Back in August, local knitwear designer Holli Yeoh came by the studio to choose yarns for her new colorwork knitting design, Lady Emmeline, for the colorwork issue of Petite Purls. At the time, we had Carly, a fashion design intern from Ryerson, working at the studio and Holli was so gracious and helpful. Holli gave an impromptu mini-lesson on how the handknit design process works, from sketch to swatch to finished pieces. We spent some time working on colour combinations and trying to see what would work best for the brocade-like stitch pattern she had planned.

Using our Tough Love Sock, Holli decided on the Goldmine and Amethyst combination… real “royal” feeling colours. Sometimes mixing complementary colours like yellow and purple can make for a greyed back, muddy look, but in this case, the amounts of each colour are significant enough to get the opposite effect. There is a phenomenon in colour theory where complementary colours placed adjacent to each other will actually intensify the appearance of each colour.

They incite each other to maximum vividness when adjacent; and they annihilate each other to gray black when mixed, like fire and water. — Johannes Itten on complementary colors

This is the exact feeling I get when I look at Holli’s beautiful design. Each colour seems to make the other POP to maximum vividness!

Holli has really cleverly constructed this garment: the bodice is worked from waist to shoulder, starting with a provisional cast-on. Then the skirt is worked from the provisional cast-on down towards the hem. There is also A-line shaping in the skirt that is managed by using increasingly larger needle sizes. It’s pure genius.