Friday, May 05, 2006

Midwest Masters

My weekend in Wisconsin was wonderful. I took three classes from Anna Zilboorg: Lace edgings, exotic multicolor stitches, and twisted travelling stitches. I was brain dead by Sunday afternoon and went home, stopping at the Borders in Gurnee to pick up a copy of Big Girl Knits.

The lace edgings are just that -- and not hard to do. They would add a special touch to almost any project.

The "exotic" multicolor stitches are all variations on slip-stitch patterns, in which only one color is worked at a time, over two rows. In the round, colors could be changed every row for interesting variations.

The twisted travelling stitches are in the Bavarian tradition. These take a bit more patience to work, because you are twisting stitches on every row. Anna filled in a bit of history that I'd never heard before. It seems Irish cable stitch patterns are an elongated version of these Bavarian stitches. It happened when Irish and Bavarian knitters met in the US and brought samples home and tried to reproduce them.

I'm working on translating some of the Aran cables back to their denser forms, just for fun, while I wait for Stitches, where I will probably purchase the Bavarian pattern books.

Anna herself is a gentle and very smart person. Before teaching knitting, she taught at MIT.



This was a tagline on an old post to the Knitty lists:

"Remind them that they are the creatures who knit the wool, not the
creatures who grow it on their backs!"
-Barbara Walker to Elizabeth Zimmerman, 1971

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