Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Marnie MacLean

This is the first in a series where I ask knitwear designers all sorts of probing questions. Since I'm really interested in the way nature "informs and inspires" design, my first interviews will focus on that. So, will a drum roll, I give you....

Marnie MacLean is a knitwear designer in lovely Portland Oregon, where she lives with her two adorable dogs and a spectacular guy, all of whom are endlessly patient with her ever-growing supply of yarn. You can find Marnie online at

Is there a singular inspiration for you in nature?

There is really no one inspiration for me in nature. I certainly combine various aspects of it into my designs, like Astoria, with it's wave motif and Lily with it's lily of the valley motifs. But neither of those were necessarily triggered by nature itself. I'm more inspired by the way shapes, color, and fit can flatter (or not!) the human form. So first, I have a concept that I think will be flattering, then I fill in the details. For instance, in the case of Lily, I wanted a motif that ran up the sides but would look good split to follow the raglans. The idea being that the details would draw a visual line inside the torso that would slim the whole body. With Astoria, I wanted a colorwork combination that would emphasize an hourglass figure, by drawing attention at the bust and minimizing the size of the waist. Dark color and darts in the waist area, are meant to achieve that. While the colorwork band is lighter and busier, adding emphasis to the area. In the pattern itself, I give suggestions for flattering other figure types by changing the colors and the location of the motif.

1 comment:

Marnie said...

Thanks for the interview, it was fun! I'm flattered to be the first in the series :)