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Designing Knitwear with Tayler Harris


 

I am enthralled with how people design. . . and I love textile swatches - woven ones, knit ones, printed ones, all the ones. I love to imagine what those swatches might become. When hand drawn sketches are involved, I swoon. And swoon, I did, when I saw Tayler Harris's design boards for our Holiday 2021 Collaboration.

Tayler's inspiration for the collection came from the Uinta mountains of her home state of Utah. In Tayler's words-

The Uinta Range is full of forests, lakes, and meadows, and is home to the highest point in Utah, Kings Peak, that reaches over 13,000 ft. It is a beautiful place full of so many textures, colors, shapes, sounds, smells, and wildlife. All of the beauty that can be found there brought so much inspiration to these pieces.

Tayler's first piece in the collection is a sweater in our fingering weight yarn named for the mountains themselves: Uinta. Her design board collage of photos made me gasp as she connected the region's lushness and textures to flowing, gentle cable stitches, appropriately in our color Moss.

Uinta design board by Tayler Harris

Tayler had this to say about Uinta-

Uinta reminds me of the beautiful forests that cover the range, the rolling land and gentle slopes, the trees that seem to go on forever up into the sky…my hope is that as you knit this piece and see the cables come to life, it will bring a sense of peace into your day. I imagine the birds that live in these trees and the path they fly everyday as they weave in and out, in and out…

 Lovenia and Mirror Design Board by Tayler Harris

Lovenia and Mirror were initially inspired by the natural lakes of the same region, reflecting over 1,000 pristine and calm natural lakes of the mountain range. After having completed Lovenia, however, Tayler re-imagined Mirror from her original swatch and sketch into a simpler ribbed hat that picks up on the long, ribbed edge of the scarf. According to Tayler, the ribbing mimics the ancient rocks that form the mountain’s skeleton. Millions of years and tremendous pressure have formed faults that are nearly vertical. Deep, immovable, fierce, yet romantic.

The design change makes sense when you put the hat and scarf together. Instead of potential competition of cables, you feel harmony with the two pieces--much like nature, itself, in this beautiful mountain range.

Now a little about Tayler.

Tayler’s life is full with her husband, two boys, their dog, and her very busy creative life. Having studied art and photography at university, Tayler learned to knit about 9 years ago. Knitting and designing have now become her passion.

When I began to work with Tayler last year, two things stood out: her compassionate, gracious character and her nuanced eye for design. Tayler's designs are thoughtful - classic, while being modern. Her sense of color is spot on, as you can see in her stunning Brookside poncho design and Alpine and Nebo cowls, all of which adeptly combine colorwork and textural stitch patterns.

Now in her new collection, we find the elegance of clean lines and cable patterns, resulting in garments that are both refined and handsome, meant for everyone, that I personally cannot wait to make and wear. I even think there's time for me to make Mirror for my husband for Christmas. . . Oh, and those beautiful photographs of all of her garments? That's Tayler modeling and using her amazing photography skills. 

Tayler, you are such an inspiration to me as a person and a designer. Your capacity to listen and to love are gifts that you share freely. I am grateful to call you my friend.

Follow Tayler on: website, Ravelry, IG: @tayleranneknits; Tayler has technique videos to go with the new patterns: YouTube.

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Until soon, find joy in knitting with cashmere!

--Amy


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