Monday, December 10, 2007

Golden Compass Knits

This weekend, my sweetheart and I went to The Golden Compass. He had just finished reading the book (I read it a few years ago), so he was very excited to see if it would match up to his imagination. The visuals certainly did - this aspect was stunning! And we both agreed that the casting was superb - even the children seemed to be really "living" the story, not visibly "acting" it out.

But of course, the thing that caught my attention the most was the brilliant work of the costumer - the hand knitted garments. These were throughout the movie, but especially prominent and creative during the time that Lyra was with the Gyptians. There's a cute little cat-ear winter hat that was perfect. But I really loved the splash of colour of her garter-stitch coat:

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It doesn't seem that it would be too hard to duplicate:

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Here it even shows the snuggy collar and the way it was clasped...

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Someone in one of my online knitting groups identified the yarn as Noro Iro, colour #9 (which actually looks more hot-pinkish in real life). The color in the first picture is the most acurate to how it looked in the film...:
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Of course, having red hair, a hot pink coat wouldn't really be my personal choice! I'd go with deep blues and sea-green running through it. But perhaps only a child would really look good in a garter-stitch coat. I'd love to make this for someone though! Wouldn't a young girl love this as a Christmas present after she'd read the book and seen the movie? I noticed that Borders has soft white stuffed bears, similar to the ice bear above, without the armor, and thought the same thing. I wish I knew someone with young chidren who were the right age to love this book and movie and then I would spoil them with movie knits!

Edited To Add: I just found out that the coat wasn't knit from yarn at all - but from shreds of cloth, to give it a rustic look. The Gyptians were to be a combination of Eskimos, Gypsies, and Pirates, and their clothing - according to the costume designer - reflected that...
Costumer Ruth Myers, who also worked on one of my favorite films, Emma, said...
"I wanted to look at things differently. We painted, burnt and dyed everything. I wasn’t looking for the perfect piece of fabric. I wanted to make the perfect piece of fabric. (For example) Lyra's red coat, its knitted from twine, cut fabric."

She says lots of other cool things about the costume design, with photos, so read her interview HERE.

7 comments:

Nad said...

Ready for a confession? I haven't read it. I only just heard of it because of the movie but somehow this series completely escaped me. Amazon to the rescue- I'll get it for christmas now. :)

CanarySanctuary said...

What great spots!
I think the hat is adorable. The talent of said friend to identify not only the yarn, but the specific colourway puts me in awe of her knowledge. I'm getting there :)

I should go and see that movie, if only because there's a talking polar bear in it, and I loves the polar bears.

I hope the sweater recipient enjoys your gift.

Unraveling Sophia said...

Yes, the book is great (though dark) and the movie is spectacular visually - just what's needed for a holiday break. It ends on an up note - so don't worry about it bringing you down, Nad!

As for finding the the right yarn, Canary, I thought this person was pretty brilliant to track it down too! It would be fun to make a garter-stitch coat, but can you imagine how heavy it would be if you were caught out in the rain LOL!?!

maddie said...

Can you give the instructions to make the coat? I'd love to make it.

Katie said...

I was also excited to see the wonderful knits in the movie! If anyone figures out how to make the sweater or hat, I would love it. Good pictures of the movie, too.

Duffy said...

Hi, I believe the coat can be made using Feza's new Alp Oriental in Burgundy. Check out Gourmetyarnco.com click on store blog, "Yodeling for the Alps" and you will see a picture of the coat. Happy Knitting! Nancy

michaelshoulders1@msn.com said...

i am wondering if you ever figured out a pattern to that terrific sweater in golden compass? If so would you share your knowledge????