Last Sunday, fiber artist Ruth Marshall came to the LBYS to teach us all about how she creates her incredible knitted animal pelts in her class, Ruth Marshall: Animal Intarsia: How Knitting Can Interpret Nature’s Forms (to read more about her fiber art installation at the LBYS, click here).
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Ruth showed us how the design of an animal’s pelt is different from anything we’d ever knitted before. She showed us dozens of pictures of animal skins for reference, and pointed out how fur of an animal doesn’t have a standard geometric form. So unlike traditional fair-isle patterns, you have chart each stitch individually, and you can forget all about working repeats of a pattern!
With graph paper and pencils in hand, we studied the photos and began to sketch our stitches. There were so many beautiful creatures to study…tigers, ocelots, jaguars, and leopards (oh my!). Using a combination of stranded colorwork and intarsia, we began to knit what we had drawn. By the end of the day we’d created many fascinating samples, and had a deep appreciation for Ruth’s work and attention to detail.
Thanks for teaching us so much about knitting and nature Ruth!
We’ll never be scared of knitting tigers or jaguars or leopards again.