I was supposed to be writing a blog post about literary knitters, so of course I was actually Googling all sorts of tangentially related topics. This led to the creation of a new Pinterest board of famous people knitting.
Some of the photos are obviously posed (there’s one of Russell Crowe holding needles and wool, but no one seems to have found any evidence that he is actually a knitter). The ones I like best, though, are the more or less candid shots of people who clearly really do know how to knit.
Many performers kill time backstage or on the set by knitting:
(I couldn’t find any good pictures of Deborah Messing or Uma Thurman knitting [though I love the thought of them hanging out on the “Smash” set talking stash], or of Cameron Diaz or Julia Roberts, all of them rumored to be fairly serious knitters.)
Aside from performers on the set, some famous people seem to be willing to be photographed with needles and yarn, both out in public or in their homes:
Dorothy Parker was apparently also an avid knitter. I couldn’t find a photo of her, but did find this painting. Luis Quintanilla did a series of portraits of writers as they see themselves, including one of Dorothy Parker. She wrote later, “[when he] asked me how I saw myself, I could only tell him the desperate truth: as a pastel old party, sitting in a corner, knitting.” (Love the Bretonesque cap and shawl — I’m imagining her spouting quips and confusing the hell out of Van Gogh.)
Finally, Vanessa Bell painted her sister, Virginia Woolf, as she was knitting.