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Literary, Knitterary!

Some time ago, I began keeping a list of fantasy knits from books and movies. I was thinking about knitted and crocheted items mentioned in stories and characters who knit or crochet. Good old Miss Marple!

So this is the beginning of my dream collection of literary knit and crochet designs. It’s okay to count movies too – or think of your favorite books that have been made into movies and remember the glorious period costuming! *Happy Sigh* Here’s my working list. What are your knitterary dreams?

1. Mrs. Bantry’s Hat (from the Queen of Crime’s Miss Marple mysteries) would be a cloche covered artistically with flowers–particularly “bluebells, daffodils, lupins and hollyhocks”, or “a kind of herbaceous border.” How I love Agatha Christie. Here is Gwen Watford as Dolly Bantry (pictured on left). Her hat is sadly untrimmed with flowers!

Mrs. Dolly Bantry of the Old Hall and Miss Jane Marple

2. Mr. Holmes’ invalid blanket (from Jeremy Brett’s tv series of Sherlock) — it’s a giant granny square!

“It won’t do, Watson!” He couldn't have meant his blanket, surely.

3. Mrs. Ramsay’s stocking. I do not care for Virginia Woolf, and I hated the book To The Lighthouse. But Mrs. Ramsay was knitting socks, so there’s a redeeming quality!

4. Ahhh, Ondine. Knitted minidresses, aran sweaters, fair isle sweaters, shawl collared sweaters, watchcaps, gorgeous, gorgeous, gorgeous movie, and great story too! For those who love fairy tales and myth! Starting with In Bruges, I discovered that I really like Colin Farrell when he plays an Irishman (it was pretty fun to see him sing as an American country music star in Crazy Heart, too). Anyway, in Ondine, he plays Syracuse–a fisherman who lives in a small village on the coast of Ireland…I think you can see where I’m going with this. I was convinced that this movie would have some pretty gorgeous knits and I was not disappointed. In fact, I was elated!

Okay, love, love, love Ondine’s knit dress! Even with tattered edges, and though we never get to see it dry, it’s beautiful!

This is how I want to look after almost drowning.

Next comes Syracuse’s classic watchcap. The coloration of the movie is so beautiful and there are many deep greens in the costuming and scenery (truly gorgeous Irish coastline), I can’t quite make this color out, it seems, brown, green and gray all at once. I really love it.

One of the least geeky watchcaps I've ever seen.

And another shot of the garter stitch dress and an allover cable tweed pullover for good measure.

I'm not certain this needs a caption.

5. Sir Gawain’s autumn jumper. I mean, come on. Sir Gawain the Green Knight? Am I not supposed to think of an emerald green allover cable and seed stitch pullover?

6. Knitting with the Vengeance – A Tale of Two Cities. I envision this project as some sort of knitted flag/blanket. It would probably have to be as red as blood. Garter stitch, I’m assuming, since she manages to knit away so furiously! I suppose having her teeth filed into points helped her break yarn when the scissors weren’t handy.

7. Jo March’s blue army sock – “I can’t get over my disappointment in not being a boy; and it’s worse than ever now, for I’m dying to go and fight with Papa, and I can only stay at home and knit, like a poky old woman! And Jo shook the blue army-sock till the needles rattled like castanets, and her ball bounded across the room.” Please, Jo! You’re hurting us here…the dropped stitches off the dpns!

8. Greta Conroy’s shirtwaist – Anjelica Huston plays Greta in her father’s wonderful film, The Dead (a short story by James Joyce). I adore this film, and there is so much Irish crochet lace! I watched the movie years ago on loan from a college professor back when I was oblivious to cinematic crochet/knitting interest, so when I purchased it on amazon and popped it into the dvd player, the amazing beauty and care they put into rendering such a sentimental part of the very Irish-ness of the film. A very strong theme of the story is Gabriel (the main character), and his rejection of his Irish-ness and becoming a “West Briton” and the alienation he feels from his own people, and eventually his wife. It actually brought tears to my eyes; it was one of those moments where everything just came together and I loved it so much. I loved this story, I loved this actress, I loved this crochet!

Second lady from left and third from right both wearing amazing crochet lace...hard to see, so watch the film!

9. T.S. Eliot’s Typist. She is one of my favorite characters from The Waste Land; a modern young woman making her own way in sordid London of the 1920’s. Knit and crocheted undies — stockings, slippers, camisoles, and stays. Combinations are one-piece underwear suits.

“The typist home at teatime, clears her breakfast, lights
Her stove, and lays out food in tins.
Out of the window perilously spread
Her drying combinations touched by the sun’s last rays,
On the divan are piled (at night her bed)
Stockings, slippers, camisoles, and stays.”

That’s all I’ve got for tonight, will be thinking about new installments!