Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Summer reds

Paterfamilias is on an icebreaker wending his way through "a sea of light," as he put it -- the surrounding ice, after all, reflects the sunlight all twenty-four hours of the day. Oddly, while I'm very used to him being away all week, since he works in Vanc'r and I work on Vanc'r Island, the extra few days of this absence, combined with the lack of our daily phone calls and e-mails, seems noticeably more difficult. But all being well, he should be back in Vanc'r tomorrow evening and back on our island for the weekend. Too bad all the raspberries will be gone by then, but I picked them yesterday and have been enjoying a handful here and a small bowlful there . . .
And while he's away, I've started a new knitting project -- he'll never notice, of course, as there are always innumerable goings-on knitwise around here, and it would take a much more observant man than Pater to tell them apart. (When he commented on my Indigo Ripples skirt on the weekend, he wondered if he'd seen it before, and was quite surprised to hear he'd been in its embryonic presence regularly over the previous few weeks.)
This cranberry-red mohair is turning into this and will be a gift for a friend who will be crossing the Pacific with her husband in a sailboat early next year -- a romantic voyage for a red sweater, no? like my blue Le Slouch jauntily doing the Parisian thing, my knitting travels on without me, taking me vicariously through the world.

But let's get back to red . . . Let it be known that while my man isn't especially observant knit-wise, some men are wonderfully so. I know that my readership is fairly light on the knitting side, heavier, perhaps, on fashion, but I think you could all appreciate what Jared does over at Brooklyn Tweed. I suspect that many of you non-knitters smirk a bit at the idea of hand-knitting and fashion/style being combined -- certainly, many examples abound of their apparent incompatibility. But Jared will show you that hand-knitting can be worn with a balance of both panache and restraint (am I right that panache only truly works in tandem with restraint?) His aesthetic sensibility is so clean, classic, yet contemporary with a wonderful, wonderful eye for colour. His photography reflects this sensibility and eye, but also demonstrates mad technical skills, at least to this novice's perception. Further, not only does he spin beautifully, but he creates and knits the most satisfying and effective patterns, often building from the classic foundations of Elizabeth Zimmerman and Meg Swansen. I've been inspired to make his Koolhaas hat and also made a scarf for my son following Jared's instructions. Someday, I'd like to make his Cobblestone sweater as well and then there's his Urban Aran Cardigan . . .
Here is his most recent FO, an interpretation of Meg Swansen's Spiral Yoke Pullover.
And changing colour before I go, you might be pleased to know that my Dollar-and-a-half cardigan has been beautifully mended (not as pleased as I am, probably!). Dorothy, at my LYS, came up with a brilliant repair which knitters might be interested in. If you remember, I ripped the button band, ending up with two holes and a jagged edge, spaced over about four inches of the band. After mulling over possible solutions, Dorothy decided to snip into the 3/4-inch band horizontally above and below the damage, rip all the in-between band out (which sounds easier than it would have been, I think), then pick up stitches along that four-inch section and knit that ribbing out again, joining up to the intact sections above and below. You can barely see the resulting seam and then only at the back -- Brilliant!


  1. That knit repair is AMAZING!

  2. Ooh, such a pretty sweater you're making for your friend. And I'm glad you were able to procure a miraculous recovery for your cardigan. Amazing!

  3. Thanks, Pseu and Jillian. It's such a relief to have my cardigan wearable again.

  4. What a great repair! I thought your sweater was done for. Why does it always happen to the new item?

  5. I admit that I, for one, respond more to the fashion posts, although i do appreciate all the beautiful knitting that you feature. However, this man's sweater is simply gorgeous, and Jared's website looks really interesting. I especially love the knitted throw in an earlier post. Patricia

  6. I'm just here to talk about the raspberries :) I positively gasped when I saw that beautiful bowl - they are so expensive and hard to get here and there you are just picking them out your garden.

  7. Nancy: that'd be Murphy's Law for Knitters, right?
    Patricia: Isn't it a great site? Mainly for knitters, yes, but I think his use of colour is inspiring beyond knitting.
    Cybill: I know I'm so lucky with the raspberries, and I feel guilty that I do nothing to help their productivity. The canes were planted at least 20 years ago, before we bought the place, and I rarely get 'round to tying them back in the fall, virtually never water, and have allowed shade trees to limit their sunlight. Yet they still give me at least one good bowl every summer -- delightful!

  8. A man who knits and wears aviators! How cool is that.
    Love the colour of that red.

  9. Alison: Yes, and you might like his prop in some of the other photos, same post: a Holga camera.

  10. Ah, so we are the same, you and I, separated from our other halves by water...spiteful water.

  11. That Jared is messing with my head: stunning Aran. My MIL was a passionate knitter and my boys wore handsome, complex Fair Isles as four year olds (I saved them!), but her adult work is pretty much styles for 10 year olds made bigger. I am heartened to see truly sophisticated knitting.

    Raspberries are one of the great joys of life.

  12. thomas: even worse, I look out across that expanse of water and can see where I need to be!
    duchesse: it's a wonderful site, and he really showcases the best in stylish, wearable, and, as you say, sophisticated knitting.
    Totally with you on the raspberries.


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