Shawl week interview #3: Melanie Berg

Jun 24, 2015 :: by Jerusha Robinson

 

Melanie Berg shares her thoughts about shawl design and the color play in her new shawl, January Skies:

What instantly drew me to Chickadee for this design is, apart from its softness, the wonderful color palette it comes in. More than fifty shades, perfectly combinable with one another. That makes every creative heart sing--what an amazing playground! For 'January Skies' I chose a gradient set of blueish/greenish colorways: Peacock, Aleutian, Belize, Bird's Egg and, last but not least, Frost for the neutral accents.

Also, sport-weight shawls are just great--I love this weight a lot! It gives a squishy and cozy shawl, one that really warms your neck and shoulders, making it the perfect accessory for the transitional seasons.

This shawl is definitely about colors, and about how they interact with each other. I love working with an extended palette, and Chickadee's large offering of shades allowed me to use one of my favorite tricks: Put together a group of colors from the same family, and then break this bond up with an entirely different color (Frost in this design) that comes into play. This adds a wonderful element and strengthens both aspects: The contrast on the one side and the similarity of colors on the other.

I'm looking forward to seeing many different color versions of 'January Skies' being created by knitters! How about something monochromatic? Or a rainbow shawl? Everything is possible!

Designing shawls is like balm for the soul. I find it soothing and relaxing--a bit like a point of rest in a busy everyday life, like an island you can escape to. You can really let your creativity flow and try out all kinds of things--unusual shapes, unexpected color combinations, wild mixtures of textures or plain stockinette or garter stitch. When all of these play together, the result is more than the sum of its parts and you create a piece that carries one common spirit--and this will shine through. It's really quite impressive when this happens: When you've spent weeks working on a piece, putting together all the single elements you had in mind, and then binding it off, blocking it to shape and seeing the transition--like caterpillar to butterfly.

Also, shawls are such wonderful accessories. They're handy, they keep you warm and they spice up your wardrobe--what more can you ask for?

Tomorrow! Dawn Catanzaro talks about her shawl, Pagoda.

Related posts in: Chickadee | Collection | Colors | Designers | Garter stitch | Melanie berg | Shawl week | Shawls | Stripes
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