at Cuzco, Peru, train station, waiting for the train to Lake Titicaca in
Rita O'Connell, designer
FUTURE DESIGN EFFORTS
I have some favorite techniques that I love to use and
plan to develop more patterns for, as well as favorite kinds of
projects. Some are already knitted projects that I haven't refined
and written yet, or may be refined but are still in draft written
form. Here are some of my ideas - NOTE: these are all still in the
works, but college teaching has kept me too busy lately to finish
publishing the designs --
- Garden Maze Garter Stitch
Ribbon Heart Afghan,
Maze Garter Stitch Pouch,
Button Loop Garden Maze Pullover,
Child's GM Cardigan, and
Maze Cardigan for examples.
- This is a geometric, multicolor, advanced-skill
in a combination of back-and-forth and circular garter stitch with
lots of very complex increases, decreases, bind-offs, and
color changes. It can be worked
flat or shaped. I “unvented” the technique as an
evolution of Elizabeth Zimmerman’s wonderful garter stitch
projects. The name
“garden maze” I credit to sister knitter Barb Johnson —
Thanks, Barb! It not
only looks like a maze, it knits rather like a maze, too! I
think that my interest in it goes back to my childhood when
I loved to draw colored, geometric patterns on graph paper
squares. This is the
knitted & 3-dimensional version of that earlier fascination.
have already taught a class using this technique and will soon
publish patterns for an afghan, drawstring pouch, and child's
- Labyrinths & Spirals
Maze Cardigan, and
Man in a Maze
- I've become fascinated by labyrinths -- which are
convoluted & twisting paths, but are NOT mazes, because there
are no branching points. Labyrinths come in two classic
styles (called Cretan and Chartres, based on geographical ties)
and many unique versions. Spirals can be
considered to be perhaps the simplest labyrinths.
- I have a sofa pillow pattern featuring a Cretan
labyrinth which will soon be available. I have an afghan
with both styles of classic labyrinths, but it's such a complex
pattern that it will be a while before I have that written out.
- 4-Corners Native American Rock Art (petroglyphs
- Living here in the Four Corners, I've seen so
much wonderful rock art. And the rock colors themselves are
amazing. So I'm already planning some items (pillows for my
sofa, for example) with them in charted Intarsia designs.
- Ancient 4-Corners Native American Geometric Textile Patterns
Man in a Maze
for an example.
- I have a collection of drawings of ancient woven
textile patterns found in Ancient Puebloan (Anasazi) ruins.
Many of those patterns are still found on baskets, pottery, and
blankets in the Four Corners region today. I would like to
design a series of projects with these patterns, perhaps combined
with rock art motifs.
- Peruvian Textile Designs
Drawstring Pouch for an example.
- There are still many possibilities with the
geometric and animal-based patterns on the wonderful textiles I
brought back from Peru.
- Stuffed Animals
- I have already designed a machine-washable
child's toy llama, but want to also include an alpaca version in
the same pattern, so the pattern won't be ready for a few months
- I would also like to design a complex
multi-colored Alpaca (to be made of alpaca, of course)
- Children's Items
- I love my woven alpaca poncho that I bought in
Peru (I'm wearing it in the picture of me on the biography page),
but I'd like to design one or two knitted ones.
- Entrelac (also called basketweave)
Entrelac Pouch and
Entrelac Stair Step Shawl for examples
- I love the building block nature, but I don't like
how most designs in this technique have triangle-shaped blocks at the
- I'm currently working on some basic technique
patterns that will show how to use the technique for square-edged or
pointed edged projects.
- Favorite stitch techniques
- Garter Stitch -- For some reason I just
love this stitch. It works well by itself AND with other
thick techniques, such as reversible knitting and cables
- I-Cord -- I love the versatility of this
stitch. For cast on, bind off, edging, buttonholes,
drawstrings, and just plain trim.
- Intarsia -- Also called color block
knitting. I enjoy figured designs, in both stockinette and
garter stitch patterns.
- Cables -- Not only basic cables, but rather
convoluted versions. See
Sam the Ram