Normally in knitting, we strive for symmetry! We’re praised when our stitches are even and both sides of a garment match, right? That’s the sign of an excellent knitter. Why would we want to change that up?
Because symmetry is static; asymmetry is active.
Symmetry is posed and fixed. Asymmetry is fluid and dynamic.
It’s arty, playful, edgy, even youthful – and hip!
It’s both bohemian and sophisticated.
It’s a break away from all things routine and predictable in our life – and sometimes we need that.
Asymmetry can also be very flattering. It takes the focus off our physical bodies as eyes are drawn to the movement and flow of the garment instead. Throw in some vertical – or diagonal – lines for extra slimming. And it’s great for layering which tends to hide the tummy.
It’s certainly not new in fashion. Think Grecian mythology. Roman dress. Greek Goddess. We continue to see lots of play with asymmetry on the runways with necklines, shoulders, hemlines, and even sleeves.
So, how can we use asymmetry in knits?
Take a look at runway fashion and you’ll get lots of ideas. Hems are easy to alter; play with combining different stitch patterns, or mix it up with colors and stripe sequencing. Side-to-side garments are a great way to transition between patterns while adding flattering vertical elements. Below are some areas to think about when adding asymmetry to knits.
Hemlines – We see this everywhere right now. It’s all over ready-to-wear. Skirts and tops have been playing with dramatic changes in length for years.
- handkerchief style – multiple layers of varying length. This can be very flattering to the legs. Could have this style only on one side or mix up the lengths on either side.
- diagonals – strong diagonal that dips on one side and rises on the other. Ruffles could be added easily along the edge.
- high/low – also called mullet or waterfall. It was even referred to as fishtail in the Victorian Era. The hem is higher in the front than the back. Especially popular for tops (because it covers the bottom!).
Shoulders – another hot trend right now. Lots of off the shoulder looks and one shoulder.
- one shoulder – softens the shoulder line, feminine
- off shoulder – one side could be embellished or ruffled, etc
- embellish on one side – think flowers, ruffles, lace, etc
- draping on one side – pleats and gathers for a bold look
Necklines – can be straight on one side, curved on another, lace on one side, or any combination of variations. Even the trim could add the asymmetrical twist.
- straight and curved – or differing angles on each side
- lace or embellishment one side
- each side a different length
Sleeves – lots of options here, too. Anything from color to fit could be altered.
- differing lengths
- differing fit
- differing textures, motifs, etc
Other accents might be slits, cutouts, layers, wraps, overlapping fronts, motifs on only one side, single pockets, random draping, diagonal seams, fitted on one side, color changes, texture, and patterning changes. The possibilities are endless!
I have included runway photos here for inspiration. Visit my pinterest board to see more. Of course, there are also many great patterns that already exist for asymmetry in knits, but that’s for another post.
What’s your favorite trend in asymmetry? I’d love to hear from you!