Living the Mad Men Dream
September 23, 2009
If you have been watching Mad Men (and if you haven’t, go ahead and start), you have probably been mesmerized by all the weird style. I’m loving it. The whole show looks so mannered, so odd. The designers can’t resist anything having to do with the early 1960s.
Peggy the copywriter in particular has a very strange look. Fabulously dowdy, like Diana Prince before she turns into Wonder Woman.
When I finished up my Rowena cardigan (Ravelry link) the other day, I felt a distinct Peggy the copywriter vibe wash over me:
“Yes, Mr. Sterling, I’ll have that London Fog copy for you before lunch.”
Have I mentioned how much I LURVED making this thing? It provided all the choice elements of a good knitting project: easy part, weird part, easy part, then RIBBON SHOPPING.
The hems turned out so tidy. It’s so great when a pattern works this way. Kudos to Mel Clark, the designer and former owner of Wildfiber in Los Angeles, who I read has moved back to New Zealand. Her book with Tracey Ullman, Knit 2 Together, provided this pattern.
The fit is looser than the fit shown in the book. The yarn specified in the book, Lana Gatto Feeling, is a wool/silk/cashmere blend. Delicious. But my Yllet 2-ply Extra has a definite mohair and wool scratchiness to it, so I wouldn’t have wanted to wear it without a layer inside.
The ruching didn’t end up being the problem that I feared it would be. I thought it might end up too stiff, not rumply, but it’s rumpling well enough. The cuffs are kind of chunky, but I think of them as sort of bangle bracelets.
I almost went with a set of mismatched black buttons, but it seemed too loud. So I did what I always seem to do . . . shell buttons. They’re not as white in real life; they’re just superreflecty in this photo.
I wondered how the garter stitch button band would look amid all the stockinette. I worried that it would look dissonant, out of place. But it slid right up to the edge almost invisibly. VERY cool and unobtrusive.
And as for the ribbon, I love grosgrain ribbon. I keep seeing it everywhere. (I read a New Yorker profile of Lanvin’s brilliant, lilliputian designer Alber Elbaz and his ribbons–luscious slide show here. ) Had to go with grosgrain. Textile Fabrics had an even wider ribbon, more than 3 inches, which was gorgeous stuff, but I worried that I would end up channeling the mid 1980s rather than the early 1960s. I’ve already lived the mid 1980s, and you can’t drag me back there.
Rowena looks so deflated like this! It’s really fun to wear, though, so I think I’ll be lining up for lamb ravioli at Rhinebeck with my Rowena, my girdle, my Hanes and heels.
OK maybe this Peggy the copywriter thing can only go so far.
Next up: OMG something completely different from anything I’ve ever made before. I am knitting like a maniac these days. Clearly I am procrastinating about something, but I’m not sure what . . . Everything? I’m procrastinating about everything?