screen knits

Do you become obsessed with sweaters you see in films or TV? I frequently do, and on several occasions these obsessions have developed into fully-formed pattern ideas.


Ursula, for example, began life with a very fleeting glimpse of a cardigan worn by a character in South Riding, a 2011 BBC miniseries set in the 1930s. The cardigan used in this series clearly belongs to a wardrobe company frequently used by different UK production companies, as over the past decade the exact same cardigan has popped up in several other films and series with 1930s settings – most recently in Ama Asante’s Where Hands Touch. I don’t have an image, unfortunately, but Ursula’s inspiration pops up in one of the classroom scenes.

Gro’s sweater. and Pia Hernø’s Arvingen

Like many knitters, I imagine, I was very struck with the cosy oversized, sweater that Grö / Trine Dyrholm sported for several episodes in Danish series Arvingerne / The Legacy and actually toyed for a while with the idea of developing a pattern inspired by this garment which Danish designer Pia Hernø then brilliantly recreated in her gorgeous Arvingen design. Looking at this warm garment again on a cold January day, I feel increasingly inspired to knit myself one from Pia’s pattern.

Grenseland / Borderliner

Last Autumn, we were watching Norwegian series Grenseland / Borderliner, and a fleeting glimpse of a flecked cardigan, worn by Bjørn Skagestad in his role of grumpy ex police officer, filled me with an immediate desire to knit a two tone jacket of Nordic style, using very simple motifs. This moment of inspiration turned quite quickly into Fleckit, a cosy steeked hoody featuring simple two tone colourwork, which I published as part of 10 Years in the Making. I have subsequently been unable to find a screenshot or image of Skagestad’s inspiring cardigan – if you ever come across an image of it do let me know!


But the screen-seen cardigan which is currently haunting my knitting dreams is this wild colourwork symphony:

Charlotte Rampling as Claire Bobain in DNA

. . .as worn by Charlotte Rampling, in the role of detective Claire Bobain in Danish / Polish / French investigative drama, DNA (which features one of my favourite Danish actors, Nicholas Bro, and I’d definitely recommend as worth a watch).

There are several things I love about Rampling’s cardigan: the colour palette (combining soft peach shades and neutrals), the comfortable oversized shape, the combination of small and large geometric motifs, the high, ribbed collar and especially (for some reason) the ringed zipper. The best thing of all about this cardigan, though, is that, throughout several episodes it is worn by a smart and stylish older woman in the course of her work – and that she looks bloody amazing wearing it. One might argue, of course, that Charlotte Rampling would look fabulous in anything, but I still found it very refreshing to see this bold-hued , oversized and somewhat unconventional knit worn by an older woman in a professional role, rather than playing the log lady.

The combination of high ribbed neck and zipper on Rampling’s cardigan also reminds me a little of a design I’ve admired for many years and keep returning to look at – Ranga, by Icelandic legend, Védís Jónsdóttir:

Maybe its just the weather, but I’m clearly feeling inspired to knit a super-cosy, high-necked, colourwork zippered jacket!

Do you become obsessed with sweaters you’ve seen in films or on TV? Which screen knits have inspired you?