Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Love and the deer head sweater

Linda's freshly completed deer head sweater, which she knit from a kit supplied by Granted Clothing. She sent an appreciative email to the sweater's designer, but didn't mean to sign it "Love, Linda."

The designer had only positive things to say about Linda's execution of her pattern. There were no repercussions for the slight alterations Linda had made, or for her effusive email sign-off. More photos below.
How often do you come away from a business transaction feeling uplifted and even a bit joyous? My friend Linda had that experience this month as she finished her Graphic Deer Head Sweater, an intricate knitting project not to be undertaken by the faint-hearted.

Granted Clothing, the small Richmond company that designed it and produced the knitting kit she used had won her heart several years ago. In 2009, she read a story about a Japanese man who had moved to Canada and in 1978 launched a company that hired local knitters to produce Cowichan-style sweaters. The high-fashion Japanese market adored them, and Japanese tourists snapped them up.

 Linda loved the naturalness and designs of the sweaters, but they were too bulky for her petite frame, so she was delighted when the founder's children had a go at them. They streamlined and updated the sweaters, adding modern colours and funky designs -- CBC logos and palm trees along with animals like the leaping blue deer featured on Linda's creation.

"They brought the sweaters into the 21st century," says Linda, who has a soft spot for talented designers and natural products, especially when they result in wearable beauty. An accomplished knitter herself, the project was well within her capabilities, but she had her moments. The wool, washed and carded but not spun, was fragile to work with, and she had to downsize even her extra-small sweater to get the length and sleeves right. During the project, she was in touch with the company several times, and it was that contact that left her smiling.

When she'd finished the sweater, she sent the company photos, thanking the designer "for a beautiful pattern and knitting experience." It wasn't until after she'd hit the "send" button that she realized -- with horror -- that she'd signed off, "Love, Linda."

As a former law-firm employee, she's acutely aware of sign-off etiquette. Anxiety that the designer would be offended at the effusive farewell took hold and grew in the days that elapsed before she finally received a return email.

Which was friendly and complimentary -- and had the sign-off, "cheers." No mention of love.

In her response, Linda confronted the issue head-on, explaining that she'd used "love" automatically after a morning of emailing friends and family. "I'm sure you are very lovable, however we don't really know each other and so I hope I didn't make you feel uncomfortable in any way :)," she wrote.

To which the designer responded almost immediately: "You warmed my day with 'love,' you can't take it back. ;)"

And signed off with "love," herself.

Another look at the front of the sweater.

And the back. Linda asked the designer to say hello if she ever spots her around town wearing the sweater. 


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. Well, wanted to correct the spelling of "Bisous" not supposed to be "Bisons" but lost the original. I do hate google correct or whatever it is that tries to "correct" spelling. Terrible if you're using a French word.