Tuesday, June 24, 2008
OMG! Annie Modesitt!
I met Annie Modesitt yesterday. Not only did I meet her but she complimented my knitting! I'm usually a very modest person and don't go about tooting any horns but for this, I must make an exception.
Annie Modesitt said my stitches were beautiful!!!!
I just about fell apart with gratitude and adoration. Thankfully I was able to hold it together and pay attention for the rest of the classes that she taught at Stitch DC yesterday - Combination Knitting and a tutorial for her Cocoon Twisted Float Shrug that was on the cover of Vogue a few years ago. The Combination Knitting class was a revelation for me - I've always been vaguely annoyed by my purl stitches and now I know why. Most people's purl stitches are looser than the knits. That's because most of us Westerners use just a tiny bit more yarn in our purl stitches. Combination Knitting refers to the melding of Eastern and Western knitting traditions so that the same amount of yarn is used for both the knits and purls. East meets West. How beautiful is that?
The second class was great for imparting some tips and techniques on a very unusual stitch pattern. I don't know how Ms. Modesitt does it, but she may be a genius. The shrug is something that I probably would have never tried on my own. But having been talked through most of it by the designer herself, it feels much less daunting now.
Annie is a fantastic teacher - she is one of those rare people who can translate relatively complex ideas into elegantly simple terms. Her instruction was always clear and she took the time to make sure that we understood - a challenge in a room of almost twenty people. She came around to each of us and inspected our swatches not once but multiple times. She joked around, told stories and imparted a great amount of knitting wisdom in a relatively short period of time. By the end of the day, I was mentally pooped.
One more thing about Annie - she does not suffer fools lightly. Her voice was hoarse and at the very beginning of the class she asked that there be no talking except her own. And she had the balls to enforce it. This is something I appreciated greatly. Especially with the noisome woman at my table who felt her witticisms were too precious to be kept to herself alone. Annie can tell a good joke but she's dead serious about keeping to her lesson plan and woe be to the foolish knitter who dares interrupt.
Overall, it was a great experience for me. And not just because Annie Modesitt complimented my knitting. It was fun to learn new things and to come together with a group of fellow fiber enthusiasts and spend the day knitting. It was great to learn at the feet of a true master - someone who not only knows her shit but also how to impart her know-how with grace and humor. This morning, I registered for classes at Stitches East in Baltimore - bring on the knitting gurus for they are worth their weight in cashmere!
By the way, did I tell you what Annie Modesitt said about my knitting?