Archive for June 22nd, 2015

The Monet Sock

Monet sock

Monet sock

The yarn that was whispering “knit me” while I was trying to complete the first sock of a totally different pair of socks (have I confused you yet?) is now on the dpns. It’s a fingering weight yarn, merino and nylon mix, from Two Grey Dogs Designs. The minute I saw it on What I’m Up To Today’s blog I knew I had to have it. There is a specific painting by Monet that I love and fantasize turning into a sweater if I can find the right yarn colors. The work would be mostly intarsia with limited stranding work. But I have yet to match yarn colors with the picture and so it remains a fantasy, which is probably the best thing for my nerves.

But this yarn comes very close to Monet’s colors in a specific painting and I am very happy working with it. Instead of knitting the sock in stockinette stitch, I decided to try and replicate the texture of Monet’s paint. I’m pretty happy with the result. It fractures the colors enough so they aren’t separate from each other as in straight stockinette stitch, but emerge from and into each other.

Monet Sock CU

Art restoration and verification of an work by a specific artist is very interesting. Every artist, Monet included, had his or her own brush strokes that are a signature. In fact, brush strokes and how they were made, the pressure applied, the make-up of the paint and bristles of a brush are ways museums and professionals use to analyze a painting for restoration or authentication. Other ways of authenticating is how the canvas was treated, worn, handled and used even on the folded over edges. Painters have distinct ways they handle a canvas and what may only be seen on the private side of the painting is as important as what is seen on the public side when authenticating.

Like painting, I find knitters have their own signatures in their knitting stitches. I have never seen two knitters work the same pattern and have it come out the exact same way. There are always “tells”: in the way stitches are purled, the working of an ssk, the working of edge stitches. The knitter’s personality and rhythm come through in the knitting and though the pattern may be the same, you can tell it was done by two different sets of hands. I especially notice this when looking at older knits to place them in a specific time period. The way a knit is finished off or started can alter from hand to hand. Like handwriting our knitting stitches, the way we approach, work with and handle the yarn, how we do what we do is unique to us. I don’t know if knitters realize just how much of themselves they put into their knits. But reading an old knitted piece is much like reading a painting. The maker’s hand is always visible.

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