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Who’s the enabler here? June 30, 2016

Filed under: Guest Post,Tradewind Knitwear Designs history — codeandknit @ 12:58

A history, part 3 (You can find parts 1 and 2 here and here)

by CyberCrone


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 well-worn copy of Barbara Walker’s A Second Treasury of Knitting Patterns

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!


My first Addi Turbos are still knitting (on the needles today: a merino baby blanket in Lucy’s Domino Blanket pattern)


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…


One Response to “Who’s the enabler here?”

  1. […] A history, part 4 (previous history posts are here: 1,2,3) […]

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