Black and white - My crocheted and knitted pieces lay before me like so many pieces of a puzzle to solved or at least organized. I wondered how I would use the visuals most effectively to draw in perspective readers and to entice them to continue with the posting. I had actually completed writing this newest article last week. However, when I awakened this morning, my self-imposed publishing day, I knew I wanted to link immediately to the title, Knitting and Crocheting in Black and White. I decided to let the pieces, old and new, help me rewrite this newest entry. So the plan is to introduce my wearable art throughout the article as I explain my writing process and move on to showcase individual pieces. Come join me for my journey in black and white.
Which comes first, the project or the blog? Before I started blogging, I thought this question would be easy to answer. I envisioned going through my storage boxes of completed scarves, blankets, cocoons, shawls, headbands, sweaters, and fingerless gloves. I pictured myself taking photos and writing about the crocheting or knitting process that I wanted to share with my readers. However, as I formatted the blog and signed up for 2 years of hosting and domain name, I realized I would have to take a long-term approach if I wanted to have interesting and new ideas to present on a consistent basis. I set an ambitious goal (at least for a newbie) of publishing articles on a weekly basis. This meant I needed content for 52 blogs for the first year. After researching blog marketing ideas and the posts of fellow bloggers, I developed a spread sheet of the year's events, projects, materials, tools, techniques, and designs. As I began writing and publishing I knew I could expand the lists, introduce new ideas, and move topics around.
Exploring the themes associated with color, I brainstormed many ideas, but I determined that my first "color" post would be black and its contrast white. My custom clients as well as customers at craft fairs frequently requested black accessories to accompany their indoor or outdoor clothing. Besides black is the color that I wear most frequently. I love the inky color, and black garments, even simple ones, always seem to look so stylish. I also enjoy black and white with a pop of color.
I find it easy to write and develop my knitting and crocheting blogs. I am passionate about these fiber arts, and am eager to earn more. I love sharing my ideas with other knitters and crocheters and expanding my connections in the knitting and crocheting communities. However, knitters and crocheters are visual people. Therefore, I needed projects to photograph. I had some pieces in my storage boxes. Still I needed a few more to round out my idea. Knitting and crocheting projects for each blog idea sure does slow the process down.
Why should I knit and crochet black in the spring and summer? Light is the answer. I can only see the stitches in bright, natural light, and so I prepare my black hats, scarves, and gloves in the spring and summer for fall and winter use. Bright stitch markers and working on a white background will help me with stitch definition and with keeping track of patterns. MY hook or knitting needles are in lighter lighter or contrasting colors. I have see luminescent, battery operated hooks and knitting needles. I can't wait to get a hold of these new tools. They will be fun for crafting outside by the campfire or for riding as a passenger in a darkened car along road trip.
The photos that I have scattered in the first part of this blog display pieces that I had completed. Of course, there are my favorite crocheted floral headbands, this time in black and white. The crocheted black cloche, also with my signature flower, is comfortable and warm for winter. The varigated black scarf is knitted from a skein of Scarfie Yarn by Lion Brand. The flowers were crocheted and affixed to the scarf. Scarfie is a bulky yarn (5) that is 80% acryclic and 20% wool which makes it quite cozy for frigid weather. As the skein is is 312 yards, it makes up a scarf that is long enough to wrap and style in several ways. The black and turquoise scarf and fingerless glove combo were also made from Scarfie Yarn. The ridged effect on the scarf was achieved by crocheting half double stitches on the back loop (hdc).
The child's striped beanie shows a pop of blue on the ribbed border of the back and white striped beanie makes the hat cheerful and stylish. You can also add a matching colored pom-pom. The black and white fingerless gloves are quite versatile. Change the applique or the button decoration, and you have a whole new look. The crocheted fingerless gloves with the purple cuff and the marbled black and white hand were from one of my earlier collections. I have already sold similar pieces with bright red or bright green cuffs. I am looking to replace the marbled black and white yarn so that I can create a new narrower design.
So what are my new pieces? I took a familiar knitted fingerless glove pattern, made up the pair in black, and embroidered and crocheted a flower with a contemporary twist. The little red button at the center of the flower adds that bit of color. I adapted a v-shaped crocheted summer scarf to worsted weight, and decorated the the scarf with contrasting black flowers. The pattern is by Donna Wolf and can be found on her website, naztazia.com or on Ravelry.com.
The project that I am most excited about is probably the simplest. The pattern was, called "the Necks Big Thing," created by Shelly L. Brander and can be found on Ravelry as a free download. The scarf is made in 2 steps. First knit a rectangle in seed stitch with 2 strands of bulky or super bulky yarn held together. You will be cutting numerous long strands of yarn to be attached to the both of the short ends of the rectangle. Fold the knitted piece and the long tails in half, Place on your neck, and pull the yarn through the knitted part of the scarf. See the pictures below to show how the wear the scarf. I made a few alterations to the pattern after my first attempt. The designers suggest sewing small ends of knitted piece together before attempting to pull all the yarn through. I omitted this step, and I still like the look. Also, after my first piece in gray, I cut 70 inch fringe pieces for the scarves shown in this article. My yarn is Isaac Mizrahi Craft (super bulky 6) by Premier Yarns. I knitted the pattern in both black and white. The white yarn is flecked with silver, and the black yarn has light strands of gold. Both are pictured below. Which do you like best?
So to answer my question: Which comes first the project or the blog? The answer is yes to both. I usually decide to write a topic based of the flow of the year's events, my interests, discoveries, new experiences, hot topics. Then I will scavenge, as well as create pieces to flesh out the theme. However, I am also drawn to experiment with new styles, techniques, stitches, tools, yarns. Photos of these become the visual content of the blog as I write to share my ideas and information with my readers.
Fellow bloggers, crocheters, and knitters what comes first for you? Do you complete your finished piece, and then photograph, write, and publish, or do you get an idea and then create a post?