Wednesday, July 9, 2014


Layering is a design concept I love, although never having studied design, I have no idea if it actually exists as a formal principle. What I am referring to is the idea of starting with a main design feature and then adding smaller details that make for a richer whole.
I read a lot about gardening (I'm a fan of Marjorie Harris), and it's clear that the best garden designs rely on this approach.
I see it in architecture too. I happen to live in a neighbourhood that has a dense and well-preserved stock of structures reflecting 200 years of habitation (old for North America). While out for a walk a couple of days ago, I caught the evening sun highlighting some details not normally noticeable on a brick Victorian home. Usually when I pass by this house, I only notice is its turret and little balcony.

With the slanted rays of the evening sun casting a golden glow on the warm red brick, suddenly the background details were more visible. The richness of detail is staggering.

So, how does this relate to the world of knitting design? Brookline is a good example. At first
glance, what catches the eye is the overall silhouette, with its flared shape and gentle ruffles. 


Now go in for a closer look, and the texture of the knot stitch becomes more apparent, especially in this version done in 100% merino Lanett Babyull.

Now zoom in to see something noticeable only very close up--the little knots on the forearms.

The same sort of thing is going on in "Buttonbox" with its little french knots strategically placed on the pockets and centre back. 


This is what makes knitting and knit designing (not to mention knit wearing) so full of pleasure. It's what makes a garment (or a garden, or a house) worth looking at again and again, because it seems there is always something more to discover.