Monday, September 13, 2010

What If

Tubular peyote has its place in the world I suppose, but without any variations or embellishments or fancification it doesn't make a chain that stands alone.

It's rather dull. Functional but dull.
Even when you work in colour it's dull.

It gets a bit more interesting when you combine different bead sizes (it does actually tend to excite people to be quite honest), but it feels a bit like cheating. Not that I'm above succumbing, as it does the trick, but it's a bit of a cheap thrill.
What floats my boat is messing with the stitch, using structural or architectural techniques to get interesting effects. With peyote stitch, I'm talking about increases and decreases.

Some years ago in one of the magazines there was a really bold, structural spiral formed by the judicious placement of balanced increases and decreases, which I thought was kind of brilliant. Using colour emphasized its structure, making the eye see an inner and outer edge of the spiral.

I made a short length but wasn't enthralled by the actual doing. It looked fabulous though.

Yesterday after forming something conical, I was left with three peyote stitches, which made a rather pathetic rope, so I stacked an increase at one point in the circle, balanced by a decrease 180ยบ away, and it looked a bit herringbone-ish. So then I stopped and restarted the increase and the decrease, and the herringbone staggered a bit.
I thought colour might be useful, and magatamas or fringe beads might punctuate the stopping and starting of the increases and decreases.
I think it works.

The technique is not neat to explain, because the step-up wanders around the tube, constantly changing, but I think it's kinda cool. My sample is rather short and somewhat stiff, but I suspect that the latter is a function of the former, and that a bracelet- or necklace-length will have suitable drape - at least I hope so.

It can be made slightly narrower for necklces, and as wide as desired for cuffs, but it may get sloppy if it's a lot wider. Or not. It could be reversible with different colours on each side.

It's not too terribly hard to start, but it's possible that closures could be less pretty than I'd like because the working end is on the diagonal, so it may be awkward to taper or end off neatly.

I'll check on that another day.


Kristen said...

You have a gift for thinking outside the box. I like this very much and I can't wait to see where you go with it!

aleta said...

I just found this post, as I was perusing Pinterest - I think that you are talking about my Indespiral! Thank you for referring to it as brilliant - no one else does.... and hey, I am on Etsy also! I know this is from 5 years ago, but still, I like your blog and your knitting. cheers, Aleta

Charlene said...

Yes I was - and it is. I like using different sizes of beads to get structural effects (and I do it often), but I think its smarter and more structurally sound to design the dimensionality mathematically (with the bead counts and increases and decreases)

And thanks!