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The Sea, the Sea

March 16, 2010

It’s only taken three quarters of a year to knit this scarf. Not continuously, you understand. But off and on. It wintered somewhere nice (the south of France, I suspect) and came back when it sensed Spring was in the offing. (Appropriately enough for spring the yarn colourway is ‘Hyacinth’, in a lace-weight cashmere silk mix called Eva, by Posh Yarn.)

The pattern is High Seas by Kieran Foley. You know how there are some patterns you just see and know are the perfect knit for you? (Which means you’re even prepared to overlook the cannot-be-memorized 40 row pattern repeat which involves wrong side shaping?) Well, this pattern combines many elements that personally appeal pretty strongly indeed.

First, the scarf is rhomboid shaped, meaning than the ends are not square and blunt, but waterfall gracefully into points.

Second, the stitch pattern itself, which remind me very much of the sea of Japanese woodcuts, like Hokusai’s Great Wave:

I love the elegant simplicity that can often be found in classic Japanese art and design. The way the representation of a subject is refined down so that only that only the essence remains, yet the subject is still utterly recognisable. The Ashmolean Museum here in Oxford has a beautiful “waterfall” cloisonne vase by Namikawa Yasuyuki that has this same kind of graphic purity:

And this scarf. Even though it’s a mass of lines and spaces, matter and void, what else could it be but the sea?

2 Comments leave one →
  1. March 16, 2010 11:58 pm

    My goodness, what a labour of love! I love the colour and the pattern, gorgeous.

  2. Lindyhopper permalink
    March 17, 2010 4:40 pm

    That’s so beautiful and looks so soft. It certainly looks very intricate and must have taken a lot of concentration. Well done.

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