September 29, 2006
One thing I love about big-city life is how much sheer STUFF you can cram into a few hours if you’ve got a Metrocard and know how to use it. Witness last night.
At 6, I got off the B train at 86th Street and popped into the Bard Graduate Center for some Cultcha. The BGC is the coolest. A) it’s free and (2) you can see the most awesomest, constantly changing exhibits of fiber and decorative arts work in (c) an over-the-top-gorgeous restored townhouse.
I had been lured to the BGC by our intrepid-yet-blogless friend Amber. Amber loves a beat-up, weird old textile more than most people (even OUR people, who skew kind of high on the Loving Weird Old Textiles scale). Whenever I am with Amber, I see something new to me and cool, and I almost always end up buying a Beautiful Yet Obscure Art Book (Preferably Not In English). I am already thinking about which worthy institution, hopefully decades from now, will receive the priceless legacy of Books Kay Bought With Amber.
All I can say is, if you’re in the area, go see this exhibit (did I mention it’s FREE?) of Sheila Hicks’ small weavings. There is much to savor, and an excellent video of Sheila Hicks looking at her own work hanging on the wall, commenting and reminiscing. Here are a few nuggets that I jotted in my MoleskineTM:
“Your deepest research is intelligent play. How do you continue to play seriously and not fall into the trap of repeating your greatest successes?”
“There are no contradictions or separations in my thinking when creating textiles….or other thread-things. Pure expression and the utilitarian often join in the most surprising moments.”
Think about THAT when you’re knitting. (Don’t fall into the trap of repeating your greatest dishrags.)
But enough High Culture. Now it’s time for:
Tracey Ullman’s butt. (Photo used with permission.) (Really!)
Metrocard sizzling, I raced from the BGC down to Columbus Circle, where Mel Clark and Tracey Ullman were holding forth and signing copies of their brand-new knitting book, Knit 2 Together.
I rushed in, breathless, grabbed two copies (who loves ya, babe?), and approached the table. Tracey was wearing this skirt, in Euroflax linen. It looks like a wraparound, but it isn’t. MUST KNIT THIS.
Shyly I told Mel and Tracey about my own passionate support of theTwo-Headed Knitting Book. Tracey seemed surprised that I don’t have a Southern accent, and started talking in a Southern accent (MUCH more Southern than yours by the way–you really need to work on that). She asked me if we’ve reviewed their book on this blog of ours. Not a shrinking violet, that one.
So here’s my review: Knit 2 Together is a credit to the two-headed knitting book. Mel Clark’s designs are fresh and wearable. And when I say wearable, I mean wearable even by non-celebrity, not particularly Pilatisized people. I especially like the flattering necklines and witty finishes (finally, a use for fancy silk ribbon!), and her wonderfully diverse yarn choices. (Mel is a woman after my own heart: she says linen is ‘lovely to knit with’.) I would love this book even if I weren’t crazy about Tracey Ullman. Which I am. Tracey is not one of these celebrity knitters who can’t purl (not that there’s anything wrong with it). She is as crazy about knitting as the rest of us nuts, and she’s much, much more photogenic.
I think I would have bought the book for one pattern alone: the SUIT. There is a suit (the “Ponsonby Suit”), and it’s a cute suit. Very ‘lady’, but very chic. Do I dare? Would Rowan Calmer be a good non-wool substitute for Karabella Aurora 8 (100% merino)? Can I knit something that big (if it’s not square)?
A profound truth: In LA, they have better hair.
A case in point.
Life is good!