What an afternoon! Knitters! Lemonade! Kay Gardiner! Blankets! I-Cord! The Rogers Memorial Library and the Southampton Historical Museum invited everyone to a knitting party this afternoon, and Kay was the guest of honor.
She brought her Buncha Squares blanket and the Denise Schmidt quilt top that inspired it. They are both works of art; the fact that they are meant to be used and loved and maybe even used up is an added value that I wish more knitters would embrace in their own work. There is no Either Art or Craft in my creating world. Painters and knitters and sculptors and ceramicists are artists, and they practice a craft. I’ve been tired of that old argument ever since 1972, when I entered art school. Bah.
Anyway, I wish I had taken more and better photographs, but aren’t those pieces brilliant? Kay’s own photo shoots really show how magnificent the blanket is.
Not only did we have a great afternoon knitting and visiting (I haven’t seen some of my library knitting friends since June), but Kay taught us all how to make her applied I-cord edging! We came with appropriate needles, and she let us choose dishcloth cotton out of the biggest zip-lock bag in the Universe. That thing was crammed to the top with dishcloth cotton. It looked like a sack that even Santa would have a hard time toting around.
We all made little garter stitch squares while Kay discussed Henri Matisse, Nancy Crow, how much heat a potholder has to withstand to be considered useful, and knitting houses; after a while she showed us the secret to applied I-cord. It’s so easy it’s hard to believe (sort of like Nona’s Kitchener Epiphany), and in a few minutes most of us were picking up the edge stitch, rounding corners, and applying I-cord like nobody’s business. Here’s mine:
As the party wound down and we all chatted on our way to the parking lot (Kay needed helpers to get the Santa Sack of Cotton to her car), I began to get some ideas about that edging. In the checkout line at Schmidt’s Market, I could feel the percolation of inspiration. I’d hardly gotten in the door or patted the cat before I had this brainstorm:
Applied I-cord is exactly what the Ripple Baby Blanket needs! Even though the knitting has been complete for a few weeks, and Baby G is here and growing like a weed, something about it just wasn’t right. It seemed limp, or unfinished, or something I couldn’t put my finger on.
Guess what I’ll be up to for the next few evenings?
Thank you Kay! I had a wonderful afternoon, some much-needed time with friends out in the regular world, and inspiration (with shrimp) for dinner.