Shawl week interview #1: Bristol Ivy

We asked all of our wonderful designers for Shawl Week to share a few thoughts on their process for these pieces. We asked each designer to talk about her yarn choice, what she likes best or find most interesting about the design, and share some thoughts on inspiration. First up! Bristol Ivy talks about her Joni shawl:

When I started envisioning this design, I knew I wanted to keep the fabric pretty simple. Intarsia still strikes fear into some people's hearts (though it looks way more complicated than it is, I promise!), and so I wanted to keep the rest of the shawl calm and clean.

Garter stitch was the obvious choice; simple to knit, but visually gorgeous in a plush, round, bouncy yarn. Once I swatched a few rows of it in Chickadee, I was hooked! I love the combination of classic fabric, modern colorwork, and lightweight gauge to keep things fresh. I also wanted to keep the colors tonally mellow; this shawl could be very striking with a vivid contrast between the two colors, but keeping the colors soft balances the graphic shapes nicely.

I think that for the most part intarsia is still equated with its pictorial uses from the 1980s, like flowers and animals. I love taking the opportunity to show it off in a much more clean and modern context---only two colors on a simple, geometric shape, with the shifting lengths of color taking the focal point.

Right now I'm very stuck on geometry and intersecting lines, and all the places we see that in everyday life. I'm loving taking inspiration from floor tiles, inlaid wood, the structure of handwoven fabric, and from modern quilts and translating it into knitting. I think there's a lot of room for exploration there, and I'm excited to keep going!

Tomorrow, Paula Emons-Fuessle gives us some thoughts on her new shawl, Cave Point.

Leave a comment

All comments are moderated before being published

Shop now