2022 1.3" x 1.6" ~50,000 stitches, 76 stitches/inch 500+ hours in the making. Over 70 different colors of silk thread including thread combinations
Starry Night sleeve detail. If you look closely, all surfaces of the sweater have little design elements and surprises
The back side of Starry Night in natural sunlight
I have been asked why I chose to knit these images into garments rather than a tapestry or wall hanging. The answer is 3-fold. I love the human form and so creating a sweater gives the piece a human, sculptural form. I also love the paradox of creating an object that takes the form of something you can wear, yet is impossible to wear. Finally. I love how the form of the garment gives me the ability carry the image over several different areas with bumps and turns and that to see the whole thing, you must turn it or walk around it. The 3-D dimensionality of the "sweaterscape" creates a movement and life that a 2-dimensional object doesn't have.
I love doing cardigans-partially because I love finding just the right buttons for a piece. and it gives more variety ad complexity. But if this were divided down the middle, it would have interrupted the flow of the image so I chose to make this as a pullover.
In order to get the desired effect of a painting, I split fine silk threads and combined them to create my own palette of "thread paints." Some of the silks were 2 ply and others were 3 ply. I found that if I combined two 1-ply threads, I got the correct gauge. In the upper right corner, you can see another part of my process; before I begin knitting, I always create a paper mock-up of my design. This way I can get a pretty good idea of how the images will look at a small scale and if the pattern pieces fit together properly.
Because I was using a technique I had never tried, I knitted a sampler of various thread combinations. Most of Starry Night was knit using these thread combinations which gave me an almost limitless array of shades. Although I loved the look of it when it was knitted, the threads (having been unwound from the original spool) were very unruly and difficult to work with. I had A LOT of tangles!
I knit with my chart in front of me at all times and frequently change it as I go. My original chart is always quite different from the one I have at the end.
The collar is ringed with golden bobbles (just this one row of bobbles took me an entire 10 hour day to complete). Once my row of bobbles were completed, I continued knitting so that I could add a signature and turn that part to the inside. By the way, this meant that I had to design the chart so that my name and the date was upside-down
Signed by knitting my name and date on the inside of the collar: "Althea Crome 2022"
The Starry Night is seen inside a custom built case (made by my dear friend Bill Robertson).
Although you can't see it, I have woven in bits of 24 karat gold threads around the shoulders and neck to give a bit of sparkle to the sky