We had a seriously knitterly visit that day.
I distinctly remember Lucy’s surprise at my lack of expertise or interest in (i.e. total ignorance of) intarsia, seeing that I had been knitting my own designs in lace and in all sorts of cables, twisted stitches and textures for decades. Intarsia had just never crossed my path: my knitting resources consisted entirely of my original hardcover Barbara Walker Treasuries 1, 2 and 3— not a jot of intarsia in there.
Oh dear, here was a new interest to pursue! Yes, her vest was entirely, and gorgeously, knit in intarsia, and I knew it was something I needed to learn. I also remember thinking that I was in the company of knitting greatness here—unfettered imagination, daring, and technical prowess. Of course, I also had a bit of an inferiority complex (of which I am still the proud owner), which may have influenced that assessment…or not…
My knitted garments suffered from ‘seamstress seams’, something that I was never happy with, but had never found a proper solution to. Lucy showed me the mattress stitch for seaming. So simple, so right, so totally non-obvious to a seamstress. Wow, how come that took me so long to find out about? Oh, yes: no Internet, no World Wide Web, no Ravelry, no Knitty, and very few knitting resources in the Public Library. Nova Scotia is a quilting and rug hooking province, not a knitting one!
I still like to do seamed sweaters, especially if they require braining—that sort of sweater occasionally goes on an extended leave to other places while I knit relaxing simple things. It has happened that while the WIP is on leave, I have…um…gained a little weight. With a seamed sweater, I just knit a couple of lovely little side panels to make it all look planned. (For an example of this sort of subterfuge, see Lucy’s Ophelia tunic).
Aside: I did go upstairs today and rummage through my mountain of knitted things, but I could not find the old sweaters with the ghastly seams, so you are spared a photo of that bit of ugliness!
In return for her forcing me to take up intarsia, I introduced her to the then brand-new Addi Turbo needles. I had one pair of 3mm straights and another of 3.5 mm. I actually let her take them home to play with, with is something I would not have done for any other person that I barely knew!
Very soon after that, I sucked her into to bicycle touring, single and tandem. We once rode my tandem bike all the way out to a spinning guild meeting in the next community. We were having a great time until we got attacked by a dog halfway there. We did fall over, but aside from a skinned knee, nothing but our dignity suffered any injury.
So began our long and fruitful relationship: two enablers on a serious roll!
We had no idea of the odd things we would be doing over the next two decades!
To be continued…