04 November 2006

Solresol

In the 19th century, Jean François Sudre invented a universal language called Solresol. Each word in this language is composed of a combination of some of the seven notes of the musical scale (do, re, mi, etc.). People can have a conversation by playing instruments or humming at each other. But that’s not all. Each of the seven notes is also represented by one of the seven colors of the rainbow, so you can communicate in Solresol via a sequence of colors.

The felted items in this project contain a message in Solresol. The vase (on the left, and which could also be used to hold knitting needles) says dore milasi domi, which means “I love you.” And the bag, which could be used as a purse but is perfect to hold small knitting projects such as socks, reads laresolmi mimifaso. That translates to “string everywhere.”

Of course, you can substitute other messages instead. There is a short on-line dictionary and grammar of Solresol available at http://www.ptialaska.net/~srice/solresol/intro.htm. The color equivalents of each note are as follows: do = red, re = orange, mi = yellow, fa = green, sol = blue, la = indigo, si = violet.

Just remember that you’ll be knitting the project from the bottom up, so you’ll need to knit your colors in reverse order. I’ve separated each word with two rows of black (which shows up better than white, and felts better as well). Where two colors appear next to each other, as they do in mimifaso, knit the stripe double-wide.

This project knits up quickly and makes a great gift. Just include a little card explaining your secret message to your recipient.

SIZE
One

FINISHED MEASUREMENTS
Before felting:
Height 11 inches
Base diameter 5 inches
After felting:
Height 7 inches
Base diameter 3.5 inches

MATERIALS
Note: 1 skein of each color will give you enough yarn to make several vases or bags.
[MC] Cascade Pastaza [50% llama/ 50% wool; 132 yd per 100g skein]; Color: 008 (black)
[CC1] Cascade 220 [100% wool; 220 yd per 100g skein]; Color: 9404 (red)
[CC2] Cascade 220 [100% wool; 220ydper 100g skein]; Color: 7824 (orange)
[CC3] Cascade 220 [100% wool; 220ydper 100g skein]; Color: 7828 (yellow)
[CC4] Cascade 220 [100% wool; 220ydper 100g skein]; Color: 7813 (green)
[CC5] Cascade 220 [100% wool; 220ydper 100g skein]; Color: 8887 (blue)
[CC6] Cascade 220 [100% wool; 220ydper 100g skein]; Color: 8393(indigo)
[CC7] Cascade 220 [100% wool; 220ydper 100g skein]; Color: 9345 (violet)

1 set US #09/5.5mm double-point needles

stitch marker
tapestry needle
clean, empty 16 ounce jar (optional)

GAUGE
Gauge is not important for this project.

PATTERN NOTES
The vase and the bag are worked the same until the last row. If you want a vase, simply bind off all stitches in the last row. If you want a bag, you will turn the last four stitches into an I-cord.

I’ve used Cascade 220 in this project, but you can use any feltable worsted-weight yarn, as long as it comes in the seven basic colors. I used Cascade Pastaza, a somewhat bulkier yarn, for the bottom and black stripes here because it gives the base a little more heft.

Color instructions below are for the “I love you” vase. Adjust the colors if you wish to change the message. If your message is longer than 7 colors, you may want to change the number of rows you knit in each color, so that your finished project has approximately 60 rows on the side.

4-st I-cord: Knit 4 onto a second double-point needle. [Slide all 4 sts to other end of needle. With yarn in back (it will be at the left side of the work) and RS facing, knit across, pulling first stitch taut so as the create a closed tube.] Repeat to desired length.


PATTERN
Using MC, CO 9 sts. Divide sts. evenly between 3 needles and join, being careful not to twist. Place marker at beginning of round.

Bottom
Row 1: k all sts
Row 2: [k1fb] 9 times
Rows 3-5: k all sts
Row 6: [k1fb] 18 times
Rows 7-12: k all sts
Row 13: [k1fb] 36 times
Rows 14-15: k all sts
Row 16: [k6 k2tog] 9 times

Sides
Rows 1-8: using CC3, k all sts
Rows 9-16: using CC1, k all sts
Rows 17-18: using MC, k all sts
Rows 19-26: using CC7, k all sts
Rows 27-34: using CC6, k all sts
Rows 35-42: using CC3, k all sts
Rows 43-44: using MC, k all sts
Rows 45-52: using CC2, k all sts
Rows 53-60: using CC1, k all sts

For vase, BO all sts.
For bag, BO 59 sts, put remaining 4 sts onto 1 needle. Work 4-st I-cord for 48”, or to about one-third longer than your desired finished length. BO all sts, and cut yarn, leaving a 12” end.

FINISHING
If you have made the bag, sew the free end of the I-cord onto the opposite edge of the bag, forming a strap.

Weave in all ends well.

Felt the piece: Place the piece in a zippered pillow protector (this is to keep fuzz out of your washing machine). Place in a top loading washing machine with a tiny amount of liquid detergent. To assist the felting process, also place a couple of pairs of jeans or old towels into the washer. Set the water temperature on hot and the water level on medium. Turn on the washing machine. When the machine begins agitating, stop the process every few minutes and check the progress of your felting; continue until the project has shrunk considerably and you can no longer see stitch definition. On my machine, this took about 15 minutes, but yours may vary.

Remove project from zippered bag and blot some of the excess water with towels. To block the piece into shape, you may wish to place a clean 16 ounce jar inside the piece. The jar ought to fit a bit snugly. Allow to dry thoroughly; depending on temperature and humidity, this may take a day or two.

If you wish to use your piece as a vase, keep the jar inside to hold water and to provide extra stability to the sides.

[This pattern is copyrighted by dephal. Please feel free to make copies for your own use, but you may not make commercial use of this pattern without my permission.]

6 comments:

Nancy said...

I love the pattern and how original your inspiration was! I think it's brilliant too;)

I'm definitely making one or two for the holidays (and one for myself).

sibtigre2 said...

Wonderful! I love it! Thank you for sharing it with us. I plan on making some too! :)

dephal said...

Thanks, you guys! I'm so happy to know I'm not completely delusional (well, about this anyway!). Please share pictures of yours when you complete them.

Robin's Reports said...

Ooooh, I'm going to share this "Solresol" with my music teaching sister. She will love to read this.

Also, I can't believe Ruthie is 8!!!

Further below, my boys would be so jealous that you were at Legoland. They have been bugging me to take them there.

Knatolee said...

They rejected it because they are retarded. What more can I say?

I love them! And I have a Bachelor of Music, so I can speak authoritatively on these things. HAHAHA!

kathy said...

I am having trouble with the link to get the "pattern for the Colors Help