Monday, February 05, 2007

Knitting and six degrees of separation....

I finally broke down and bought the latest VK this weekend. This morning, I sat down and browsed some articles. I was particularly interested in the article on Phoenix Bess. I think she's spot on for her age group, and I hope she does well. The part of the article that I found interesting was her work with Elann. She designed a cotton candy pink shrug in Cuzco alpaca. I loved seeing Ann's site mentioned prominently.

I've always been fascinated by the theory of six degrees of separation. I participated in Columbia University's project to test the theory. For us in the craft world, it's often fewer than six degrees. In 1990, I attended a quilters event in Odense Denmark, and wandered into a gift shop. Guess who I met? Bonnie Lehman, the grand dame of quilting, and Betty Boyink, who founded the Hoffman Challege two years prior. Be still my heart-I tried so hard to not gush.

And so it is with knitting. I was surprised to discover that Marisol Ravicz, daughter of my LYS owner, wrote for IWK in the late 90s. I was delighted when I ran into Yvette Holmes (a San Antonio crochet goddess) last year in Philly, because she told me she was recently published in a Rita Weiss book. And my little brother proudly announced that one of his co-workers at McKinsey was cashing out to start a yarn store. It looks like she's doing very well!

My biggest networking arena is also the place I check in almost every day. It's Elann, naturally. And it surprises me now and then that the Elann forum helped me grow into a much stronger knitter. I can't post photos of crap to all my knitting peers, so it's made me strive to knit better, quicker, more challenging patterns. It freed me from waiting to see what I can make out of the next VK. And I can see how it's challenged my friends. They are growing, leap-frogging onto the next area, challenge, construction method. I gotta work those needles to keep up!

Six degrees of separation? Honey, we knitters are in a shallow pool. I love the fact that our "royalty" is so accesible. Kathleen Power Johnson designed my current project, the Lady Eleanor stole. I met her in Houston, where she led a class in design. Kafe Fassett? Met him when he was promoting a knitting book. Phoenix Bess might be the new darling of the knitting world, but I know the woman who ordered the Cuzco. I never dreamed that VK would feature something I could relate to so personally.

The next knitter you meet could be a design dynamo! (I am personally betting on SK and LG to crank out some truly memorable knitwear.)

7 comments:

Karin said...

You've totally hit the nail on the head (totally purled 5 through the back loop? Whatever...) I have just been thinking same thoughts, as recently have had cyber "meets" with some of our Blogging / Knitting Muses. I want to go better, faster, farther, with my knitting more than ever.
(a big YES! to scarab scarf - was thinking the little colour mosaics kind of look like that too)

Kat Cade said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Marcia said...

And here I am communicating with a soon-to-be famous designer, on the fluke of a link. Is that like 6 degrees with a wind chill?

t said...

LOL - I was going to say something similar bets. Really, I think without our community at Elann.com I would have stopped knitting by now. The carpal tunnel with the baby really through me into a tailspin and I have not entirely recovered. However, even all the months I could not knit I could log in and see what others were doing, give a response, and still be part of things...the community made me make an effort when I would otherwise probably just have given up. Other things seriously cut into the knitting time now, but I AM still knitting...and it is only with prolonged effort that a person reaches their full potential in a craft, so there may be better things ahead for my string that never would have happened if I'd been stringing along alone...

Yea, we are a shallow pool, and you are climbing up on the lilypad there! I don't do scarves, but when I saw yours in the alternative configuration...well, that might happen in my closet....

T

Trish - My Merino Mantra said...

I agree about the designers, but let's not sell yourself short, missy! You have designed some beautiful, creative, and innovative pieces. I appreciate being surrounded by such talent, and I can only hope some of it rubs off on me.

smariek said...

No need to be so modest, you can count yourself up there along with the other great designers!

junior_goddess said...

not yet!