Knitted a stylish onesie for Garðarsson
Margrét Jónasdóttir knitted a warm onesie for Gísli Örn Garðarsson the actor and director. Composite photo
The extraordinary quality of the artwork is well illustrated by historian and assistant Program director of RÚV, Margrét Jónasdóttir, who can enchant the most amazing garments with knitting needles and yarn. She learned to knit when she was eight years old and has knitted ever since like there is no tomorrow. Her latest product is a complete suit or a onesie, knitted for the actor and director Gísli Örn Garðarsson.
When asked how this onesie garment came about, Jónasdóttir tells us that it’s not the first garment she’s knitted Garðarsson. He already has knit pants and a warm knitted T-shirt, which she knitted on him several years ago. Jónasdóttir produced the show Taste the North Atlantic, where Garðarsson toured Iceland, the Faroe Islands and Greenland, and studied the food culture in these places.
“When I was working with Garðarsson on the TV show Taste the North Atlantic in 2014, he was always so cold. I always had extra clothes with me that I lent him. While driving from place to place during the production of the show, I always sat in the back and knitted,” says Jónasdóttir, who ended up knitting scarves for everyone involved in the show. It's not surprising because Margaret finds it difficult to have no projects and do nothing.
The intial plan to have wide legged pants changed after Jónasdóttir found a onesie recipe for children that she changed so it would fit Garðarsson.
“I knitted some thick woolen pants on Garðarsson a few years ago. They were very cool. Then he wanted a T-shirt to go with the pants, and of course I knitten that for him. Then he said he would like a knitted dinner jacket. That one I haven’t knitted yet, but it might me my next assignment. About a year ago, he asked me if I could knit a full - costume suit, since he’s always so cold. I said yes, of course, because I can't say no to him," she says laughing.
Jónasdóttir searched for a recipe for a knitted onesie, but never found anything she liked. It ended with a picture of a baby onesie that she had sent to Garðarsson, asking if there was something like this he was looking for. The answer was clear.
“I sent him a picture with a Norwegian pattern on top and wide leg pants. He said he wanted to look like this – just in another colour,” says Jónasdóttir and bursts into laughter.
“I thought it was funny, but I spent a while thinking about how I could fashion the garment for a grown up. Then I had to decide which yarn to use, so the garment would keep intact. Then I found this excellent yarn and decided to start over and figure it out on the way. On January 15th, I texted him that I had bought yarn from lamb wool at the Little Knitting Shop. He immediately asked if he should come try it on. I said it wasn’t time because I had just started on the collar.”
At the time Jónasdóttir knitted the pants and the T-shirt for Garðarsson, she had gotten measurements that a British costume designer had taken when Garðarsson was acting in England. After a little "archaeological research" on the computer, Margaret found the measurements and was able to begin the knitting.
“I used these measurements but I needed to lengthen the sleeves and the legs a bit. He tried it on regularly during the knitting process,” says Jónasdóttir.
When asked how she has time for all the knitting, she says that knitting gives her a great peace of mind.
“I’m very quick to knit and like to have peace of mind after a long day’s work. I rest my brain while knitting and watch some goodTV program in the streaming player on RÚV. It’s like an addiction. When I’m doing something exciting, I can’t stop,” she says, often claiming to add on another half hour and then another half hour if things are going well in the knitting.
The greatest challenge knitting the onesie was putting on a zipper, but she had never done that before.
“I was afraid that this wouldn’t look nice, so I took my 35-year-old sewing machine for an overhaul. I got it as a student gift at the time and didn’t want it to get make a mess when I would try putting the zipper on the onesie.” When asked about the next project, she says she’s already started the next piece, as she always needs to have something going on. And then the program on RÚV is so exciting over Easter that she expects to get a lot of knitting done if she is stuck in front of the TV.