planning a new project

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What’s that? Yes, I know I have several projects in the works, and several more in the wings. But I am, in fact, planning yet another. I’ve been wanting to knit something for my dad for awhile, and while he was here visiting, I hit upon the idea that the tessellation-style prints of M.C. Escher (a favorite artist of mine and of my dad…probably not surprising given that we’re a couple of math-nerds) would be really interesting to turn into a colorwork pattern. Last night when I was talking to him on the phone, it came up again, and I really do want to give it a go.

The only thing really holding me back is that I have heard that the people who own the copyright to Escher’s works are very, very stringent about people using them, and about going after people who use them without permission. I’m not sure whether or not trying to knit a version of one of his prints would count as a “reproduction” or not, and I certainly don’t want to make the copyright holders angry. So I will need to look into that a bit. Because of their stringency with allowing people to use the images, this is going to be a rather picture-free, but link-filled post, since I will have to link to their images instead of simply saving them to my flickr and posting them.

So, forgetting copyright issues, let’s move onto just thinking about how I could actually do this. I’m thinking that in order to get a good enough level of detail, I will have to use a fine yarn, say sockweight. I could go the “easy” (because of size, not shaping!) route, and do a pair of mittens or socks (though I don’t think my dad would want to wear wool socks). Or I could go all out and knit a scarf (I have briefly entertained the notion of knitting the entire Metamorphose II (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7) into a scarf, but I think that endeavor might land me firmly in the category of “insane”). Another thing I have been considering is trying to turn one of his “Circle Limit” prints (see here, and here) into a hat (I think this would be the coolest thing to do, but the math involved in making it work might well turn out to be death to my poor brain cells!). Or I could try to figure out something else I could do with one of the many tessellation-prints that I like (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7). (5) is the pattern that is on a puzzle that my dad has, and (7) is my favorite in terms of the colors used. One problem I see with using either of them, though, is that a lot of what I like is the shading of the colors, which would be very hard to achieve with knit stitches unless I really blew up the size. But the black-and-white ones might be very doable.

What do y’all think? I’m really leaning towards trying to do a hat, because converting a “Circle Limit” sort of pattern into a hat pattern just sounds like it would be a really neat challenge. I have a couple of books of Escher prints (which I can’t find, but I know they’re around somewhere) that I could probably consult to get more ideas (I know I’ve seen more than the two “Circle Limit” drawings that they have up on the website). A lightweight hat might not be all that useful, though (but I could always line it). Anyway, I will let this little plan bounce around in my head for awhile longer before I dive in, but I would love to hear what any of you have to say, too.

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