Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Doomvember: Ozone by Rebecca Zicarelli

Tra la la, here we are pluggin' merrily along towards destruction! Today we've got a guest post by designer Rebecca Zicarelli- take it away, Rebecca!

It all started with those a stitch pattern in those infamous Barbara Walker Treasuries called Zig Zag Trellis. Such a simple pattern, a combination of K2Tog one row, and SSKs two rows later. I loved the way it looked...

...and hated knitting it. Those SSK's, slowing down the knitting rhythm, always put any design on hold. And then Alex put out a call for Doomsday Knits, a book for a time when all the rules were thrown out, and the lucky (and fashionable) survivors got to write their own rulebooks. I went back through years of swatches, searching for a design for the future in my knitting past, and there it was. That damned Zig Zag Lace Trellis.

With no rules, with nobody to tell you you're knitting the wrong way, it would be easy to knit; all you had to do was mount your stitches 'backward' for the SSK sections. All you had to do was combined knitting. I played with several design ideas, and then settled on a poncho and cape; Alex liked the poncho; Alex named it Ozone.

Ozone is knit from the top down, half of every-other row being left-leaning decreases. By wrapping the yarn THE WRONG WAY on the previous row, they're already mounted properly, with the trailing leg forward. At first, the rows are very short; if you mess up, it's easy to tink back and fix the wraps, or to simply remount your stitches as you go. And a few times of doing that sort of cures you of the habit. Ozone becomes a meditation in controlling stitch mount. By the time you get to the end of the poncho, you have the muscle memory of keen eye to look at the rows before, and know which way to wrap your yarn. And you discover there is no wrong way, there's just the best way to produce a beautiful lace trellis without straight lines to draw the attention of eyes looking for prey on a desert beach somewhere in the distant future. Or next month; whichever comes first.

I opted for Quince &  Co. yarns, who allowed me to use their soft Aran weight for a relatively quick knit (considering the size!) that's super soft and squishy. For the fringe, I went with Quince's Chickadee, with the strands doubled, for extra fringiness, breaking another rule – two weights of yarn in the same project. And Alex, amazing as she is, broke a third rule, and had the model wear the poncho backward. (Heh, oops, sorry Rebecca!! - ed.) 

 I'm a renegade from the 70's, and owned more than a few ponchos: coarse, scratchy, and with V-necks that would slide forward and strangle you unsuspecting. Ozone, which begins with a triangle like a butterfly shawl, will sit where it's supposed to sit, worn front or backward, and comes in two lengths, regular, and Amazonian (show here) for the giants that walk amongst us and learn to knit how they want to produce the results they want. Because in the future world beyond Doomsday, there's nobody to tell you you're knitting the wrong way.

Thanks Rebecca! Such a stunning piece! You can find Ozone (part of the Global Warming chapter) on Ravelry here, or catch up with the rest of the tour on the schedule post over here.  To preorder Doomsday Knits or learn more about the book, click on over to Cooperative Press.  And don't miss tomorrow's pattern and post over at PDXKnitterati!


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