POP FIBER: Mr. Lucky and the Gender of Knitting



This week, we’ve been thinking and chatting about the relationship between gender and art/craft and in particular about the spectacle of the male knitter. It’s a big conversation, involving concepts like industrialization, domesticity, capitalism, “women’s work,” high versus low art, homophobia, sexism, ageism, yadda yadda yadda… It’s a conversation we want to keep having but certainly can’t fit into a single post. So today’s post is a little experiment: it’s a short-and-sweet critical essay on a popular instance of cinematic knitting—Mr. Lucky, starring the one and only Cary Grant—just to begin thinking through this question.

The film Mr. Lucky (1943) was based on a story called “Bundles for Freedom” by Milton Holmes, who also wrote the film’s screenplay. It features a classic moment of knitting on film, and captures a moment in American history when knitting was not only popular but almost mandatory in the name of patriotism. Watch this clip for the famous scene of Cary Grant getting lost in his stitches: Continue reading POP FIBER: Mr. Lucky and the Gender of Knitting


POP FIBER: Brioche Knitwear & Carol


Much has been said, written, drooled… about the wardrobe in the film Carol (2015). The film stars Cate Blanchett as Carol Aird, a middle-aged, mid-divorce mother, and Rooney Mara as Therese Belivet, department store shopgirl and Carol’s young lover. Costume designer Sandy Powell knocked it out of the park with Carol’s vintage garb, from the showstopping fur coat to the coral scarves and hats to match her manicure. Therese’s wardrobe is less glamorous but just as drool-worthy—the wide-leg trousers with ankle booties, the navy duffle coat with striped detail, the whimsical pom-pommed beret. From start to finish, the women are divine.

But, of all of the fantastic garments in this fantastic film, the one that I find myself thinking about again and again is not one worn by either Blanchett or Mara—it’s the sweater worn by Therese’s male suitor Richard (Jake Lacy) when the two argue in her apartment. In this scene, while he struggles once again to comprehend why Therese would prefer to spend time with her “friend” Carol than to sail with him to Europe, he looks impossibly snuggly and dapper in a chartreuse-and-black ribbed knit pullover with a shawl collar. Continue reading POP FIBER: Brioche Knitwear & Carol