Continuation of color experimentation. As yesterday I continued with making smaller color combinations to see how yarns work together. For sure I won't use all of yarns I have researched because I would get lost in ideas and also my budget for this project would be exceeded.
I also need to find some thicker yarn that I could use to develop the idea of fringes. I got some burgundy and navy thick acrylic yarn.
Experimenting with weaving in knitting (so on knitting machine) and I really like the effect it gives with merino wool. It's very soft and gives a textural effect of soft air but at the same time it's color suggests pollution. It looks like poisoned air to me. This experiment is successful because the effect looks good, soft, interesting and delicate yet the color is eye catching and intriguing.
For some reasons that I did not understand my weaving was not working when I did it at my machine for the first time. To make sure I do it correctly I watched a short tutprial which is on research page, eventhough my tutor showed me how to do it much earlier.
I tried same weaving techniques on knitting machine with thick navy yarn and I found out that when I push every second needle out but in a different combination in each row then a pattern is created. It looks like checked fabric. It's not that visible with usual way of weaving. I find it also interesting, because it pushes my ideas for fringes and weaving with them further and allows me to create a kind of pattern.
To see how this actually works with both merino and acrylic yarn I did some small swatches.
Time for including other techniques needs to be carefully thought out.
Measuring time: to make 1 meter of Lucet I need to have 3 hours when using the thinnest yarn. It looks good but it's way too long. I need to try making it differently - perhaps trying with thicker yarn. Lucet is also too stiff for weaving on knitting machine - it takes the yarn off from the needles. I need to figure out a way to involve it into my samples too. It's more complicated than I thought.
Evaluation of this stage of the project:
What went well?
I want to do 20 different color combinations and I have almost all of them ready. I'm not very fluid with using knitting machine so I think it went relatively quick as for the beginning. I have some weaving experiments done and merino wool looks really good - soft, delicate but eye catching. It also adds a nice texture. I have a big yarn research done, so now it's only matter of choosing few out of these. I'm glad I tried using bright pink as my tutor advised me, because it adds freshness to the color combinations.
What did not go well?
The silver wire is highly breakable. It's almost impossible to knit with it. I did yesterday a plain sample with just the wire but today when I was using it with other yarns it kept falling off from the needles and breaking and destroying swatches. I need to see if it's the case of tension or strength I use to pull the carriage through the needles. The very thick colored yarn is not working with the knitting machine at all, as well as the navy chunky yarn I bought today. Both are too thick to go through the carriage.
How can I move on from now?
I need to finish the color experiments, choose one final and get the proportions. Then experiment with print ideas for dissolving print I had earlier (knit, print, unravel, knit again). Do samples and choose those to drape with. My tutor last week told me to devote two days only for sampling. I think it's a good idea because I would have plenty of material then to work on the body. It would also be more organized in terms of working.
What I also realized is that the idea of exploring the tension of craft and machinery is also a project of exploring the relationship between humans and machines and human borders of working. After three continuous hours of making lucet I had a headache and I felt ill because of looking all this time in the same spinning point of yarn and twisting my tool. I myself become a craft machine in a way and that pushes the boundaries of what work means. A craftsman cannot work as long as a machine, but when repeating for three hours same task I felt like a kind of repetitive machine. It makes me think that this process I am exploring and the boundaries that are within slow fashion and crafts are becoming a kind of performance, a way to find own utopian vision for slow fashion while experiencing what does it mean to work like a machine and where are the borders of human work.
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