more roman numerals

March 24, 2011

so in my frenzy to make my life into a list,
i forgot a couple of things that i wanted to write.
that and day two of my class should be enough for a post, right?
so let the randomness continue!

x. on friday, when i was still pretty bummed out, kristen, a.k.a. @carcosa, tweeted at me: My #FF crown this week is awarded too… @Faiche_Stiabhna for his unique combination of humor, fiber knowlege, and fierce glasses. that totally made my day. (are my glasses really fierce?)

xi. i apparently inspired one of my most loyal commenters and internet friends, miss sally of rivendale farms. or maybe more accurately, this photo of mo did. after seeing it, she went on a cowl binge. she wrote about it here.

xii. another besty from the internet, kim, is a nice person. she wants to help the people in japan. she asked me to spread the word, so do me a favor, and click here to read her post. go ahead. do the right thing. i dare you.

xiii. in my last post, i mentioned that i felt that, when you meet a knitting celebrity, maybe you should keep your cool and not act like you’re old friends reunited. this is how i try to operate. (don’t ask me about my success rate). PrincessFee left me the following comment:

You don’t know me, but I do feel as though I know you. Thank you for your humour, wit, & frankness. If we ever get to meet, I will act as though I don’t know you.

first of all, that is sweet. second, i’m so far from being a knitting celebrity that the sentiment is almost laughable. third, if you do read this blog with any kind of regularity, i imagine you’ve a certain amount of shamelessness in you. i would never expect you to show such restraint if you see me out in the real world. just don’t be disappointed if the dude you run into is actually pretty shy.

xiv. however, i find it ironic that i spent all of day one quietly sitting next to the lovely natatlie who, as it turns out, reads my blog. small world, eh? of course, she didn’t say anything until day two (class act, right?). we spent the first day like any other kids on the first day of school, making idle chit chat and nervous eye contact. but i’m totally glad she told me. it was great way to start what turn out to be a really hard day of class.

xv. i think that, while she doesn’t say it, stephanie doesn’t like to have her photo taken. i think this because almost every single photo i took of her is kinda terrible. she’s making a face in or blinking or possibly about to sneeze. somehow, i think this is done on purpose as a way of fucking with our heads. luckily, i snapped this one.yeah she’s a little blurry in this photo, but at least she doesn’t look like she’s in the middle of a seizure.

xvi. day one of “knitting for speed and efficiency” with stephanie pearl-mcphee was all about learning a brief history of knitting, understanding the strengths and weaknesses of english and continental knitting, and learning ways to improve our own personal styles of knitting. the most interesting concept for me was the idea that we get too comfortable with our own styles, and try to apply them to every type of knitting when altering our personal style, or using another method might make it easier for a given project. according to stephanie, we as knitters seem to resist using all the tools at our disposal to make it easier on ourselves. for instance, if you’re an english knitter (like me) why wouldn’t you use continental knitting to knit miles of stockinette in the round when it is so clearly the superior technique for that particular project? or if you’re a continental knitter, and have a project with lots of texture and decorative purl stitches why wouldn’t you use the method best suited to purling (english knitting)? it’s a good point. why not expand our personal abilities to improve ourselves as knitters? unless of course excellence doesn’t matter to you.

day two was dedicated to learning “lever knitting” (sometimes called irish cottage knitting) which is the method used by the people who knitted for their livelihood. it also happens to be the style the harlot learned from her bitch of a grandmother. rather than go into a long description of the method, here’s a video. because we all have a certain amount of knitting knowledge burned into our minds, changing our techniques is kinda hard. everyone’s hands were freaking out, fingers moving of their own accord as if our brains no longer had anything to say about what they did. natalie’s pinky finger kept trying to get involved to the point where stephanie had to immobilize itwhen stephanie asked how i was doing, i told her i sucked. the moment that followed involved a joke about my “sucking”. it must have pretty embarrassing since i can’t for the life of me remember the details (if you do, feel free to leave it in the comments. i’d like to remember that one) but whenever my face stopped being pink, i eventually got the hang of it.

even though i posted a link to the video, i wouldn’t recommend copying her technique from it; you really need to have it explained in person. it’s just too easy to think you’re doing it correctly when in fact you’re doing it very very wrong. i mean, we had an expert in the room, and each of us found a way to fuck it up to some degree. sometimes, you just need someone to hold your pinky.

11 Responses to “more roman numerals”

  1. Kimberly Says:

    awwwwwww thank you for listing that. I really want to help everyone that I can for the trouble they are going through xx

  2. Anna Says:

    That video is crazy!

  3. Andrea Says:


    I caught up on your lovely blog today and I’m missing you terribly!! I’m glad to see that you are still wonderfully creative and fun. Big kudos to you for your speaking gig!! I’ll keep reading–if only to stay close with you my friend.

  4. Jenn Says:

    Of course they’re fierce, Bessie! 😉

  5. Cheryl Says:

    I mentioned your blog to a co-worker and she had already heard of you!

  6. Yvonne Says:

    that vid fucking blew me away.

  7. brooke Says:

    Do I get credit for being cool when we were at Silk Retreat? So, either you actually are kinda shy or thought I was a nut job striking up a conversation about your tat….oh well…next time I wont stalker scare you off.. Love the blog by the way…

  8. Sarah Says:

    You know, I always wondered how Stephanie managed to write books, write her blog, clean, cook, and take care of her husband and daughters and still knit as much as she does. Now, having seen the video, I understand. She’s just crazy fast.

  9. Sally at Rivendale Farms Says:

    Thanks for the mention and the link! And, of course, special thanks to Mo.

    I’ve heard about lever knitting but haven’t actually seen it in action, can’t wait to watch the video tonight. Thank you for posting it!

  10. Janice Says:

    Took that class from Stephanie at Sock Summit — what a trip! I don’t do it the way she does, but I have adjusted my personal style and gotten faster, and (bonus) can knit longer and more comfortably.

    And, yes, I suppose I do have a certain amount of shamelessness, but it’s mostly in my head (or only comes out after I know someone a bit), so if I ever do see you out in the world, I’ll still be too shy to say “hi.” (sigh)

  11. PrincessFee Says:

    You are right, I am shameless. to the end. I am also outgoing, so I’ll introduce myself if we ever get to meet in public. Alas I live in a small mountain town in British Columbia so our chances of meeting are slim.
    You and this blog entry are about as close as I’ll ever become to knitting stardom..

    I love the blog, so thank you again for just being you.
    So Shameless…

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