. . . and I feel fine. Because I’ll have plenty of knitting, thanks to the crazy-good Doomsday Knits, conceived and curated by Alex Tinsley. Even when the kerosene runs out and I have to knit in the dark, inside a concrete pipe barricaded with glass shards at the end because the mutated dogs are coming . . . well, at least I’ll have this collection of 31 post-apocalyptic designs to get me through.
My contribution toward survival knitting is Oryx, a drapey tank in simple textured stripes that recall bondage tape, featuring deep cutout armholes and button detailing. It’s knit in the luxurious Blue Moon Fiber Arts Marine Silk Fingering, in Deep Unrelenting Grey.
Oryx is a mysterious female character who appears mostly as a haunting memory to the protagonist and survivor of biological pandemic in Margaret Atwood’s Oryx & Crake. Who was she in the past? Who were any of us – and does it matter, since much of humankind and all of human society no longer exists? The story inspired me to design a garment that would be useful regardless of the environment in which one might find oneself. Fitting snugly at the high hip, the tank increases in a semi-V shape to the bust, yet remains anchored close to the shoulders with sturdy buttoned straps. Choosing a size with plenty of ease at the bust ensures that there’s room for layering over that bralet into which you’ve tucked your essential tactical gear, or just over your underpinning of choice. The fitted hem wont flap or snag to distract your pursuer, throw off your aim or clutter your sleek silhouette. And the slight volume on top still fits easily beneath the outer layer you might need in the desertscape or the nuclear winter. I envisioned a few possible ways one might style such a useful piece after the apocalypse.
And Alex took the jodhpur concept and spun it right into the Sky Pirates chapter of the collection. Vivian Aubrey‘s evocative photography brought the aerodrome, as well as the rest of the book, to life.
Since you’ll inevitably be spending time foraging for food and evading your enemies, Oryx is a quick knit – cast on provisionally at the bottom, then the turned hem and body are knit in the round to the armholes, where front and back are continued flat separately to the ends of the shoulder straps. And to keep your mind off the horrors of annihilation, there’s lots of interest in the textured stripes, shaping, and of course picking out buttons. Maybe you can find some obsolete computer chips to use for those.
And so, I’m not fussed contemplating the end of the world as we know it – I’m ready with needles in hand. You can be, too; Doomsday Knits is available for pre-order right now from Cooperative Press, with digital delivery in December and print to follow thereafter. Follow the unveiling throughout Doomvember with the full blog tour schedule, including tomorrow’s feature, Wayfarer by Jen Lucas. And find Oryx on Ravelry, with the rest of the Doomsday Knits. Dystopia can be beautiful.