Monday, 14 May 2007

... and this is my friend Sandy.

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!


Seahorse said...

Phew! At last, a book of eighties monstrosities that I didn't knit anything from!

Go on, make a leopard print cardi, preferably one in acrylic with bat wing sleeves.

Sarah said...

Can't wait to see you modelling the piano stool jumper!!

Yes I am planning contrast ribbing for Arisaig - am looking forward to seeing the neopolitan version.

clarabelle said...

I think Ms Diamond and Mr Hexagon have just caught sight of their own reflections in a window.

Perhaps Sandy designed the patterns for a dare? For a laugh? Poor lass, perhaps she was going through a period of mental instability? Who knows. I like the concept of frames and canvasses, btw... I can look at my knitting in a whole new way now!

Badger said...

A nice collection of disgustibles there!

Sarah said...

Warning what warning? Thank goodness I haven't finished that swatch yet!!

I looked at Ysolda's blog but only found some stuff about the lace pattern - does she say anything about sizing?

Sarah said...

Thank you - you're a star. I've borrowed my friends Ann Budd sweater patterns book and I think they may have resized the sleeves following the chat at her blog as they are pretty much in line with the set-in sleeves in the book. Feeling happier about this beauty again - hope yours goes well :)

pixieriot said...

wow. that's... uhm... i don't aven know what to say about it. it definitely belongs in the "you knit WHAT?" blog!

p.s. i'm tagging you in a meme, it's in my blog. :-D

Queen Frogger said...

The more old patterns I see the more I thank god I wasn't knitting in those Itarsia years!!!