I'm slightly worried about posting this, because since I did this, I've been having some troubling thoughts about an intarsia leopard-print cardigan. But even if publishing this comes at a high cost to my own aesthetic sense, I can't keep it to myself any longer. Welcome to the world of Sandy Black and her original knitting!
No, that's not Sandy herself. Sandy herself is on the back flyleaf wearing a suspiciously sane-looking red jumper. In fact, she's now a thoroughly reformed character, working at the London College of Fashion. Her list of research interests sadly omit to mention such specialities as "knitting absolutely massive mohair flowers" and "designing heraldry inspired sweaters."
In the introduction, there is a rather plaintive attempt to have these garments taken seriously as wearable objects: "Sometimes it is surprising how flattering very large patterning can be, contrary to the 'correct' rules of dress, as you can see from my floral designs", writes Sandy. But really there's no point in looking at these designs primarily as clothing. They're knitting. The garments are designed as massive (4"+ of ease) canvasses for the patterns: the person underneath is just the frame.
I wonder whether these two are pointing to the future, where they can spy Mason Dixon on the misty horizon. "Oh look, darling; someone one day will realise that this pattern belongs on a piano stool and not a human being." Because the patterns themselves are rather impressive in many cases (Sandy was originally a mathematician, which might account for the interest in symmetry and geometry in many of the designs). The mixture of texture as well as colour gives an intriguing (if sometimes slightly queasy) effect too.
They're just not wearable. Not even on a dress, and not even upside-down. Nice try, though, art department!