women of a certain age are like sunflowers; they know how to turn their faces to the sun.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Byzantine

"Once out of nature I shall never take
My bodily form from any natural thing,
But such a form as Grecian goldsmiths make
Of hammered gold and gold enameling
To keep a drowsy Emperor awake;
Or set upon a golden bough to sing

To lords and ladies of Byzantium
Of what is past, or passing, or to come."

-Sailing to Byzantium by Yeats


Saint Mark's Basilica (Italian: Basilica di San Marco a Venezia), the cathedral church of Venice, is the most famous of the city's churches and one of the best known examples of Byzantine architecture. It lies on St Mark's Square (in the San Marco sestiere or district) adjacent and connected to the Doge's Palace. Originally it was the "chapel" of the Venetian rulers, and not the city's cathedral. Since 1807 it has been the seat of the Patriarch of Venice, archbishop of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Venice. For its opulent design, gilded Byzantine mosaics, and its status as a symbol of Venetian wealth and power, from the 11th century on the building was known by the nickname Chiesa d'Oro (Church of gold).

Mosaics were more central to Byzantine culture than to that of Western Europe. Byzantine church interiors were generally covered with golden mosaics. Mosaic art flourished in the Byzantine Empire from the 6th to the 15th century. The majority of Byzantine mosaics were destroyed without trace during wars and conquests, but the surviving remains still form a fine collection.

-courtesy of Wikipedia

When searching for a name for this stole design, I was forcibly struck by the memory of St. Mark's basilica in Venice. The church glows with the reflection of light struck golden from the glorious mosaics which cover every surface. It is stunning.

All too often, when we see images like the following:


We forget that these mosaics are much diminished by age and wear. The originals were vibrant jewel boxes of color.

It is in that spirit, that I named my newest design:

BYZANTINE
$6

MATERIALS:
6 balls Noro Silk Garden Light, color 2014
size 9 (US) needles

SIZE:
20 inches wide by 72-82 inches long
length will vary, due to necessity of matching up the color placement of different balls

GAUGE:
4 stitches and 7 rows = one inch (blocked)

ADVANCED BEGINNER
SKILLS NEEDED - CHART READING


I LOVE this design. So easy to do and such beautiful colors. You would think it was the result of painstaking multi-stranded, two-handed, hard-to-juggle fair isle.

But it's not!

This is mosaic knitting, where you knit two rows in each "color", slipping the other stitches from the row below to form the design.


This is a six-stitch, sixteen-row repeat. And since your wrong side rows are repeats of the previous row, the pattern is easily memorized.

Done on size nine needles, it practically pours off the needles. And it is so much fun to watch the colors develop.

I used only one color of the Silk Garden Lite. I simply started the two strands at a different point in the color run.

I also adjusted the colors as I went. If I didn't like the way it was shaping up, it was easy to break one of the strands, take some of the yarn out, rejoin and continue on.

This one was so easy and so much fun, I took it on vacation with me and completed it while my grandson played at my feet...

Or on the dock...

In stolen moments...

And it still got done! (A minor miracle for someone who has 50 plus WIPs and barely a handful of FOs)

I know this isn't a polished shot, but I just had to show you the length...


I can't wait to wear it - maybe to see Julie and Julia at the movies this weekend? Air-conditioning be damned!

You will definitely be seeing more mosaics coming your way in the future - just too much fun.

Ah, fair Byzantium! Your colors sing...

8 comments:

rmsknits said...

I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE the new pattern!!!

Sharon said...

Lovely, can you post a picture of the back?

bolderbaker said...

Oh my goodness, you are killing me. Just when I start wondering if I dare contemplate adding your last piece to my list because it is lovely, you bewitch us with something this fabulous. Must go get SOMETHING off the needles so I can justify adding this charmer.

nstandley said...

Can't wait to start on the Byzantine Stole. Silk Garden Lite is one of my favorite yarns to work with, and you r pattern is scrumptious! I will make it into a throw to cuddle under while watching tv and knitting. Thank you for creating and sharing this pattern.

Colleen said...

I was wondering if you could adapt this to use Noro Silk Garden Sock yarn. I have that and I'm not in a position to buy new yarn for awhile.
Would it work?

Nina Lerm said...

Hello, I would like to purchase your lovely Byzantine scarf. I cannot find it. Please help. regards Nina

Susan Pandorf said...

Try this link:

http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/byzantine

Nina Lerm said...

Thank you. Just bought your pattern.
Nina