Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Redwood Scarf Finished

In my sprint to finish something in January, I was able to finish my fourth wearable tree bark project. Unfortunately, I did not finish any knitted bark panels for the exhibition. But February is for finishing panels so I will post those when I have at least a couple done.

The Redwood Scarf is perhaps my favorite. It is a very subtle but cozy scarf knit in brioche stitch. The increases and decreases give it the telltale redwood look. If you want to knit one, I have patterns for all of these finished objects but I am waiting to publish them until after the exhibition in June, so you gotta wait. I will show you pictures of the Palm Cowl in a couple days. That is my last finished object until I can get a few of those pesky panels for the exhibition completed.

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Palo Verde

I am working on four different bark panels at the same time. I am well on my way to having all four of the wearable item finished but have not started on the panels themselves. That is going to be my push for the rest of the month. Palo verde is the fourth bark that I am trying to recreate. Palo Verde is native to the Sonoran deserts of the American southwest and Mexico. Its name means “green stick” in Spanish referencing the bark’s bright green color. The tree is drought-deciduous, shedding its leaves most of the year and only leafing out after a rainfall. But fortunately, photosynthesis is performed by its green bark despite its lack of leaves.

I love the bright lime green of the bark with the brown scars. It makes it look like a Frankenstein skin. My recreation might be a little brighter than the original but I like it. I made it into a long sideways scarf with buttons on the end. This is my first finished object and I am really getting into putting on the identity of the tree.

To me, palo verde is an independent tree. It doesn’t need to rely on leaves to survive. It can make it on its own! I can be as independent as palo verde while wearing this scarf.

Sunday, January 31, 2016

Paperbark Cherry Scarf Finished


Here is the finished Paperbark cherry scarf. I really love it now that it is finished. And the fringe totally makes the scarf. Now I need to finish the panel that will be wrapped around the tree. Still so much to do! I have not decided how to publish the patterns of the pieces I am making in tandem with the wrapped panels. But hopefully by the time I get everything done I will figure it out. 

Friday, January 22, 2016

Paperbark Cherry

I fell in love with this bark the first time I saw it: the beautiful red color with the light brown stripes. I definitely want to use this bark in my project.

Paperbark cherry, also called Tibetan cherry or Birchbark cherry, is native to China and Tibet. The bark of a Paperbark cherry is it’s most stunning feature. The deep red bark peels away leaving younger softer skin beneath. In winter its bark stands out starkly against the landscape adding beautiful unexpected color.

At first, I tried knitting an abstract of the bark. You can see it here, geometric lines going around with slipped stitches of background color. I started with short lines at the bottom of the swatch then changed to longer lines. But it still isn’t a reflection of the bark.

So, I ripped it out and started fresh with thicker more organic lines. I think this mimics the bark better. I like the narrow swatch I made and so started making a tubular scarf (maybe with fringe!) for the wearable pattern.

Monday, January 4, 2016


My creative process involves working on several projects all at the same time. So even though I am still working on the Palm bark, I am also working on another bark design, this time from Redwood.

Growing mainly in Northern California, redwood trees are the largest and tallest trees in the world. They can live thousands of years but are endangered from logging, air pollution, and habitat loss. The tallest living tree is a redwood named Hyperion that lives in Northern California; its location kept a secret to help protect it. The redwood’s beautiful orange-red bark changes and shifts in the varying light creating an enigmatically strong yet fragile impression.

I wanted to replicate the beautiful subtle texture of redwood so I actually learned a new stitch that I have been meaning to master, the brioche stitch. It is the perfect deep squishy rib that echoes the beautiful red bark. Knit up in Shepherd’s Wool Roasted Pumpkin and adding a few decreases and increases creates a wonderful knitted bark. I am definitely on the right track with this one.