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.

14 thoughts on “I(nspiration)-Cord

  1. It’s funny, but I know people who agree with you completely that craft=art, but still bristle at the word “craft”, and see that as a denigration of their art. Strange how so much can hinge on one’s impressions of a single word.


  2. I love it when things work out like that. You’re looking for that last bit to finish something and it comes to you when you aren’t expecting it. What a fun day!


  3. Look at you go with the I-Cord and what a brilliant idea with the blanket — you will show me before you send it off won’t you??


  4. Oh, it sounds like such fun! I love applied i-cord – I like to use two rounds of applied i-cord to edge baby sweaters – you can also leave little spaces (a few stitches of regular i-cord) and make buttonholes.


  5. What a wonderful and fun event! Is Kay as fun in person as she is on her blog? I love the look of applied i-cord edging — great idea for the baby blanket.


  6. I love gathering with other artists. It really does get the creative juices flowing. And it’s fun, too.The blanket is fabulous. Glad you had some fun, even though it’s still August!


  7. The applied i-cord looks great! I’m a fan. And the baby blanket looks great. I may have to cook up something similar for a baby I know that’s arriving soon. 🙂


  8. Hello sweetie – just now checking in. Now – did you know, you can apply i-cord all over the surface of a fabric too? Imagine an i-cord monogram on the shoulder of a sweater or the back of a mitten – L and R !! It’s always the same principle. Just pick up half a stitch wherever you want to and attach the i-cord to it.hugsb


  9. I love that i-cord on the blanket, perfect, and it looks like a pick up as you go technique – how cool. Artists are craftpeople, but I do get very very cross with ‘artists’ who have very very bad skills in making things. If it ain’t well made, or at least some attempt at well made – I can’t take it seriously at all.


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