I spent this summer knitting butterflies. It was lots of fun!
Actually I spent last summer knitting butterflies too. This design has been in the works for a long time. The pattern itself was ready about two years ago and now it’s available for download on Ravelry here.
One Pattern Three Ways
It started with the idea for a mobile. Here’s baby Erik last summer with Marley posing under the first prototype mobile.
I thought the butterflies might look good as a hair accessory. I still really like the idea of doing these in a silky yarn. This one is knit using Skein Queen Delectable.
Finally I thought the butterflies would work well in frames, like the traditional butterfly collections you often see. This one really appealed to the yarn enthusiast in me. The frame celebrates beautiful yarn and can also make a feature of creative yarn naming. My sample is knit in Skein Queen’s Entwist in the Papillion colourway so I labelled my specimen ‘Papillion, ENTWIST’.
I love the idea of a big frame filled with all different yarn types and colours!
A Labour of Love
I would definitely describe my work on this project as a labour of love. I won’t go into the arduous battles to get the details right; sourcing rattan hoops, puzzling out the optimum way to get the mobile to hang correctly, finding affordable but high quality fames, and hair clips… In addition there is the list of self publishing and kit making work that must be done every time; photography and desk top publishing are the big ones for me. So even when the work is done, there’s still more work to be done.
Overall it’s work that I enjoy and some bits were really fun. Like working on the wing shape and perfecting my short row shaping techniques. Even though I always dread doing it, I even enjoyed illustrating the assembly instructions. But most fun of all is the quest for The Perfect Yarn.
The Perfect Yarn
In total I have now knit more than 15 butterflies, and that’s 30 identical wings. Instead of being bored of the design, I want to knit more! The secret lies in using amazing hand dyed yarns.
I love the splatter effect that Skein Queen uses on Entwist 100% Falkland merino high twist sock yarn. I had some hand dyed especially in custom colours; Nocturnal, Papillion, Cicada and Crimson Rose. Nocturnal, the darker colour, is for the butterfly bodies and the others make bright wings.
These photos are from Skein Queen. You can imagine my delight when the yarn was ready and she emailed these photos -so beautiful and absolutely perfect!
The Benefits of Knitting Butterflies
The concept of knitting butterflies pleased me in itself. There’s something appealing about knitting things that are unlikely and obscure. To me knitting butterflies went one further and felt almost romantic and poetic! I found myself doodling images of knitting butterflies in my notebooks. I can’t explain it really but I found it immensely satisfying.
There Will Be Knitting Kits
And I’ll share more details about these soon!