Monday, July 30, 2007

Oh Deer, Nudity! Quick, Cover up with a Lacy Cardigan!

Yes, the title's a bit odd, but by the end of this post you'll see that it's fitting, if very, very contrived.

So finally, here he is, in all his nude glory, Michael Hermesh's sculpture, The Baggage Handler. You really should click on the photo to enlarge it; I found this work moving and comic at the same time -- poignant if that's not too trite. The open setting is part of the sculpture's effect, underscoring the man's vulnerability in his "unaccommodated" state (I do think there's a bit of King Lear here), and you get a better sense of that in the larger version. The sculpture (which includes the surrounding suitcases) is installed at Red Rooster Winery (where we saw it on our recent wine tour, but you may have read about this sculpture when it was originally installed in the Okanagan City of Penticton in 2005. It's really worth clicking on this link to read a trail of media coverage detailing the nuttiness of this story, but I'll condense it for you in the meantime. When city officials received complaints about Frank's nudity ("Frank" being the nickname the nude statue acquired during his media--and, I guess, existential--exposure), the first solution tried was a steel plate the artist affixed to cover the offending area. The plate was removed almost immediately as aesthetically disjunctive, interfering with the viewer's appreciation of the artwork. As the statue remained in place over the next several weeks, it was vandalized regularly, most strikingly by having the genitalia removed. Meanwhile, the mayor and councillors claimed to be offended that they hadn't been more clearly informed that the commissioned piece would be nude. Although they had seen a model before the sculpture was built, the mayor said of the model's diminuitive nature that "even if he had a telescope, he wouldn't have been able to ascertain whether or not the figure was clothed." Another newspaper article quoted him as saying that he's "not opposed to nudity, per se" and expressing his concern that the poor man (Frank, that is) is unclothed in the minus eight degree weather. All of which makes giggling at a sculpture of a nude mermaid pale in comparison, I'd say. The story has a happy ending though, since Red Rooster bought the installation which is on permanent display in the gorgeous setting above (and yes, it was fully repaired first, genitalia and all)>

Okay, so there's the nudity for you -- did I deliver on a promise or what?

Now to explain the misspelling in the title -- not misspelling at all, just a very bad pun. I thought you'd like to see who walked across our beach (we have the amazingly good fortune to live at the waterfront on a small island) as we sat reading yesterday. These fellows are regular visitors to gardens 'round here, but we'd never seen one walk along the beach (and right up to water's edge) before. He seemed to have something in mind and spent quite a bit of time on the beach, but I'm not sure what he was looking for and he eventually left (by land).

And finally, the Lacy Cardigan of the title? Yes, it's off the needles, and ready to wear. I'm not keen on the photo of me modelling it so I'll just show you it sunning itself, but if you want to click on the Flickr Finished Objects badge in the right column, you can see what it looks like on.

As for project details, I started this in early May after I went looking for yarn to use in the Spring Interweave Bonsai Tunic. I couldn't find anything I liked, but found the Elisabeth Lavold Hempathy which I loved. Since it didn't work for the Bonsai Tunic, I had to look for another pattern (do other knitters do this craziness as well?) and first bought a Debbie Bliss book for a cardigan I thought would work. When I later realized I didn't like the pattern enough and couldn't find anything else in my library that would work with the yarn and my current wardrobe needs, I went back to my LYS where Lynnette helped me find this Sirdar pattern 8893 meant to be knit in their Luxury Soft Cotton DK. Perfect. The pattern's quick to figure out and I love the way its laciness works with the yarn, which has great body and is a perfect weight for a summer evening and should provide a bit of warmth right into fall. The only thing I didn't like about the pattern is the instruction to do all increases knitting in pattern, which can get confusing given the k3togs and the adjoining yo's. I'm not sure a narrow stockinette band in an underarm seam would be so bad and it would provide a better opportunity for a selvedge edge to provide a cleaner seam.

Anyway, there you have it, nudity, deer, and a lacy cardigan. I'm off now for a run -- the two 35-minute runs I did last week don't seem to have aggravated my Achilles, so I'm going to try to do a bit more this week. If you have one more minute, please vote in the poll at the top of the righthand column -- I'm anxious to hear what folks like and/or don't like about my blog.


  1. I'm glad to see Frank has found such a great spot to drop his baggage.

    I love your cardigan - the colour is terrific on you. and please, pass my birthday salutations on to Paul.


  2. I love your cardigan. The color is beautiful and you've made a great picture sort of framing it with the wicker look table, your daughters' not the only talented photographer I see.


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