I will take a short break from posts of a politcal nature for just a moment. I was writing a friend today and mentioned that I recently fell in love with a movie, which I thought was about penguins, and so streamed it for my son while he was sick on the couch. I quickly learned that the film was not so much about penguins but more about the Poncet family, five explorers (three of them small children) who live on a boat and travel around researching penguin colonies. The above photo is Jerome Poncet, the father, a kind of Jaques Cousteau of the Antarctic. At which point I got really excited, and a little bit giddy. Lately I am feeling like explorers are my version of rock stars. I have been copying, studying and researching exploration for a top secret project I am working on (which I can’t really talk about here because, well, it’s top secret). But let’s just say it involves exploration and artifacts, and top secret information. And public art, but that’s all I’m saying for now.
So, where am I going with this? So I was glued to the screen while this beautiful, blond, intelligent, (I should add slightly wind blown and in need of some lip balm), Aussie mamma talked about how she felt her children were learning so much by experiencing the world directly, the best form of education possible. Her offspring flitted and jumped about on rocky coastlines, amidst seals and whales, and ran carefree and pantless on the deck of the boat in the middle of a frigid and icy ocean. Enough to make this mamma inhale deeply and feel pangs of panic at the precariousness of it all. A bit of envy sat in the pit of my stomach at how calm she seemed, not at all worried. Able to let her children (all boys) run wild, in the wild. And me barely able to let my son run wild in his own backyard, lest he fling himself off his favorite climbing tree, of which he is able to climb up two feet. I suppose I should let myself off the hook a bit given that my oldest is three and a half, while hers are five, seven and ten. So I have a few years to go in learning to let go a bit more. Anyway, I am digressing here.
As you already know I am big on knitting and so I was also envying the hand knit (or what look to be hand knit) items worn by the family. Most noticeably the above balaklava which Jaques seems to never take off which gives him that stereotypical french explorer look (that and the french looking nose). There is also a beautiful tweed fisherman’s sweater worn by the five year old. The whole family wears these balaklava’s and I’m thinking it’s not only cool looking (look at the pom pom perched on top), it’s totally practical. No scarf needed. Why didn’t I think of that before? I must knit it. Balaclavas are this year’s chunky cowl. We can make them cool. It’s all in how you wear it. How can you argue with Jaques style? Look at him. That man is tough as nails, (I started to wonder if the handrolled cigarette was actually glued to the side of his mouth for looks).
Alas, a quick search on the internet for a pre-existing pattern of the same design turned up nothing. I am not sure if my knitting skills are up to the task of creating this masterpiece on my own. Even though it is really much like a hat with a hole in the middle right? The bonus of this design is that with the slight brim, you can fold up the bottom and wear it just as a hat, as Jaques so casually does in one scene. It just screams “The world is my oyster.” I am solidly convinced that the mother knit them all. Not only is she beautiful, intelligent and daring but she can clothe all of her family, knitting up these warming treasures while on the high seas and cook fabulous french cuisine on a one burner stove in the galley kitchen. What greatness I tell you.
Anyway, if any of you knitters out there know of a pattern of similar nature to this one, or have the skills to share with me some ideas for recreating it, I would love to hear from you.
I won’t be surprised at all if this catches on. You watch. Admit it. You want one too.