
:)

 
At 4:35 PM , Anonymous mimi K said...

Looks like some great suggestions for mounting it- I was thinking that you could sew fabric to the back- creating an envelope. Sew 3 sides- top and the sides leaving the bottom open. Then slip a piece of foam core board into your envelope and attach hanging hardware through the fabric and into the foamcore board. Well, actually you could sew the bottom closed after you put in the foamcore...
Anyway- great project!

 
At 5:47 PM , Anonymous rose said...

This is really great! I love the embroidered bits. I like the dowel idea, but do you think it would work to block the piece, and then put a few larger size jump rings through the top and bottom for the dowels? That way, you wouldn't have to sew anything permanently to the back.

 
At 6:27 PM , Blogger Kathy said...

Wow is it cute. I could see that little lamb on many things. Baby blankets for certain! Great job.

 
At 8:44 AM , Blogger Rebecca said...

I am so inspired by this piece! I'm about to embark on my first intarsia project and my mind is spinning with the possibilities!

 
At 10:54 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Very cute. I'd love to see a whole intarsia comic strip! I thought perhaps it would look cute sewn onto a stretched canvas frame. The sewing should hold the edges down. You could also paint an additional background color.Also, it's removable too.

 
At 11:16 AM , Blogger Tracy said...

this is great! so cute - and beautifully made. for tapestries i have attached muslin to the back then strips of velcro around the edges - then you can attach it to any support you like, with hanging hardware in place. looking forward to seeing where this goes!

 
At 1:06 PM , Anonymous rosa said...

LOVE it!

 
At 1:53 PM , Blogger beth said...

I've been doing a complicated intarsia project lately (the Persian Carpet Bag from Folk Bags) and I've been experimenting with different ways of managing the tangle of yarn. My favorite method so far is to not bundle the yarn up or anything - just cut a long piece and start using it. This works best with a multi-ply wool that you can spit-splice easily.

I also discovered something about the puckering - if I get a pucker, I put my finger (or a knitting needle) under the strands that are tight, and pull them. This actually releases the tension in that spot without really adding any additional puckering. (I do this on areas where I have to carry a color across a few stitches of another color). Really flattens things out, and I'm sure blocking will take care of the rest. Weaving in the ends also keeps everything flat and un-puckered, even if the back of the fabric won't eventually show.

 
At 1:56 AM , Blogger Helen said...

I just started my first intarsia picture. It's great to read about other peoples experiences. Cheers, H.

 
At 12:27 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think that you should pick up stitches along the edge and just do a reverse jersey roll along the edge and then just stitch the corners together. Then the edge will lie flat and neat.

In order of hanging it I would NOT fuse interfacing to the back. I have done that once before and it DOES NOT look good. You begin to lose the bounce and hang of the knit. Best bet would be to carefully pick stitch the piece to an embroidery fabric square. The larged-holed variety. You can then retain the softness of the knit but get stability to boot.

Very cute.

 
At 9:17 AM , OpenID jessicrum said...

I love it! so cute.

 

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