Thursday, August 04, 2011

Sonja’s Sweater

While waiting to climb Mt. Marcy during our rain-delay in the Adirondacks (was it really only 6 days ago?), we spent the day in nearby Lake Placid, seeing the sights. We did a little tasting of some Finger Lakes wines, enjoyed the rarity of precipitation falling on one’s person, and visited a quite interesting museum that grabbed my interest on many levels.

Sonja HenieThe 1932 & 1980 Winter Olympic Museum was kind of hard to find, buried in the bowels of a building that housed the ice arenas built for the two Winter Olympic games held in this small town. I didn’t know that the 1932 bid, paid for almost entirely through local bond efforts, was spearheaded by Godfrey Dewey and his aging father, Melvil. This just warmed the cockles of my librarian heart. Both Deweys were active in the local Lake Placid Club and the Adirondack Mountain Club, from whose Adirondack Loj (Dewey aficionados will understand the unusual spelling) we started our Mt. Marcy hike.

Anyway, in the museum, I ran across this beautiful hand knit sweater, once owned and worn by Sonja Henie, the “Pavlova of the Ice.” I’d heard her name, but didn’t know much about her. Quite famous as an athlete, she later parlayed her skills and beauty into a Hollywood career of ice-skating films – a sort of frozen H20 version of Esther Williams. She won the gold medal in ladies’ single figure skating in 1932 (and in 1928 and 1936, for that matter), before moving on to the big screen.

The details in the sweater are beautiful, and it looks like it could have been knit yesterday. The little buttons are perfect for it, and there seems to be a red placket-like lining behind them. Also, the choice of red and gray was quite stunning and seemed a bit unusual to me. I was also struck by it’s smallness. It’s perfect. Just look at those neat and tidy, uniform stitches.

I had to share this. It makes me feel better thinking about flying along the ice in something cozy, instead of looking out the window at the scorched earth that is central Texas these days. Next time, I’ll post about yet another beautiful creature of the ice…


  1. I found your blog via verypink and love it. Now, I love it even more. My heart skipped a beat when I saw the name Dewey as I had an idea where you were heading. I'm a librarian too! Keep up the good bloggin' and knittin'.

  2. To this I fondly reply (though in LC, not DDC):

    Figure skating -- History
    Skaters -- Clothing

  3. The sweater is beautiful. I've never been to that part of the country, and would like to go there someday.

    But you *must* stop romanticizing real winter -- taking your life into your own hands as you try to navigate your way (either on foot or in your car) across a sheet of ice or through a blizzard, after digging yourself out of drift of snow, isn't fun!!!