On the 50th anniversary of Mister Rogers' Neighborhood, and we can't help but feel drawn back to the simpler, gentler, make-believe world of the King of Cardigans.
Despite being full-grown adults, sometimes you just need Mister Rogers. And there's a reason that after any tragedy strikes, Fred Rogers' famous quote about looking for the helpers goes viral. After the tragic nightclub attack in Manchester, England yesterday, Entertainment Weekly writer Anthony Breznican took to Twitter to share a personal story about Fred Rogers, whom he called "a cool hand on a hot head." We often wish we could just curl up in one of his grandpa cardigans and tune out the world — and now, in a way, we could.
Like a balm for the age of anxiety, Owen Phillips of The Awl has taken the colors of all the cardigans Mister Rogers wore from 1979 to 2001 and made them into a bright, geometric infographic — which we wish existed on actual home decor items.
Why? Because every time you look at that bold, striped design you'll think of the gentle, calming influence of Mister Rogers and his sweaters — which were all hand-knit by his own mom. "I guess that's the best thing about things," Rogers said. "They remind you of people."
You could actually make into custom pieces using these design-your-own resources (after reaching out to The Awl/Owen Phillips for permission (and the high-res file), of course). Here are some suggestions.
If the idea of such a bold, bright pattern on your wall is too busy for your taste, create a custom fabric from the bar-code-like print for throw pillows or other home decor items using resources like FabricOnDemand.com and these reader suggestions.
It's a beautiful day in the neighborhood when you start your morning routine thinking about Mister Rogers' brightly colored jumpers with a custom printed shower curtain.
Frame On Demand Prints
If you'd simply like to add Phillips' work to your gallery wall, or as inspiration in an office, upload the image to one of the growing number of frame-on-demand companies like Framebridge and Level to get your already-framed, ready to hang print in the mail in a matter of weeks.
Greet the Mister McFeeley in your life each morning with your morning joe in a mug from Society6 or CafePress printed with either Phillips' bar-code- or periodic-table-like design.
Or, if you'd prefer to purchase readymade Mister Rogers gear for your home and your nostalgic neighbor-leanings, NeighborhoodArchive has a complete archive of official merch made from the show for your thrifting and auction site wish lists, and FredRogers.org has an online store.