Register Calendar
 
 
 


Reply
  Author   Comment   Page 1 of 3      1   2   3   Next
michele

Dudettes/Dudes
Registered:
Posts: 1,401
Reply with quote  #1 
Owners remember how Winona Knitting Mills sweater landed in movie
By Kari Knutson | Winona Daily News

It was a wool sweater event when Joyce Woodworth and her husband, Pete, were invited to the world premiere of “The Big Lebowski” 10 years ago. Joyce wore a cream colored garment, style No. 4026, to the star-studded New York City event.

She would’ve dressed a bit fancier, but then the couple got their invitation with a picture of star Jeff Bridges dressed in Zubaz baggy pants, jelly shoes and a familiar looking big wool sweater. Pete immediately recognized the garment as the same style once made at the Winona Knitting Mills, a company the Woodworths owned until it closed in 2000.

Pete Woodworth, left, and his wife Joyce, owners of the former Winona Knitting Mills, look over photographs Monday of themselves with the actors from the 1998 movie premier of "The Big Lebowski." The wool sweater that Jeff Bridges wore in the movie was made at the Winona Knitting Mills and found in a prop room by Bridges who decided it was something his character would wear. (photo by Katie Derus/Winona Daily News)

“We didn’t know what an important part the sweater had until we saw the movie,” said Pete, who with Joyce was invited to the premiere by friends who knew the filmmakers.

Through much of the film, Bridges can be seen wearing the Winona-made garment in his portrayal of Jeffrey Lebowski, aka “The Dude.”

The movie tanked at the box office, bringing in less than $18 million, but in the decade since, the comedy about a stoner mistaken for a multimillionaire has become a cult smash. Big Lebowski conventions are held around the world. DVD sales have brought in more than $40 million. On Tuesday, a 10th anniversary DVD edition of the movie was released.

Joyce borrowed the same style sweater from a former Knitting Mills employee. It was an instant ice breaker with the movie’s star.

“You’re wearing the sweater,” Bridges said.

Joyce told him where the sweater came from, and Bridges explained how he handpicked it from a prop room in Los Angeles.

“It looked like something the Big Lebowski would wear,” he told her.

The sweater was the heaviest the Knitting Mills ever made, using four pounds of wool. Production started in the 1960s and went through the 1970s. It retailed for about $80. The pattern was based on a Native American blanket.

“It was one of our longest-running styles,” Pete said.

eBay abounds with knockoff versions of the sweater. Authentic garments bearing the Pendleton name, a customer of Winona Knitting Mills, are much harder to find.

“I see of lot of them in Winona, especially at football games,” Joyce said.

She has yet to find someone willing to let her buy one.

The Woodworths remember rousing applause after the movie’s premiere. Lots of stars were there including Philip Seymour Hoffman, Paul Newman and James Caan. After the movie, everyone went to a bowling alley. The Woodworths were paired up with Willem Defoe.

“He was about as good as I am, which doesn’t say much,” Pete said.

Waitresses walked around with bowling pin headdresses. The sweater helped Joyce get into a special VIP section. Pete was turned away.

“She was the big hit of the evening,” Pete said.

Bridges is still a fan of the sweater, coaxing a Rolling Stone reporter to wear it during a recent interview.

Joyce remembers Bridges as being very polite and genuine.

“It made me such a fan of his, even if he plays the bad guy,” Joyce said.

Winona Knitting Mills was remodeled into office spaces after it closed, and now a glass case pays homage to “The Big Lebowski” showing the same style sweater in blue. Joyce still watches the movie every time it comes on TV.

“Little did we know what a cult following it would have,” Joyce said. “It was quite an experience.”

“The Big Lebowski” was directed by Ethan and Joel Coen, two brothers from Minnesota. Their movie “No Country for Old Men” won an Oscar for Best Picture in February. “Burn after Reading,” their latest movie, comes out Friday.



One of the first things I knit, when I was about 15, was a similar sweater like that. Who knew? (Mine was a bit nicer... it had thunderbirds on it... but it was for a friend at the time. Not that the Dude's sweater is not nice... )

Pinkie

Avatar / Picture

Pinkie in the Pink Palace
Registered:
Posts: 7,853
Reply with quote  #2 
 Whenever I see him in that sweater he looks so comfy & cozy in it that I imagine enfolding him proffering a nice affectionate hug. Then his hair looks so luxuriant and silky I run my fingers through it as we embrace, and stroke it over & over.  Like at a hip Catholic mass with guitars when everybody hugs at the end (minus the hair stroking) in a group expression of pure agape love.


__________________
"more sinned against than sinning"--shall be on my tombstone

"Transpersonal psychology--transcend the self, to abolish and avoid pain...what is the self, anyway?"--Pinkie
"Queen of Pain, I'll Always be Queen of Pain" (laughs)with apologies to Sting
"Yes it's over now, drink your big black cow, and get outa here"--Steely Dan
"I'm just a girl, they think I'm some kind of freak"--Gwen Stefani
"You can beat us with wires, you can beat us with chains;
You can make all your rules but you can't outrun the history train...I seen a glorious day"--Paul Simon
chalupa

Avatar / Picture

Dudettes/Dudes
Registered:
Posts: 348
Reply with quote  #3 
She thought The Dude was the bad guy?

__________________
PantaRhei

Restless Soul
Registered:
Posts: 2,583
Reply with quote  #4 
Nice to see you on the cover of Time magazine, Chalupa.

That is an interesting story about The Dude's sweater. It is his jelly shoes that have stolen my heart though.
Pinkie

Avatar / Picture

Pinkie in the Pink Palace
Registered:
Posts: 7,853
Reply with quote  #5 

 This was a popular one!


__________________
"more sinned against than sinning"--shall be on my tombstone

"Transpersonal psychology--transcend the self, to abolish and avoid pain...what is the self, anyway?"--Pinkie
"Queen of Pain, I'll Always be Queen of Pain" (laughs)with apologies to Sting
"Yes it's over now, drink your big black cow, and get outa here"--Steely Dan
"I'm just a girl, they think I'm some kind of freak"--Gwen Stefani
"You can beat us with wires, you can beat us with chains;
You can make all your rules but you can't outrun the history train...I seen a glorious day"--Paul Simon
Previous Topic | Next Topic
Print
Reply

Back To Main Menu