Landscaping with Wool

Yes, it’s possible to knit a landscape. Here’s how. The trick is, you don’t start with wool. It’s very sneaky, this wool thing. First, you look around, see what kind of raw materials are available. Ah, your family left some junk lying around? Good place to start.

The Black Gate, Trier

The romans had a whole city like this, which they started piling together out of rocks cut from the local hills in the year 16 B.C.

There are a few bits left. The baths, for instance, where they channelled the city water system through a maze of chambers, where they could sit and get wet …

The Emperor’s Baths, Trier

The whole thing stretches for a couple hectares. That’s a lot of rock and brick. The rest of the city lies on top of the old waterworks (also brick). Water doesn’t flow in them anymore.

And where did all the rest of the rocks go, hmm? Well…

Farmer Hoarding a Few Roman Rocks Above the Amphitheatre, Trier

Maybe you don’t have the bucks to heat water to soak yourself in, like your ancestors did, but you can build walls and let your grapes soak in the sun, and drink that, right?

Right! But the think about rocks is that people might just come down and bomb your city into rubble, so you have to start again, and what do you start with? Roman rocks. Here is a picture of how things got going again in Trier in 1945. People looked around, and had to figure out what their natural resources were …

Vineyard Stairs, Trier

Notice how the quality of the stonework has gone down since roman times. 

Well, it worked, the people of Trier rebuilt their wine industry out of the rubble, and then they got so rich selling wine that, instead of having wine made by the poorest of people and selling it to the rich, wine is now made by the richest of people and sold to the poor. What is a poor young person to do, other than eat ice cream outside of the Black Gate, which is mighty popular, I must say? Aha! Let the world know they are there, as a kind of warning…

Public Toilet, Trier, State Museum Grounds

The thing about building with metal is that you can’t tear things down and build a new city more to your liking.

Oh, yes you can! While the locals are playing boulles and travellers are a) threading through them, and b) admiring the view of 17th century statues reflected in shallow pools of water, someone has been busy…

Trier Fashion Show

State Museum Grounds

Here’s another model…

Upstaging the Begonias!

And another, King of the Sea himself!

Neptune Among the Ladies


Isn’t it delightful? It shows how the process of renewal that Europe benefitted from by being able to dismantle all that roman infrastructure to quickly build new environments can be done today, when there isn’t anything that can be physically taken apart. What’s more, it shows that this …

Riesling Plants, Trier, Germany, Rome

The King of white grapes, in their best habitat.

… is just a form of knitting, too. After all, the riesling plants are part of a tradition that goes back to Rome, which was, well, here. The administration collapsed. The people remained, or some of them, at any rate. As time went on, the poor people kept up the vine tradition, and drank the whole thing themselves. In the 19th century it went industrial and commercial, as many things did, when people tried to figure out how to industrialize the things they had done before for free. Ultimately, though, it is all just decoration. It’s important to stop thinking of things like this as agriculture. They are art, from a time in which art included the food that we eat. If society can start thinking like that again, it will free its young people from the pressures of capital, which make the canvasses, the land, too expensive for young people to own. Knitting caps and scarves for grape plants would be a good place to start, to demonstrate that, as far as ownership goes, no one owns a grape plant or the land it grows on, only a position in society. And those change more easily than people might think.

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