Order and Chaos
Additional Materials: Cable needle. Main knitting needle should be 36-inch-long (92-cm-long) circular needle.
Comments: In Helen Humphreys’ novel, The Lost Garden, the main character, a gardener, describes how, when working in a formal garden, she tries to create order out of the chaos of nature. If the garden is untended for too long, the well-mannered beds will succumb once again to the chaos. When designing a knitted garment, there needs to be an underlying order and repetition to the pattern. If not, every row would be different, and the instructions for an average sweater would become two hundred lines of directions or charts.
So in much the same way as a gardener brings order to the chaos of nature, when I began using nature (tree bark in particular) as my inspiration, I had to find ways of taming the unruly power while still allowing the organic beauty to shine through.
I selected cables that use odd numbers, by their very nature not balanced and equal. Then, by joining two together, they become even, symmetrical, and more grounded. By incorporating both and switching between odd and even numbered patterns, I manage to bring an organic, almost random, feel while still maintaining order and repetition. This produces a tension between two poles, just as we find in a garden, where the order feels like it is on the point of returning to its natural state of chaos.