Knitting faces in the crowd

It is surprising how inspiration comes.

I was rummaging in a basket of odd balls of yarn, as you do, and I found this “flesh” coloured smooth cotton.

Which reminded me of my long standing doll project, where I have some knitted dolls, and use them as models for unusual garments. This is a wonderful game, as it allows me to:

  • Play at being a doll designer.
  • Experiment to see how patterns and shapes work. It is amazing how many designs look fab in the pictures, but a mock up reveals that it only looks nice if you are careful how you stand and move about. It is also surprising how many patterns for really chunky yarn knit up nicely for a doll if you use 4 ply and the smallest needles you can manage,
  • Play with novelty yarns that need buying, but I’m not going to wear in a full size garment.

Anyway, I wasn’t convinced there was enough of this cotton to make a whole doll, so I put it down again. And then I thought of making pictures.

I have seen some interesting paintings of crowd scenes, with a variety of faces looking out of the frame. And I loved the Antony Gormley check installation Field for the British Isles when it came to Scunthorpe. Although ideas have been lurking for a while, I haven’t actually got round to doing anything.

So I experimented.

The first idea was to knit some bobbles on a reverse stocking stitch ground. Bigger ones were too round, and smaller ones didn’t give enough space for embroidery to make a face.

So then I tried increasing for a bobble in one stitch, and then working a few rows all across the piece before decreasing. I decided not to plan a design, because that would lead to some annoying endless dithering, so I just went for it and made it up as I went along. After blocking it out, I embroidered faces, hair and hats. One end of the head was a bit too open, so I made that the top of the head, stitched it up a bit, and covered it with hair and hats. I decided not to go for faces on this one. That is on the list for future experiments.

This one is now for sale on Etsy.

About The Proof Angel

I am a freelance editor and proofreader, working with a wide range of clients from large companies to individuals. I can help you to communicate clearly by carrying out a final check, or by suggesting ideas get your message over. I also have a sideline in textiles, as The Rainbow Angel.
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