In January, Anna posted an Instagram from a printer, where her new book was on the press. I was bursting with surprise and curiosity. Anna is one of the most inventive designers I know. What was she up to? I made haste to find out.
It’s a joy to share Marlisle: A New Direction in Knitting, an independently published book that we are proud to carry in the Shop.
What is marlisle? It’s a combination of marling (holding together strands of different colors) and Fair Isle (stranded colorwork). As explained in the introduction to Marlisle, “You simply work some stitches with a single yarn and others with two held together to create the patterns.”
The technique may be simple, but the results, as shown in Anna’s designs, are extraordinary. These are the kind of knits that make knitters peck at what you’re wearing and ask, “how did you do that?”
Marlisle is a technique-based book with 11 patterns that introduce and explore this way of making a multi-colored, textured fabric. The book’s photographs (by Elle Benton) and its illustrations and design (by Kristin Blom) are infused with the playfulness that fills Anna’s work.
The patterns are varied and fun. Here’s a sampling.
Fingerless mitts with bold chevrons.
A cozy hat with an X marking the crown. To me, this pattern looks like a most accessible point of entry to the marlisle technique.
A tour de force zig zag cardigan. This is elegant, lifetime achievement knitting, the Chanel-inspired jacket we’ve never stopped looking for.
Mittens with a delicate diamond brocade fabric.
A chic funnel-neck pullover for the slopes or the streets. Mostly marl, with a judicious dash of isle.
A fringed, triangular wrap. This reversible, woven-look fabric looks like so much fun to knit. And to kick the fun factor even higher, it’s knitted in the round with a knotted steek. Cut it and voila: instant fringe.
A cowl with tessellating diamonds arranged into chevrons.
A stunning yoked pullover with dimensional tumbling blocks.
Marlisle: A New Direction in Knitting is available in the Shop. We’d love to send you a copy of this extraordinary book.