What?! Yarn isn’t the superior medium for every design?

Here is a statement that will shock you: I love yarn. To me, it is the most amazing artistic medium. It was once a collection of living animal or plant cells that have been coaxed into a long strand of magic. You can twist, loop, and knot it into any shape that you desire. I believe it could cure cancer if only scientists would pay more attention to it.

But apparently, some things simply cannot — or should not — be done with yarn. Anyone who has read blogs like this will immediately agree.

Today, though, I’m not here to speak to you about Yarn Crimes. I’m here to talk to you about how yarn simply cannot create everything.


I know.

Let’s take this as an example:

In a sweater design I was doing recently, I wanted to replicate these gears onto the chest and back. I envisioned them spilling around the left bottom side of the sweater, reaching up toward the chest in one long steam-punky chain.

My original idea was to do this in two colors, but if you know anything about knitting with two colors, you can see how complicated that would get. That’s OK if you’re just making something for your bestest, bestest friend, but not a wise choice for a pattern you’re trying to write for other people. Not unless you want knitters with pitchforks and torches crowding around your door.

Then, I thought I could do it with knits and purls (purls for the pattern, knits for the background — didn’t work — tried the other way around — also didn’t work).

This exercise in futility occupied a couple of weeks of knitting and ripping… and knitting again. Finally, I had to admit defeat and — literally — head back to the drawing board.

If you see a solution to this design problem, please do not write to me. I do not own a pitchfork, but I know where to find one.

5 thoughts on “What?! Yarn isn’t the superior medium for every design?

  1. Maybe cut out and felt some wool bits in the shapes you want. Or try knitting some of the shapes in the rough and then embellishing them onto the knitted garment… Or just get out a magic marker and go at it!

  2. This doesn’t count as knitting so I think I am safe to say: embroidery? I am thinking with yarn, doing a chain in a circle with little double-knits for the teeth?


  3. I’ve often thought knitting and printing should become friends: Print the gears on fabric with that special paper from the craft store and applique them.

    … and you would have come up with these same ideas given a good spell away from the project. (put that away before someone gets hurt!)

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