Thursday, October 22, 2009

Weddings and Cardigans

Scot Huber has some very pretty photographs of cardigans at a wedding. I knew him many years ago when I worked in Dorchester for a summer.

Sweater Habitats

A million people, at least (at least) have said to me, "ellen, I wish I could have my own sweater blog. I really think it's such a crucial thing to document all of the sweaters out there, and you can't do it all by yourself. But where would I look for people wearing sweaters? I'm just no good at it."

Usually I walk away after muttering something about the shackles of my responsibility, but now I hope to put your insecurities at rest. Here are the top 5 places to find people wearing sweaters.

1. Your local, independently owned coffee shop.
2. The English Department of any respectable university.
3. Any public broadcasting station.
4. For many copies of the same sweater, try a private high school.
5. At a bus stop near any location on this list.

But the best sweaters are the ones that pop up when you don't expect them to. So this list is completely worthless! Hahahaha.

Just keep a camera with you at all times and tell me if you actually do start a sweater blog.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Horizontal Stripe Cardigan

Went to an awesome lecture tonight with Urban SA. It was given by Franklin Toker, at Carnegie Music Hall. He covered the history of Pittsburgh's landscape and architecture since the ice age.

Then Nathan (a very enthusiastic freshman in the urban studies program(not yet actually, technically)) and I went to Kiva Han where I saw this gentleman and his STUNNING red cardigan. He was leaving so I only got his name and one fact. Eddie and he likes bright colors.

But the good news is I think I've gotten my confidence back with regard to asking strangers in sweaters to pose for pictures. If you've been keeping track, this is actually only the third sweater I've approached without prior knowledge of the wearer. I've really passed up a lot of good ones because by the time I've gotten my courage up the person has walked away or started a cell phone conversation.

Watch people when they aren't with anyone. Most don't go more than three minutes without calling someone. And that is my commentary on contemporary culture for the day.

Warm Day, English Class Attack!

The weather is like summer time today! But it's been so cold that everyone is being cautious. No coats, but still that one protective sweater layer. I had my Writing Youth Lit class again (and omg someone had to drop because she plagiarized her piece!). It is a sweater mecca.

So here are two selections. Sarah is a brilliant student who plans to become an English teacher. Like me she hates wearing pants and loves cardigans. She said this outfit was her joyous response to the warm weather. She reminds me of the not pregnant version of my ninth grade English teacher, Miss Rito. This is a little creepy, but I'm going to go there. We had a World Literature in English class together last spring and I drew a portrait of her in pen from across the room during a lecture, because she has a very nice face. I'll try to find that notebook...

And here is Colleen. This is one of my very favorite sweaters and I think it looks very sporty with those blue shorts. She got it at Forever 21. We met during the Red Eye Theater project last spring. In 48 hours students write and produce plays. I got the key to the props room! I think Colleen was on the stage crew. But she is also a very entertaining actress and killed the "Because he liked to look at it" sketch (that might not be the exact title) in the Vagina Monologues.

Lost Pink Knit Mitten

I frequently see adorable little children wearing the cutest little sweaters. But what would I say to their parents to get them on this blog? "Hi, I'd like to take a picture of your child and put it on the internet." I don't think they would be cool with it. So this lost little mitten is the best I can do. Imagine it on the small little hand of a three year old girl whose eyes look as dumb as a pug's. Or just imagine a pug wearing this mitten because that is even better.

I really like pugs.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Honey I Shrunk the Kids

Writing a blog can be a guilt trip. How many have you seen where the most recent post goes like this, "I've been so bad at posting lately! I promise I'll get better soon!" and then no more posts.

It's like a disease. I haven't posted in a week (which is very bad because I'm working on this for a class) and of all people Rick Moranis is the one to remind me how negligent I've been. How? Why? Because there are at least four ridiculous 80's sweaters in that terrible little movie, Honey I Shrunk the Kids, which I watched on a movie marathon night this weekend. Unfortunately, this is the only picture I could find. But the neighbor's wife had a crazy floral pullover and Wayne's wife had several very matronly sweaters.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Maroon Avalon Pullover

Alex dates back to the days of State High Art Club. The day I met him he invited my sister and I to see Bright Eyes in Philadelphia. Which we did. Now we go to college together. And have similar taste in sweaters. Look at that thing! It's basically a maroon version of the blue one in my profile picture.

Alex what are you even majoring in? I have no idea.

You'll probably be seeing him again, because he claims to have many great sweaters. So for now, I'll leave the rest unsaid.

Dumb and Dumber Joke

"Oh, it's a Cardigan, but thanks!"

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Banana Republic's Casual Black Pullover

Mario told me that he bought this sweater this week for his new temp job where the dress code it business casual. We work nights together where that certainly isn't the dress code.

They told him the temp position could lead to a more permanent position. That wasn't true and apparently his sweater is also simply casual, and not business. A disappointing day for Mario all around.

But brush it off, Mario, because you still have all of your talents. I've heard him, his Spanish is amazing. And his English skills are pretty night too. I think he was a national political debate champion. But my favorite talent of his is really more of an interest. He reads at least a novel a day and has incredible knowledge of English and Spanish literature. So hire him already! Why can't any of us get good jobs.

Blue Cardigan

I think I'll keep going in reverse chronological order. This is Hadley who is frequently at my house. She came downstairs this morning looking very sweet with her hair in a black ribbon and this blue cardigan. And that's all the information I have on this one. I've been overwhelmed by sweaters this week and it slipped my mind to ask anything.

My best guess it that it came from Forever 21, because I know she's worked there (and maybe still does).

Hadley was among the masses of students who got arrested during the G20 and it looks like they aren't going to drop the charges. Seriously, how could anyone believe that she was a threat to society?

BC Ethic Mohair, Mesh Pullover

I have 3 more sweaters to post that I encountered before this one, but the story that goes with this one is exactly the sort of sweater story I was hoping for when I started this blog. That equals TOP priority.

Put your mind back to the early 2000s, if you will. I was in middle school, but Steve was living a raver's life, hard. One morning after being awake for 16 hours, in a trippy sort of state, he realized that his house was oppressivly boring.

At the time, Pittsburgh's Avalon Exchange (something like 90 percent of the sweaters on this blog have come from that store) was not a consignment shop. It sold new clothes designed to make your eyes spin in glowstick filled crowds. Steve, bored to death after 16 hours, but unable to sleep, decided that going to Avalon was his answer. The new problem was that when he got there, it hadn't opened yet.

I would have looked for some other entertainment at that point, but Steve is clearly more passionate about his outerwear. He sat down on the curb and waited for over 2 hours until they opened.

And he was rewarded with this stripy little number. These days he's a fashionable supervisor at my office with a well developed catch phrase for any bad situation, "It could be worse, it's not like there are Nazi's killing all the Jews."

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Chuck's Farm Pullover

Madness. A muddy farm covered with 500 people selling and using drugs while Chuck, a tall, bearded man of 50 years, stands on a tractor, crazily plowing around their campsites. Oh, and he's carrying a plastic cup and a gasoline canister while he does it and asking everyone not to drive onto his squash. It's a music festival (sort of) but it's free and no one really cares about the bands. Kids walk around openly doing wip-its and selling mushrooms out of vans.

Richard, my friend eloquently postured on his 1988 Volks Wagon, made in Brazil, managed to be the craziest person that I saw the whole time. And I'm pretty used to his tricks.

I haven't seen this sweater since last March. It's a straight forward tweedy looking blue, gold, black and maroon pullover.

Sylver and Black Flying-V Pullover

This is Renee, one of those people I like and am destined to continually run into around Pittsburgh, but never really get to know. I don't like that state of acquaintanceship, it feels inadequate. I suppose it's very difficult to be friends with everyone who is friendly; where would you get the time? I don't know anyone with that kind of open schedule. Think of all the texting and coffee meeting you would have to do. Unfathomable.

She was wearing this outfit on Thursday (I've been away adventuring). She got the sweater a few weeks ago at Goodwill. It looks very comfortable and is unusual enough to attract attention--two solid criteria for a decent sweater.