I knit to keep myself from unraveling. | Skillshare Projects

Julie Mack Boyce

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I knit to keep myself from unraveling.

Brainstorm List

  • knitting
  • unhinged
  • yarn
  • sweaters
  • knitting needles
  • feminine
  • precarious
  • sysyphian
  • tangled
  • slipping
  • pattern
  • hands
  • fingers
  • unravelling
  • organized chaos
  • ladylike
  • movement
  • delicate
  • dark
  • soft
  • knots
  • sheep
  • hobby
  • vintage
  • portrait
  • silhouette
  • rocker

Sketching warm ups (after many pencil rounds)

Thumbnails! I was pretty focused on circular options that might sit inside a rectangular swash/maze?

Tried some rectangular options as well. Really digging on 1 & 3 from this sheet. Also tried a variation of my chosen phrase that I may might tweak some more as a separate illustration.

From thumbnail to full scale pencil. (11x14"). Draft 1.

Draft 2; futzing with where that top type should go (I probably should have one a few more focused thumbnails after I figured out which one I was going with). 

3rd draft. Changed the page orientation and mostly centered the type. Also adjsuted the swash under the un part of unraveling to leave equal amounts of space between the swash and the word itself. Maybe ready for an ink version?

Attack of the giant hands! After getting a bit distracted by hands— I find them difficult to draw so I overfocused! I don't want the hands to be the most dominate visual in the piece so I'm scrapping this version and going back to the drawing board to attempt a scripty-er version. I had avoided the capital "i" in script so I wanted to practice a few of those and a few other letters before trying to thumbnail. 

My compass went missing so I used Illustrator to lay out some concentric circles using the offset path tool. I think they're still a little wonky so I'm picking up a new compass tomorrow which I'll use for the final pencil draft. 

Now some thumbnails!

First rough full size pencil draft. Sans compass. Next round though: those curves will be right! I'm not sure about the asymmetry of the swashes but it kind of goes along with the unraveled/unhinged part of my brainstorm so I'm ok with it. But I might need to add something to the upper left to even out the weight distribution. 

Planning on re-doing the hands on this smaller scale, along with the scarf behind 'unraveling', on a separate sheet of paper and combining them later.


I wanted to try yet another layout option that wouldn't compete as much with the lettering but still be very decorative and I ended up with a sheep and some knit background texture that I am pretty happy with. It might be time to ink!

Man! I have been swamped and unable to dedicate as much time to this class as I had envisioned. I also discovered that I am a terrible inker due to unsteady hands. I did several versions in a variety of medium and ended up with a felt tip marker working out the best. 

I did the lettering on one sheet and then the sheep and background on a second.

Combining them in Illustrator. I also live traced them once pulling them into Illustrator and did a little bit of tidying with the anchor points to make up for my shaky hands. 

I'm pretty happy with how it turned out. I might attempt some color and will likely be putting it up in my Society6 shop eventually. I also might try taking a stab at completely digitizing with the pen tool in Illustrator rather than using the live trace option to get it to perfection.


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