The Halifax Daily News
Tuesday, December 11, 2001

 Shipping News keepsake warms

Newfoundland company knits 412 sweaters

ST. JOHN’S, Nfld. (CP)–A Newfoundland company has knitted 412 sweaters for the entire cast and crew of The Shipping News, a Hollywood movie that was
partly filmed in the province.

Woof Designs of St. John’s has been rushing to have the sweaters ready for the cast party of the film tomorrow. The film is scheduled to open in theatres on Christmas Day. It was also filmed in Halifax.

The fisherman-style sweaters with slightly rolled necks will be similar to the one used to outfit star Kevin Spacey in the lead role of Quoyle.

The Shipping News is based on Annie Proulx’s best-selling book, an endearing story of 36-year-old Quoyle, a born loser who gives up on life in the U.S. and returns with his two young children Bunny and Sunshine to his ancestral homeland of Newfoundland seeking redemption and a better life.

Started with a few

Directed by Lasse Halstrom, the movie includes stars Spacey, Julianne Moore, Dame Judi Dench and Cate Blanchett.

Woof Designs’ connection to the movie began with an order for a few woollen
watch caps, said Cheryl Kelly, spokeswoman for the knitting company.

Earlier this year the company was approached by the film’s wardrobe department as preparations to begin shooting got under way.

First, the costume designers just wanted a few caps to keep the crew warm during outdoor shots.

“The next step then was them inquiring whether we could do sweaters to their specifications,” said Kelly.

After consultations on the design, Woof came up with the sweater, sending several to the Trinity, Nfld., location for Spacey and his stunt double to wear.

That could have been the end of the relationship.

But the sweaters proved to be a bigger hit than anticipated and the film’s producers decided to order 350.

It was a tricky job for a small company.

“We were working on a very tight time frame, about five weeks I suppose from the time we got the yarn until completion of the order,” Kelly said.

The sweaters for the crew were a big hit, so the producers have just ordered 60 more for people involved in the final post-production work on the film.