I’ve been riffing on a pattern that I created several years ago. This concept development is kind of like jazz improvisation–which is riffing on a melody–and I love doing it. It is just responding to the what-ifs that come up for me. The down side is that it takes a lot of time–actual time developing, then playing it out by knitting it, and a lot of brewing time, as I consider how to present it, how the knitter will use it, and all the things.
Riffing on Ideas
I listen to jazz most of the time I’m in my studio. I need most of my brain focusing on what I am doing, not what I’m listening to. I actually listen over and over to the same CDs (Bill Frisell, Tord Gustavsen, Brad Meldhau are my go-tos) because they allow my brain to riff on my own melody without interfering. I hear different things each time I listen. I like knowing there is a through-line, but that that there are so many places for musicians to take the same piece.
So I got going on this pattern. But I can never just leave it be. I started knitting variations, and came up with three cast on methods that worked nicely, then three short row methods, and finally added a third style! I was really just trying to check my work, but I already knew the melody, so my brain started riffing. I even have three trim options!
Riffing on a Concept
The result is a pattern that I am now thinking of as a SYSTEM, not just a pattern. This SYSTEM is designed for exploration, trying techniques, and using my riffing to find your own blissful combination of fit, technique, and style. But the thing with riffing is that you might not like the first place you go, so you have to keep dipping into the well to test out all the things and all the possibilities.
Stay tuned. Early June should bring the presentation of this new SYSTEM.
Have you ever thought of your knitting as the melody line on which you are improvising?