It seems that when I look at my design history, along with ideas that are percolating in my brain, projects inspired by fantasy novels are my favorite. I began reading fantasy novels in sixth grade, starting with the Shannara trilogy by Terry Brooks. At the time, it was simply an effort to show off my skills with reading over 1800 pages in the required amount of time. What I didn’t realize was the series started a lifelong love of grand heroic stories and flawed, but brave, characters.
Two of my PieceWork projects, Lyanna’s Shawl and A Hat Inspired by Sansa, are from the book series A Song of Ice and Fire by George R.R. Martin. Lyanna Stark is a character from the older generation of the Stark family that we meet only through the eyes of her brother Ned. Orenburg lace, with its rich history, felt appropriate for the piece. The colors in the shawl, along with those of the beads, pay tribute to her house and that of her love, Rhaegar Targaryen. Sansa Stark is Lyanna’s niece who gets caught up unknowingly in the intrigue and politics behind the throne. The beret is a tribute to a headpiece that she wears to a wedding. What the young woman doesn’t realize is that some of the beads in the headpiece are poisonous and were used to kill the groom at the reception.
Gerard’s Seaman’s Scarf comes from Roger Zelazny and Dave Lawrence. Zelanzy is best know for his Chronicles of Amber series from which Gerard is a prince of the blood. He is a quiet strength behind the throne and guards the sea as the royal admiral. Dave influenced me to read the novels along with his own fan fiction short story, Fiddler’s Green. It tells the story of Gerard setting down his duties and leaving Amber. The elements in the seaman’s scarf are representative of his journey.
Inspiration can be found anywhere and interpreted through craft. Books are my favorite source, as authors paint a picture in my mind’s eye and I can see the characters. In seeing the characters as I read, the patterns are created. Author Jacqueline Carey is my current source of inspiration and I can’t wait to develop more ideas.
Katrina King has yet to meet a fiber craft she doesn’t like. Along with lace knitting, she also has crochet, weaving, spinning laceweight yarn, and tatting in her tool bag. You can follow her craft adventures at Threaded Dream Studio. When she’s not crafting, she can be found teaching at her local yarn shops, reading epic fantasy novels and chasing her daughters to various activities in and around Fort Collins, Colorado.
Editor's note: The patterns featured here can be found in the following issues of PieceWork magazine: Lyanna's Shawl: Knitting Traditions Fall 2013 A Hat Inspired by Sansa: PieceWork Sept/Oct 2015 Gerard's Seaman's Scarf: Knitting Traditions Spring 2015