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Archive for August 23rd, 2011

Sock Summit Saturday 2: Jazzknitting & Gifts

Tuesday, August 23rd, 2011

I met Ilisha Helfman at Sock Summit 2009. We literally met in the lobby outside the marketplace after everything had sort of wound down for that day, and I commented on her knitting. She was wearing a knitted ginkgo leaf  piece around her neck, and I had to meet her.

That year, we ended up chatting a long time, and then went out to dinner another day with her family.  This year we made sure to connect again.

This year Saturday, we had dinner together… at the same Indian restaurant where we’d gone in 2009. I had looked forward to going back, the food was just great.

When we got there, I emptied the contents of my Teacher goodie bag. Gifts, every single one of these items, from Sock Summit vendors. Luxury! Absolute generosity!

Somehow my Signature needles (DPNs, 2.5mm, magenta with stiletto points) are not in this photo. You also can’t see the knitting light (hangs from one’s neck). Can you see at top left, a copy of Anna Zilboorg’s Mitten book which had socks added to it in this new version? A gift from XRX (Knitters Magazine). Top right is a comic book, too. More cool.

Ilisha took a photo of me holding some of my goodies, with my Teacher badge also visible, Yes, I’m extremely proud that I taught at this fine event.

Ilisha just released a new book called JazzKnitting. It’s wonderful. She uses handpainted yarns, by responding to their color sequences. Included are the gingko leaves I noticed two years ago (see cover), as well as peacocks and a number of other concepts.

Her willingness to not only bend to, but celebrate, the idiosyncrasies of the handpainted yarns, makes her a true artist. She “draws using a thread that has already been painted.” (My paraphrase.) Wonderful stuff.

Ilisha spent the Sock Summit doing demonstrations and discussions of Jazzknitting at the Blue Moon Fiberarts (Socks that Rock) booth in the marketplace. She discussed looking at the way a yarn is dyed to work toward an artpiece. A lot of this is in her book, as well. I’d love to explore her book and techniques more, enough to discuss them in their own book-review post at a later date.

Bonus Photo

This final photo? It only fits because it was after the marketplace closed on Saturday. I took it while standing with Ilisha on the way out to dinner.

This is a yoga moment, folks from Sock Summit teams ST-1 and ST-2 and perhaps a few friends and/or volunteers. I thought it was a rather fine photo to carry the spirit of the moment.