On the cover of Vogue Knitting International, early fall 2012
I gotta say, it IS more than a bit thrilling to see one’s work on the cover of VOGUE KNITTING. I’ve had several designs published in Vogue, Interweave, Knit Simple, and other magazines and books. This is the first time I’ve had the pleasure of seeing stitches I fashioned being splayed across the glossy COVER of the magazine. Well, there was that one once upon a time (kinda obscure, truth be told) pamphlet/booklet of patterns which chose a hat I made as a cover (disclaimer: not that the publisher or the series is obscure, I say that merely because no one I know ever purchased it, I never saw it on the shelves, perhaps simply due to distribution issues, as in “it was not sold in the stores where I shop” or “it’s retailing in a different state, to another market” etc. But I digress (I tend to do that, but how else does one find the roses of which to then stop take an inhalation….are these strewn thoughts roses? I’ll leave that to your discerning scent-sations). [...however, I encourage you to find the connection between meandering and the lines sinewing, spiraling, and circuit-izing with abandon within the lace knitting...]
I’ve worked up another sample of this design (which will be on view at Knitty City for the next several weeks) in a violet blue color of the same Koigu yarn.
I worked on this (second version) of the garment as I travelled to Northfield, Minnesota [stay tuned for details on a class I'll be teaching at Northfield Yarn in October, '12], then put the finishing touches on it back in NYC. Knitting in public (KIP for those of us hip to that lingo can generate a range of responses from those around us. They espy the movement of our tools and the growing fiber as it tumbles mysteriously from our needles: strands becoming stitches, rows, yardage. On one particular day of knitting in Manhattan, I had two quite different encounters in cafes/coffee shops. The first started out engagingly enough, “what are you knitting?”, “my grandma used to knit”, etc. then somehow moved into a sales pitch for how that person’s religion would be a good thing for me to adopt. SIGH! I guess that we all see the world through our own lenses and make sense of it by relating things/people/events to what makes sense for each of us…. somehow, me knitting a lace poncho made best sense to that person if I listened to a spiel of that particular religious organization (still not entirely sure of which one it was). … moving right along…. a bit later that same afternoon, and at a different patisserie… feeling more than a bit closed off after the previous conversation, I wasn’t entirely forthcoming when one of the two guys at the table next to me posed the seemingly benign question “what are you knitting?” “A lace poncho” “Nice. My wife’s a knitter.”… he went back to his conversation with his friend. A bit later came Round 2 of what turned out to be a refreshingly different conversation from the one I had fled earlier in the day. I enjoy finding out how people respond to different colors. One of my questions is “what would you call this color?” (particularly an open-ended question when it comes to yarns showing hints of several colors, as this Koigu yarn does). Turns out, this guy has a background in graphic designer and has knowledge of color in particular. “violet, purple, … has a red base” etc. We have a conversation about the value of handmade fabric and how in some places, that is a lost art, yadda, yadda. Not a whisper of trying to convince me that his angle on life is the one I should adopt. So I tell him about the previous conversation. Whereupon he laughs robustly, says “My religion involves lasagna for Christmas”. Still not entirely sure what he meant by that (if he’s reading this, maybe I’ll find out) but I LOVED it! I couldn’t have seen that one coming.
This image (knitting and yarn ball) offers a fairly close representation of the yarn color (although add in a dash more violet/lavender and it’ll be spot on).
As of May this spring, I count myself among the alumni of Teachers College, Columbia University, a recent grad of the Music and Music Education program. Focusing my time on studies there is one reason for my couple of years of hiatus from publishing knitting/crochet patterns. I’m someone who loves to melange les choses (such as with words which one wouldn’t normally smush up against each other). So, I couldn’t resist taking this photo of John Dewey wearing the Lace Poncho I designed for this issue of VK.
As you can see, the color isn’t near true, but in the spirit of one of the great thought-provokers among educational ponderers, I share it with you today. Now, to those who find this image to offer juxtapositions too odd to handle, I offer the perspective of “let’s put seemingly disparate things next to each other and see what kind of a light they shine on each other.” Perhaps we’ll have ground a new lens through which something unexpected will be espied. Perhaps we’ll be able to more deeply engage with others whose ideas are so different from our own. Perhaps we’ll wake up on Christmas morning with an inexplicable hankering for lasagna…. purple, violet lasagna with a strong undertone of red.