So one night at Verb's virtual Maker's Meetup, a fellow Maker held up what she was knitting: a stunning piece of fabric where each side was a different pattern. It resembled the type of fabric made with slipped stitches but not...I had never seen anything like it. All of us in the group were at first silent, taking it in and trying to understand, and then began peppering the Maker with questions as to how and what and where and who. We were in awe!
This is how I first became acquainted with Mary W. Martin and her work called Fission Knitting. Immediately I thought Mary would be a great addition to the Pro-Verbial Club. As I always like to add someone who is doing work outside of my wheelhouse. And who I assume may be out of yours too. So we can make an adventure of it together!
So, today, I continue my series of interviews with this upcoming year's Pro-Verbial designers. Let's learn more from Mary about this unique and intriguing technique.
5 Questions with Mary
Can you describe what fission knitting is?
Fission Knitting is a reversible colourwork technique where the fabric is worked with yarns held in a marl. The design elements are slipped stitches placed on both sides of the fabric. The marl is broken apart to work these stitches. The resultant fabric has a marled middle layer and an overlaid design on each side. It is possible to create a different cabled design on each side of the fabric.
How did you come to practice this technique?
I have another reversible technique called Fusion Knitting. I was experimenting to see if I could incorporate more colours with this technique. I tried holding 2 yarns in a marl to double the number of colours of the knit. To practice the cables, I knit a little swatch and left it lying around. My husband picked it up and commented that the cables couldn’t be seen on the other side. It was like a lightbulb went off — I knew then that it would be possible to have different designs on each side of the fabric.
What inspires you about it?
Because this technique is new, there remains a lot to be explored. I had previously avoided colourwork because I didn’t like the pixelated look of the motifs. The colourwork in Fission Knitting is created with flowing cables — I love the look.
What is your favorite way to try out your designs? Pen and paper? Knitting a sample?
For Fission Knitting, I usually design and chart (on the computer) each side of the fabric separately. Then I knit them together onto one piece of fabric.
In many of your designs, there is an element of nature. Where in nature / the world do you draw inspiration for your motifs?
I love graceful curves and symmetry. I find this on leaves, petals of flowers, and waves in the water.
We are so excited to work with Mary and have her as part of the club.
Please join us for Year 14 of the Pro-Verbial Club.