Elen Brandt isn’t exaggerating when she says she has an “intense need to multitask.” She’s lawyer, painter and musician – as if that isn’t enough – with a knack for knitting and design. Though her interests are varied, she approaches each one like a puzzle. She visualizes a solution first and then figures out how to get there.
Elen’s Trapeze Net Scarf is a long and lightweight scarf knit in Berroco Modern Cotton. It was designed with the goals of speed and flow – in other words, it’s a quick and easy knit that looks more complex than it is. Elen was so pleased with this design, she has since released three variations. All of the patterns are free on Ravelry!
How long have you been knitting/crocheting?
I have always knitted – just not very well. When a shoulder injury precluded me from playing any musical instrument for a while, I started to study and knit seriously to keep my sanity – that would be about 7 years ago.
How did you come up with this design?
I love big, long flowing scarves, but I hate feeling like there is a metric ton around my neck. The solution was to design something with less amount of yarn filling a greater area. I always loved fishnet, but to knit fishnet involves uncomfortable gyrations that take more patience than I have. The “trapeze net” is simpler – basically a 2-line sequence – that reduces curling edges, knits really fast, and makes a largish piece with less weight and less yarn. Also, in its basic design (which is a leaning bias) it has a certain “flow” to it – like the 30s and 40s bias cut gowns.
Is there any story behind the name?
“Trapeze Net” reminded me of a circus trapeze act – a constant back and forth motion. It is smooth and easy in one line, and the other line consists of yarn (rope) flying over and then two stitches joining together.
How did you decide on the yarn?
Berroco Modern Cotton (thank you Babetta Gnos for introducing me to it), is probably what inspired the four patterns in my“Trapeze Net.” It is not wool (I am not blessed with wool-tolerant skin), it flows through your hands, and it has a wonderful feel in the finished garment. I don’t think that “I” decided on the yarn as much as it decided on me. I also have Berroco Indigo planned for this design. I really love, love, love, Indigo – it is like soft Levi’s on your neck.
Any disaster stories?
My worst disaster was getting all the way to the end of a long, involved, lace shawl project (tiny nasty little needles, skinny little fragile yarn – millions of miles of yardage) and when binding off – 3rd stitch from the end – the stitch slipped off the needle and raveled to the very bottom– no repair possible. Instead of sticking my needles through my chest and wailing to the knitting gods, I made a really stiff martini, sucked it (and my tears) up – rewound that nasty little skinny yarn back into a ball and started again. It came out really lovely and is my “remember to pay attention” trophy.
If you could knit/crochet something for anyone in the world it would be…?
Probably a scarf for Glenn Beck – his fashion sense is as off the charts as mine.
What’s your favorite thing about knitting/crochet?
It is meditation in motion – it always reminds me that everything worth having or doing is accomplished one stitch (step) at a time. And, it is better than crossword puzzles because you actually have something to show for that effort.