Tag Archives: anna zilboorg

Color work, two ways

I’m teaching two classes at Stash in Corvallis on Saturday. One is an introduction to stranded color knitting, and the other is slip stitch cowl design. Both techniques let you play with color, but in very different ways.

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Stranded color knitting involves carrying two (or more) colors across the row/round with you. We’ll talk about how to manage your yarns without a tangled mess, among other things. How do *you* manage your yarns? One in each hand? Drop and pick up the working yarn as you go? Two on the left? Two on the right? It’s a little different for everyone, so I’m curious what works for you.

I’m a thrower; I carry my yarn in my right hand. I took a colorwork class with Anna Zilboorg at Stitches way back in the 90’s. In preparation, I taught myself to knit continental style (hold yarn in left hand, pick with right needle) so I could carry one color in each hand. I was pretty pleased with myself, although it was a bit awkward. When I got to class, Anna showed me how to carry both colors in my right hand, which was a lot easier for me. That’s what I do now. Here’s a video tutorial, if you’re interested.

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Slip stitch knitting means you get to play with color, but you only work with one color per row/round. This can be a little more relaxing for the novice color knitter, and it’s very pretty. We’ll be swatching some of these patterns, and then designing our own slip stitch cowls. Here’s the one I’m knitting now:

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Have you tried both kinds of color work? Do you have a preference? And please do tell me how you like to manage your yarns for stranded colorwork.

I think there’s still some room in class on Saturday, if you want to come play hands on!

A very fine Saturday at Sock Summit

Saturday was my favorite day at Sock Summit. It began with a delivery of more Zen Rain and Pacific shawl patterns to the Knitted Wit booth. Running out of patterns and needing more is a very good thing.

I then headed to Anna Zilboorg’s lecture on The Deeper Meaning of Sock Knitting. I could listen to Anna talk about anything; she’s warm and witty and wise. Some of her remarks: Sock knitting is intensely personal; once you know how to make a sock, you can put your favorite stitch pattern on it. Knitting is cooperative rather than competitive, and cooperation creates love, not envy. It is not hierarchical; anyone can knit a sock. We make necessary things beautiful. Knitting can be a spiritual exercise; we do it because we are searching for happiness, and knitting makes us happy.

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After the lecture, I showed her the Turkish socks that I made in 1997. I had taken a color knitting class with her at Stitches that year, and she taught me to carry two colors in my right hand. (Video tutorial here, if you want to know how to do it, too.) These are the socks I was working on then. They’re thick and warm, perfect slipper or bed socks. As she did 14 years ago, she commented on the pattern and background colors (she sees pink as the pattern; I see it as the background). She also signed my copy of her book, Fancy Feet. I was thrilled!

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I gave her my new Lantern Moon sheep tape measure (Lady Baa-Baa’s replacement). She seemed pretty pleased with it, having talked about “the sheep people” during her lecture. (That would be the knitters.) And Tina brought her striped sock cookies!

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Meeting Anna again just made my day. But there was more fun ahead. I went to the marketplace to stand in line. Rachel was first!

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What were we waiting for? A free preview copy of Larissa Brown’s new book, My Grandmother’s Knitting. I had seen a preview copy of this at the pre-summit luncheon, and really wanted a copy NOW so I could spend more time with it. It is gorgeous. I’ll tell you more about it in another post after I get a chance to sit down with it.

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Could my day get any better? Amazingly enough, yes! I had a PDXKnitterati meet-up in the Knitted Wit booth at noon. It was great to meet lots of people that I previously only knew online, including Stacy. Her international cat hats caught my attention several years ago, and I’ve been following her knit and food blog ever since.

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Pat from the UK brought both her Zen Rain and Pacific shawls!

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We had a Zen Rain photo op.

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These are some of the people who participated in the Zen Rain KAL, or test knit. I loved seeing all the versions of Zen Rain. Thank you, Lorajean, for hosting the meet-up!

I went home during the afternoon for a nap and skipped the flash mob. Too tired to even stay to watch it! But here it is, in case you need to know.

I gathered enough energy to help Glenna celebrate her birthday that evening! She finished her Peacock Feathers Shawl the day before and blocked it on the hotel bed.

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I also met Meg, who was knitting her wedding veil at the last Sock Summit, and had some of the teachers knit on it then, too. She brought it along to this Sock Summit.

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So why was this my favorite day? I think because of all the personal interaction. I’ve been enjoying my classes, but meeting up with people I’ve known from blogs and previous real life meetings is the icing on the cake!

If you came to Sock Summit, what was your favorite thing that made it special for you?