just a short preface. meet sue:
she is the first of the knitters who i plan to interview for this blog. i’ve obviously been listening to way too much craft sanity… but that aside, since i’ve arrived in pittsburgh i’ve been continually astonished by the knitter friends i have, and i thought it a due tribute to their fabulous knitting lives to share it here on the blog.
In Pittsburgh 51 yrs.
Sue taught herself to knit when she was 16 years old.
She was a cheerleader and in order to have correctly colored socks, the girls had to knit them themselves. She has been knitting ever since, with brief breaks now and then. Now she knits every day.
Sue’s first knitting group is the group we both knit with. She was invited by a woman who used to work at Knit One who was trying to get some educators together to start a knitting group. (Side note – I think the group has grown beyond that now :).
Her favorite thing to knit is socks. She loves the progression, cuff, leg, heel flap, heel, gusset, foot, toe. It’s constantly changing so that you don’t get bored. She has no problem getting around to do the second sock, and when I talked to her, I got the feeling that she had even heard of second sock syndrome!!
As to other needle arts, Sue does rug hooking, needlepoint, and quilting, but her most favorite is knitting. Why? Because it is portable.
Sue also loves to knit because it is fun, relaxing, and enjoyable. “I love color and texture.”
Although she knits for herself once in a while, Sue tends to knit for her grandchildren, children, friends, and dogs. Generally, she has 5 to 6 projects on the needles at a time. Despite all the projects, Sue perseveres and finishes each project in good time. There are no half finished sweaters from five years ago at her house. She said that some of the projects are planned for particular people and some are just wanting play with the yarn. She leaves much of her knitting open ended. Often as she’s knitting, someone (family member) will see what she’s making and say ‘oh! give that one to me’ and so she says ‘of course!’
In general, Sue likes to follow patterns and when I talked to her, I got the feeling that she loves nothing more than an ingenious pattern. It is fun during Tuesday knitting group to see what she’ll pull out of her bag that week. Recent projects that I remember are the Eye of Partidge Shawl in some black and purple hand dyed sock yarn, a colorwork hat in pale green and white with matching mittens for one of her daughters, the Lizard Ridge afghan, and a fabulous scarf that started with a lot of spiral i-cords on one end. This week she was winding up some bright melon colored lorna’s laces sock yarn. I remember that recently she was very excited to get her copy of Hats On! by Charlene Schurch in the mail (one of my favorite hat books). (ravelry links)
Her all-time favorite knit is the bright and sassy color on color scarf from scarf style – lots of color, lots of stitches, turning every which way. (ravelry link)
As techniques go, I would say the same as patterns. Sue is always up for learning something new. She just recently became interested in and picked up the magic loop. She’s also a very loose knitter, which matches her relaxed and playful knitting life.
When I asked Sue to describe her stash she laughed. Then said, “Multitudes of fantastic colors, textures.” It apparently has its own HUGE room. When I asked how others live with her stash she said, “They all know that I will do what I want to do. Nobody bothers me. And I expect the same of them.” Some of Sue’s favorite yarns are Karabella Aurora, which she likes to use for scarves, and Jitterbug and Fleece Artist sock yarns.
Sue has passed on the craft of knitting to her granddaughter Ali. Ali, who is now 12, started knitting when she was 8. She has a huge stash that fills half of her closet. She mostly knits scarves. Her and Sue knit together and Sue said that it’s a great time to “chat it up.”
On a personal note, Sue loves thrift store shopping. Since I’ve shown up in Pittsburgh, she has been known to buy me the odd sweater or two to wear or rip for yarn. I also benefit from her large stash in that she has been known to pass small quantity yarn onto me when she gets sick of looking at it.
Thanks Sue, for sharing some of your knitting story with us.