I got another film back this weekend, one that I had in my camera all through last month's 'Indian Summer' (it takes me a while to get through a film), and I just can't stop coming back to this picture of the ropes on the dockside. 

The reason I like it so much I think is because it so directly relates to to what I've been scouring both my wardrobe and the internet for over the past week or so – that is, good, seriously cosy, wintery woven things – so I was really interested to read Suzy Menkes' making a similar connection between the weave of rope and the weave of knitted fishermen's jumpers in the New York Times this morning.  

She writes: 'Thick ropes, naval knots and the diamond weave of fishing nets were absorbed into the psyche of the faithful wives and daughters ... who created the protective wear for their fishermen' 

Image via Muir Blog

It's such a romantic thought that there could be such a perfect synergy to the process: the rough untreated rope leading to the rough, untreated wool that the fisherwives knitted their men's jumpers with – the rope would work the sea, the woven knits would protect against it.

I love the way things like this evolve over time, and that waxy rough rope can be ruminated on enough through the decades to eventually evolve into something like the Missoni FW 2011 show in Milan, with its soft, droopy cables and (my other woven winter darling) tweed.

I also like the synergy of the fact that those basic woven mainstays of practical living – the cable knit sweaters, the rugs, blankets and plaited hairstyles – that were likely in use in the days of those knitting fisherwomen, are just as useful to me, in this twenty-first century winter, as they once were then.

Woven #2

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  1. Oh, your blog is so comforting and lovely, it makes me ache in a beautiful way.

    And I have a new appreciation for ropes and jumpers, due to this post!

  2. lovely post. I love knit-wear, always have, but I never made the connection to ropes and fishing nets. I guess growing up far far away from the sea might have something to do with that...

  3. I love wool jumpers and tweed too.

    I think you'd like this book, Fishermen's Sweaters (http://www.amazon.co.uk/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=fishermens+sweaters&x=0&y=0)

    The author is from Stornoway. It's a good book whether you knit or not, I don't but I like looking at the photos (you can see some in the amazon preview- they're somewhere between bad 90s and good old-school!)

  4. you take the typical style post and turn it into something universal, transfixing. the other romantic thing about knitted things: you just can't help but want to run your hands over them.

  5. First of all: beautiful picture! Love the colors and textures. The fishermen pic is also very strong, I really like it. I've never thought about the connection between the protective wear and the ropes and fishing nets. So interesting. Makes me like knit-wear even more.

    Camila Faria

  6. sarah hit the hammer right on the nail. kudos to observing the nexus of relations.

  7. I'm with you, been longing for sweaters and knitwear these days. In fact, I just bought a grey sweater 2 days ago. Love all the images.


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