I’ve somehow lost track of what it was, but sometime in the past year or so somebody (was it you?) knitted a thing in ivory with rusty-red colorwork and it struck me as so incredible that I haven’t been able to stop thinking about adding a weird spot of red to my wardrobe in that way. Since then, red-on-natural colorwork keeps crossing my path. For example, I keep this Michiyo book face-out on the shelf in my studio, and I’m currently coveting Natasha’s Tecumseh in progress, imagining if all of the colorwork were red. Most notably, though, on the long flight home from Portugal, I watched several movies and TV shows on the little screen in the headrest of the seat in front of me (remember when everyone on the plane had to watch the same movie, on the big screen?) and at the beginning of each selection was this rather elaborately produced Delta in-house promo showing brief scenes of people gathered around runway-like surfaces all over the globe. Each time it ran, rather than being irritated at the repetitiveness, I had my eyes glued to the screen, awaiting the moment where they’d come to the Nordic-looking scene and the guy in the stunning red-on-ivory sweater.
My first thought was that it seemed a bit Faroese to me, this sweater — not sure why exactly. Based on the other garments and accessories at that table, I’m not assuming it’s a handknit (although it certainly could be), and yet I half expected to find a pattern for it at Navia or Island Wool. But nope. I asked sweater sleuth Dianna Walla if it was of any particular Nordic/historical signifance or origin that she knew of, and she didn’t, but she noted that the motif is one that’s fairly common to Cowichan sweaters,* such as this one. I don’t know if this motif originated with the Cowichan/Coast Salish knitters, and clearly nothing else about this sweater is Cowichan-like, but that did lead me down a different rabbit hole I’ll tell you about another day!
So I’m left wondering if this is just a really great use of a common motif to make a killer sweater — and one that would be easy enough to replicate — or if there is more to this sweater’s story. If you know anything of relevance, I’d love to hear it!
*You can read about Cowichan sweaters here, although none of the sweaters pictured in that post feature this particular motif.
PREVIOUSLY: Daniel Day-Lewis’s gansey