Below I have included a collection of some further sampling using Knit and Crochet techniques to show my design themes of contrast, comfort and organic textures. All the yarns used for these samples and for my final piece have been sourced from a range of Edinburgh’s many charity shops, of which I have listed below in the document. This is purely a post aimed at analysing my samples, however more information regarding the nature of my research into repurposing and surplus yarns can be found on my other blog posts.
From my trend research conducted in weeks 1 and 2, I identified what purposes knit and crochet may have in the near future to promote comfort, safety and protection in clothing, whilst also satisfying the priority to create textiles that are unique and individual, encouraging the consumer to buy them. For this I looked to COVID and how the pandemic has heightened our need for protection against the elements. I focused on creating shapes that cocoon and using earthy, natural colours and softer fibres.
In this sample, I alter from using garter stitch to then reversing this so that both the knit and purl stitch is visible. I like the bobbly texture this creates and the three dimensional lift which emphasises this idea of cocooning and protecting. I plyed a tougher silver yarn with the wool yarns, which had been sourced from charity shops. The grey yarn was unthreaded from a soft scarf and was already plyed. The off-white wool was an old scarf also and was already plyed with a silver embroidery thread.
In the below sample, I used a Moss stitch at the ends and then garter stitch in the middle. The needle size for this sample was 15mm as I wanted to see how the chunkier yarn would work with this and also experiment with leaving gaps and letting light or a background come through. The yarn is an Icelandic sheep wool that I have repurposed from an old project. the water resistant quality of this wool adds meaning to my theme and the idea of creating multi-functioning clothing to protect from the elements. Not only would this wool provide comfort but also waterproofing and added protection.
I experimented with plying a thin, gold embroidery thread, threaded with gold beads and knitted this into the same sample. This was to see how I could lift the sample by using aspects of embroidery or plying. This reminded me of crystal rock formations and geodes where the precious stones are embedded into a duller more structured rock piece. This linked back to my thinking into how I could make a knitted piece even more individualistic and unique.
In this next sample I used an acrylic based thick yarn from a previous project with 12 mm knitting needles. this was a plain garter knit stitch. I really like the smoothness of this sample and the feel which really promotes a sense of comfort and warmth. the loops create a really tactile and interactive texture that I envisaged being part of a high necked sweater or piece on a sleeve.
I offset this softness with plying a gold thread and beads through the sample to carry on this theme of the geodes and creating a contrast. I had this idea of creating clothing that as well as promoting comfort and wellbeing also looked aesthetically pleasing and unique. The phrase ‘a silver lining’ came to mind when creating these samples, which, in light of the COVID pandemic, highlighted the same trend forecasting for 2021/2022. Moss and Garter stitch as well as other traditional knit styles were stated to be making a comeback and clothing of oversized proportions were to be multi-purpose and promote wellbeing and comfort.
Working again with crochet, I used a small 7mm crochet hook to create rounded forms that resembled the rock and geode idea. I liked how this piece draped and folded in different ways when it was held or hung off a piece or bodice.
List of charity shops – sourcing fabric and yarns:
- Heart Foundation/Newington
- Save the Children/Newington