Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Introducing the Coniston Sweater...

...and the world's grumpiest knitwear model!

This sweater has had several incarnations before I finally got to this version, however the inspiration has remained the same- Coniston Water, for which it is named. It's a place we like to go in all weathers, within easy reach of our house, but with less of the tourist crowds and Beatrix Potter/fleece jacket and walking boots/William Wordsworth overload of Windermere (where these pictures were actually shot- it's not as appropriate I know, but sometimes you have to grab an opportunity).
Sometimes when we drive up the lake road the water is so still that the fells are perfectly reflected in it like a mirror. It's so strikingly beautiful there have been times I've had to remind myself to drive the car instead of being mesmerised by the view. Those reflections, of steely grey clouds, of rocks that shoulder their way through the turf at the side of the road, of slate drystone walls, of moss and dark green forests are all there in the converging, alternately smooth and textured stripes of Rowan Renew- the shade colours are, appropriately enough for my boy, 'Digger' and 'Truck'.
The still flatness of Coniston is also the reason it was where Donald Campbell set the world water speed records that eventually ended in tragedy. Speed on the water is a lot more restricted now, but I thought that it was fitting that the stripes on the sweater also reminded me of those found on diagrams of the Doppler Effect, where the lines showing sound waves get closer together as an object moves past at speed. By the way, I'm not that much of geek (at least not when it comes to Physics!) but fellow Big Bang Theory fans might recognise this episode.

Theories and inspirations aside, the sweater is mainly meant to be a warm, comfortable layer for days out exploring the beauty of the outside world. My model is a very discerning customer and it says quite a lot that the sweater even stayed on him long enough for these shots to be taken- if he really hated it, it would have been dragged off over his head without a thought for all those hours of loving mama-making. No, the grumpiness was down to the fact that it was far too hot for a sweater, as far as my little fashionista was concerned, and that the only bribe I had on me for this brief episode of cooperation was a rice-cake. A favourite snack, granted, but not really what counts as a 'treat'...

I only grabbed these pictures so that I could get on with getting this pattern tested, as all being well this is going to be an early venture into selling my designs. On that front, I've had some very exciting news recently regarding another project, but I'll have to wait to share it. In the meantime, I'm going to wait until the inevitable turning of the year and the cooler weather that might just make this reluctant wearer a little bit more appreciative.

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