Chinese Opera Charts by brella
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Chinese Opera Charts

by brella
January 2010
This pattern is available for $3.50 USD buy it now

Looking for something exotic and weird, but with a distinguished history? These colourwork charts are based on traditional face-painting designs for certain roles in Beijing opera. Each design is unique to a specific character, with the patterns and colours hinting at that character’s personality to the Chinese audience. Without too much thought, I just chose two examples that I thought were neat, and converted them for colourwork knitting.
These charts were originally integrated into a hot water bottle cover, because I liked the incongruity of having something exotic, scowling and weird covering something very old-fashioned, comforting and mundane. Obviously, one can use these charts to adorn other objects such as bags, pullovers, etc. For that reason, no specific pattern, yarn, needles or gauge are specified. The charts are provided as is; shape and even colour interpretation is all up to you.
Whether you combine intarsia with stranded knitting, or intarsia with duplicate stitch, you may find that these charts are a challenge if you are inexperienced with intricate colourwork. Try starting with Chart A (the black-and-white scowler) as practice for the more complex Chart B (the weird orange guy). Whatever happens, you know you’ll end up with something exotic and unique!