May 25, 2021

Have You Knit These?
Rock Island by Jared Flood

Have You Knit These? <br>Rock Island by Jared Flood


"The design sprang out of a yarn collaboration I was working on with the dyers at Lorna’s Laces. We were working together on a custom colorway for a laceweight wool/silk blend and I wanted to design something that would show off the beautiful drape of the silk and the subtle tones of the semi-solid dye. 

I had just returned from my first trip to the Shetland islands the previous summer and had been exposed to several mind-blowing pieces of heirloom lace in the Textile Museum there.  The shawls were so intricate and worked with cobweb weight yarn — shawls the size of small blankets that could be pulled through a wedding ring with little effort – they were unlike any pieces of knitting I had ever seen in person before. That weightless, gauzy fabric stayed on my brain after returning home and translated itself into my design work in the coming year. 

The design balances the intricacies of two traditional Shetland lace motifs with garter stitch, the simplest stitch of all. I liked that contrast: the field of garter stitch shows off subtlety in a tonal hand-dye, and the lacework makes the most of the fineness of the yarn and the drape of the silk. I worked the fabric at a looser gauge than I normally would and blocked the finished piece with as much stretch as possible to open up the motifs and achieve a fabric that reminded me of the lace cobwebs of Shetland. 

It’s always somewhat surreal to see a pattern resonate with thousands of knitters around the world, and incredibly rewarding to see all the creative variations that have grown out of that very first shawl. I couldn’t choose a favorite, but I had a wonderful time scrolling through the projects again after all these years!"

Photo courtesy of Jared Flood / Brooklyn Tweed.