Last week my darling mother-in-law asked me to get her this book from Amazon Japan.
A book about John Lennon’s sweaters? No. A book about how to make the sweaters that John Lennon wore? No again. This is a book of knitting patterns for sweaters inspired by John Lennon songs. I believe my mom-in-law saw it on Little Purl of the Orient (at least that’s the only place on the web I found it mentioned and pictured), and just had to have one of her own. So I ordered it from an out-of-print books dealer and now it’s mine to leaf through until we see her again.
I’m all for pseudo-hippy, new-agey, inspirational knitting books, but this one is really an unfortunate cringe-worthy cheesefest. Most of the book, which was published in 1998 by Nihon Vogue, features photos of mediocre ’90s sweaters draped over stage-y recording equipment and guitars. It all looks like it was shot on the set of a ’90s sitcom about a recording studio and the quirky-but-lovable characters who work there.
These works of art are interspersed with lyrics from classic Lennon songs and a timeline of John’s and Yoko’s “Love & Peace” activism. To be fair, some of the sweaters are actually quite knit-worthy, but they’re more Yale Club than Bed-in. And the only sweater we see John Lennon wearing in the whole book is the one on the cover.
The greatest slice of kitsch comes on the very last page – an ad for limited-edition John Lennon yarn wrappers by Olympus yarn. (I wish I could share an image of this, but my scanner is giving me trouble.) Anyone who can procure one of these skeins wins astronomical cool points.