What’s So Great about Marling?
The dictionary suggests that marled may be a shortening of marbled. I’d believe it, because as I’m blasting through this Shakerag Top, Marled Edition, I can definitely see that it has the striated look of stone.
Amy Christoffers’s Shakerag Top (from MDK Field Guide No. 6: Transparency) calls for stripes to be worked using one strand of yarn, then two strands held together. When using one color of yarn for both strands, the effect is subtle and sophisticated.
When the two strands are different colors, the marling is epic.
If you look at a word too long, it starts to look strange. Take marled, for example. I’ve been thinking about this phenomenon of knitting with two strands of yarns, differing colors, and I’m all marled up. The longer I look at my marled knitting, the more surprising it gets.
In the MDK Shop
From a distance, the stripes of my Marled Shakerag Top look clear enough. The Loam is appropriately gray and dim, the stripes less so. (The yarn here is Jade Sapphire Sylph from our Shop, a cashmere/linen blend that is surprisingly crispysoft.)
Move closer, and the lighter stripes begin to disintegrate.
Up close, you can see the capricious behavior of the cream yarn as it moves around each stitch as it pleases.
Randomly beautiful. Beautifully random!
The gray stripes (Loam, if you’re a stickler for a shade name) are worked with just one strand of the gray yarn, so there’s a bit of dimensionality in the texture of my Marled Shakerag Top.
If you’re thinking this looks like easy fun, you’re right. There are already Shakerag Tops appearing on Instagram at #shakeragtop.
One thing that strikes me about this marling is the way Hush, the cream color, lightens the Loam without overpowering it. Marling this Hush with any of the Sylph shades would work to good effect, I think.
Finally, if the notion of marling seems marlvelous to you, I suggest you spend time with Anna Maltz’s extraordinary book, Marlisle: A New Direction in Knitting. Anna’s inventive exploration of holding two strands of yarn together made my head besplode with excitement.