Tag Archives: Passport

Unraveled Rodarte

As knitters and fashion fans, it is always a thrill to see knitwear on the runway, and few have engaged the craft the way the Rodarte sisters have. This season marked Kate and Laura Mulleavy’s 10th year and they sent their trademark deconstructed knits out once more, thrilling and perhaps terrifying home-knitters everywhere.

09-rodarte-fw-16

Dropped stitches usually strike dread in the heart of most knitters, but they can also be used intentionally for ultracool dramatic effect. The unraveled look broadcasts a post-apocalyptic cool that is an idée fixe for the sisters, a means of finding and celebrating beauty in decay. The sisters have long dabbled in tattered, amorphous knits, sending sheer, mixed-gauge pieces down the runway as far back as 2008.

rodarte1 rodarte2 rodarte3

It’s a punk counterpart to the usual Fair Isle and cabled references we’re all used to seeing trotted out for the fall and winter collections. DIY tutorials share the intricacies of the technique, which requires a willingness to let go of neatly defined patterns and rules.

If you’d like to experiment with a dropped stitch look but aren’t quite ready to rock the disheveled glamour of a Rodarte girl, check out our Teela Stole and Teela Top, both knit in Zealana Heron and available FREE in our Passport magazine. Both use a simple and deliciously fun dropped stitch technique that adds an instantly airy feel to your garment (and bonus, instant extra width).

Zealana Lookbook 2015

Whatever you knit, have fun!

XO CR

NZ Inspired: Piupiu Fringe

One of the things I love most about textiles is that every culture on the planet has something to contribute to the conversation. When I visit a new place I make it a point to seek out examples of indigenous textiles, and I especially love finding commonalities across cultures, and ideas that I can incorporate into my own design vocabulary, after a bit of research of course.

piupiu skirts

When I visited Te Papa, New Zealand’s national museum, I was drawn to the simple black, white and red palette. While New Zealand  doesn’t have a particularly long history with hand knitting, I was really inspired by the fringe found on Māori piupiu skirts. They’re made with harakeke, or common flax, and they’re dyed with an incredible mix of manuka bark and mangrove mud (is there nothing manuka can’t do?!!). Watch this video to see how the real deal is made:

I’m working on the next issue of Passport and have been thinking about a yarn homage to this distinctly NZ art form. I’ve swatched some Air Marle and have tried a few things. My first thought was i-cord (right). I knew I wanted to incorporate black, but this meant weaving in a lot of ends (in i-cord–not easy). It looked far too bulky, and too labor intensive to be reasonable. Next, I tried a crochet chain (left), which I liked, but again, hiding all those ends was going to get really old, really fast:

fringedraft

Flipping the swatch over, I tried two rows of traditional fringe, staggered for a full, slightly randomized effect. It was lovely!

fringe

Light, fluffy and best of all, easy to execute. Still, I missed the contrast of the black ends, but then I thought–beads! Beads would add weight, both real and visual, and it would hopefully evoke the piupiu.

I headed over to my local bead shop and admired all the gorgeous gemstones that I passed on my way to what I actually needed–plain glass beads in matte black, size E/6.0  (and a few metallic variations).

labradorite

I also picked up some collapsible eye wire needles and an empty glass jar from the health food store around the corner.

jar

I added 3 beads to the bottom of each piece of untrimmed fringe and knotted it securely. I think I’ve found my winning fringe, no mud required!

winningfringe

Have you ever fringed?

CR