Extreme Knitting

I have fallen down the knitting rabbit hole. It’s the yarn. Apparently spinning and dyeing wool has become quite the cottage industry. The results are absolutely gorgeous. I need an excuse to immerse myself in all that textural richness. Knitting works just fine.

Then I found out about this knitting theoretician, Åsa Söderman. She actually constructs the sweater as she knits it. No more slabs of yarn that you sew together. It’s brilliant and what better way to hook an architect?

I swear, I have been wanting to post more photos of the house, all the gritty before, during and after stuff. I have the photos, too, but my haphazard workflow nonmethod has resulted in their being scattered over a phone, an iPad and umpty-dozen compter folders. Nightmare, but I will get back to it. For now the heat wave is on and I need a break.

So when I saw that Les Soeurs Anglaises were offering one of Sõderman’s workshops, I was in. They cook, they clean, they garden. They miraculously conjured, in this most contentious time, a little band of the most delightful, relaxed women I have ever met as fellow students. Based on what I’m seeing, you can forget meditation. Knitting is the way to inner peace. It’s all good, especially — did I mention the heat wave? — the pool.

21 thoughts on “Extreme Knitting

  1. OH YESSSS: I have knitting-mad women around me – daughter and granddaughters – and if I could only coordinate my fingers better, I’d be knitting too instead of crocheting. But you have hit the nail right on the head. IT IS THE YARN. The scent, the feel, the shades, the texture, the pure sincerity of wool lovingly spun and dyed. Did you know that from 25 March 1667, everyone who died in England had to be buried in wool? Repealed in 1814.

    1. I’m glad I don’t have to knit shrouds… Well, I’ll tell you something I didn’t put in the post. This is an advanced class. I copped to being a beginner before I signed up, but you know how women underestimate themselves, so they said “come on down,” so I did. Hmm, Asa said at the first class. That doesn’t look right. But she didn’t want to be mean, so she let it go. The pediatrician sitting next to me said oh, you’re twisting the yarn. It turned out I was wrapping it around the needle backwards. It still didn’t look right. Apparently the knit was wrapped backwards, too. So here I am, getting Knitting for Dummies lessons in what is basically a graduate seminar. People could not have been nicer. I swear, I am in Knitting Valhalla, perfect for the knitting-mad. If you were to join them, you would be most welcome.

      1. One of the wonderful things about knitting is that there are so many different ways of doing it – the English knit differently from the Germans, the Scandinavians differently than the French, so whatever you were doing was probably right in your own culture!

        1. You mean my subculture of one? I have a sample of my work. It was cute, no question, but it did not look standard. Are you a knitter? The bunch of us got on like a house afire. We’re kicking around the idea of coming back for another class. Think about it…..

  2. So did you enjoy challenging yourself in a safe environment? Sorry, could not resist that!
    I used to prepare my fleeces, spin, dye then weave the results and it was a very rewarding process, making furnishing fabric in the main. When my eyesight was better I could spin thread to make Shetland shawls which I passed to a knitting friend to make up as I have never been able to knit.
    Leo’s aunt used to construct her garments as she knitted…no seams at all.

    1. Really. If Leo’s aunt is still among us, I bet Asa would love to meet her.

      This whole spinning/dyeing thing has become huge. I just had an invite at dinner to go to the Shetland islands for Wool Week. The downside is that it basically sells out a year in advance, so where would I stay? What would I do? Who knew? This “rabbit hole” thing is for real. It’s a whole subculture.

      1. You would love it….the Shetland culture is something else, as are Shetland sheep!
        Go for it…you may, in this day and age, be spared the Shetland custom of fermenting fish heads in gaps sin the stone walls which my father remmbered in his time…
        Leo’s aunt died years ago, but she was not the only one who could knit a garment without seams..she leaned the technique from a lady with whom she worked…it was nit uncommon.

        1. Yes. I found another one today, Cocoknits. I guess there are a lot of things you can do with a piece of string. I suppose you pick the one you like and go with it.

  3. We look forward to gorgeous photos of your creations.

    Also, a wonderful metaphor for building wholeness from the beginning.


    Sent from my mobile (pls pardon the typos)


    1. Gerard, if Linda wanted to offer a music workshop, she could do worse than to contact these people. 4 students, talk to me. More, absolutely, get in touch with them.

  4. I saw somebody knit something once. That’s about the extent of my familiarity with this subject. Or maybe it was a crochet. That’s a beautiful house.

    1. Yeah, it’s good, and that’s just the workshop. They offer all kinds of stuff, all including incredible food and all the very drinkable wine you can handle. Highly recommended.

    1. OMG, the yarn bombers! I loved them! I’m glad to hear they are still in action. Paris could use some yarn bombers. I’ll give it some thought.

  5. Hi Lynn, Just checking everyones email to send out so we can all keep in touch AND meet up another time, and found your blog. Great to meet you at the workshop. You were a trooper as it WAS challenging for ALL of us. You fit right in! Such a wonderful clan of great women!

    1. Hi! You found me! I’d better get back to blogging. What a wonderful week that was. I wasn’t really a trooper. I went in figuring I’d do everything worse than everyone else, so, well, no surprises there. I came away having learned a lot and with an entire group of people I would be delighted to see again. For me that is rare, more so than you can possibly imagine. Would I like to do that again? Absolutely, especially if Asa can make it. We can let Les Soeurs do all the work — they are very good at it! — or if there are fewer of us, we can organize something here. My house has four guest rooms, plus my own. Great food, great markets, it’s a thought. With or without an excuse, stay in touch.

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