One of my favorite designers, Norah Gaughan, posted on the Berocco blog about Icelandic influences on her designs. She included a mini-slide show of a trip she took to Iceland about 10 years ago, along with photos of two of her designs.
Until reading that post and seeing the Iceland images next to the knitwear, I had never noticed how exactly Icelandic sweaters resemble the landscape. The images below (not Norah’s—you’ll have read her post) show the jaggedy silhouettes of the landscape with defined areas of color.
You can see these same elements in traditional Icelandic sweaters.
I got to wondering about how my environs affect my own designs. I live in the Hill Country area of the Lone Star State, filled with dark green cedar trees year-round, bluebonnets in the spring, white-tail deer, gnarled and twisty Live Oak trees, windy dirt roads, and barking dogs and their redneck owners.
Looking at my designs:
- I don’t use green yarn or the periwinkle color of bluebonnets, and, in fact, have very little of those colors in my yarn stash. (My stash shows a definite bias toward brown, but that’s because I look good in that color.)
- I like clean, straight lines, regular intervals, and symmetry. (I do knit a lot of intriciate, winding cables, and I absolutely love twisted stitches, but that’s due to to all the cable stitch dictionaries I can’t seem to get enough of.)
- My designs don’t feature dogs, does, bucks, or pickup trucks. (Yes, there are some reindeer and stars on my Harts and Stars cozy, but that’s a Norwegian influence.)
- No camouflage, neither.
I guess my knitting and designs are just resistant to the influence of my environment.