Wednesday, July 6, 2011

The Cobweb That Caught the Sky

COBWEB: A flimsy, insubstantial snare spun by a special breed of spider to entrap its prey

After weeks of repair and remodel, I needed an outlet for a gentler creative side of me. Picking up knitting needles once again after months of neglect, I vowed that I would just simply let them and the yarn take me to places I have never ventured before. I did have in mind something sort of Rodarte, who I have venerated ever since the sister's 2008 lines came out. Based on nature and totally radical knits, they represented for me a no-rules way of creating something out of nothing more than an idea. Characterized by loosely knit webs of fine mohair capturing bold areas of color and heavily textured, they have captured my spirit, which has always been a voice in the background begging me to give it a try.

The yarns seemed to just fall into my hands. Even though I had planned for another use of a wild diva that looks like bits of wool tied to hologram metallic thread and nylon cord scraps, it called to be a companion to the more sedate natural tan silk fingering weight that I have been hoarding from Artfibers for years now. Artfibers has the most gorgeous stuff I have ever seen in one place. All their yarns are spun to order. Amazing, yarn heaven, and it is worth a visit if you are ever in the San Francisco area. Then, a painted pastel nylon ribbon that had insisted on coming home with the diva (for some reason), entered the mix. And that was it. Just three yarns, ...quite a change of habit for me since I am usually working with anywhere from six to ten in any one project.

After trying several large needle sizes on the fingering weight yarn, I settled on a #13. At that point, I just began by casting on three stitches. The only thoughts for an end result were perhaps to make a cropped vest to go over summer tops for a little cover. From then on, all I kept in mind were basic rectangular shapes that roughly met my measurements. Free of regard for any sort of edge consistency, I simply knit until the pieces were relatively the same length. Individual stitches were another form of abandon. I threw in short rows, drop stitches, and varied knits and pearls to add more irregularity, and jigged and jogged the hems and edges. The yarns were picked up and dropped at will, creating shapes that drift like clouds of diva yarn and held by patches of ribbon that look like the sky. Yarn tails fly free like the tails of kites.

Once the pieces were of a relatively matched length, I cast off the back and fronts, and joined the shoulders as well as at the sides. To give a bit more shape and weight for a nice drape, I crocheted a single row of chain stitches to the edges with the ribbon yarn, and added a tie of the combined yarns braided together at the front.

I have written up a downloadable pattern/guide for those of you special spider types, who want to give this a try with more guidance than I have given here. You can find it on Ravelry as the Cobweb Vest, or my Etsy store, or by simply emailing me a message.


  1. Like walking on air, like floating on air rather - what a beautiful, light and lovely vest this is! Wonderful choice of colors and textures!

  2. Thank you dear Laura. we are like minded sisters!