Designing Tessellations for Needlework
With Franklin Habit
Mar 3, 9:00am-12:00pm & 1:30-4:30pm
Learn to design your own interlocking motifs.
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An introduction to the fundamental concepts of tessellation: the creation of repeating patterns. Tessellations – repeating motifs which lock together without gaps or overlaps – are as old as design itself. They can be found in the some of the most ancient examples of human design, and were famously used in the modern era by the artist M.C. Escher.
In this class, we will learn and put into practice the basic techniques for creating tessellating motifs. The primary practical focus will be on motifs for knitting – but the principles apply to any form of design that can be expressed in a square-grid chart. Participants will leave with the know-how to begin designing their own interlocking motifs.
Fluency in the basics of knitting, and familiarity with the process of working from color and/or texture charts. Students will not be required to swatch in class; but students who wish to do so may work in knit/purl textures in the first half. The patterns designed in the second half are most easily expressed in two-color stranded knitting. The method used for swatching is the student’s choice: in the round, flat, or speed-swatching are all suitable. A sense of humor, a reasonable ability to concentrate, and a taste for adventure are strongly advised.
• Choose solid or semi-solid colors with little or no halo/fuzz to obscure visibility or make ripping back difficult. Two balls in highly contrasting colors if you wish to work in stranded colorwork; one ball if you choose to work in knit/purl texture patterns. (If the latter, white or a light, solid color is preferred.)
• Needles of a size appropriate to the yarn(s) selected; a circular needle of 16”-24” is useful.
• Stitch markers
• Scissors that will cut paper
• Pencils (not pens) and erasers for sketching, charting, and note-taking
• A roll of cellophane (Scotch) tape
• Colored pencils may be very useful
• Two or more 8.5×11 sheets of graph paper ruled in squares at 4 squares/inch (16 squares per square inch).