How Vivian Met Francie
July 25, 2006
I love a crossover story. You know, like Elvis being at the top of the pop AND gospel charts and probably a bunch more charts? Or, for that matter, the other Elvis, singing with Ann-Sofie von Otter and Burt Bacharach (not at the same time although THAT would be cool)—it’s all music, right? If you like music and have even a smidge of curiosity, you like different ways and means of making it.
And so it is with the mitered square. It’s in quilts, it’s in knitting, it’s in carpentry.
It’s also, for Francie anyway, in polymer clay. Check out (scroll down a little) what Francie (who also knits) did with miters and clay! In May, Francie wrote to tell me she was inspired to cook up these polymer clay mitered items, and then she sent me some examples of what she had been up to. I don’t even know her! She generously sent stitch markers and a needle case and psychedelic ponytail holders, but my very favorite item was this pin:
I love a pin. I expecially love a pin on a jean jacket. So when we went to TNNA in Indianapolis last month, I put this pin on my jean jacket, right up there with my ‘Boys Knit’, ‘I Heart Knitty’ and ‘KNIT BIG’ pins. The pins of our people. Everybody asked me about it, oohing and aahing, and I kept saying, stupidly, “You see, it’s miters.” They saw, it’s miters.
Somehow I got separated from you in the convention hall (oh, the anxiety! are we not a matched set? are we not joined at the hip?) and wandered off in search of free samples (hope springs eternal), Knitting Celebrities, and hopefully more pins. And then, there SHE was, big as life, real as real, draped in a mitered coat: Vivian Hoxbro. (Sorry Vivian for the lack of that Danish slashed-o letter in Hoxbro.) Vivian lives in Denmark. She wrote Domino Knitting, a gem of a book on knitting and joining miters, and Shadow Knitting, which teaches a clever way of getting mysterious pictures to appear in your knitting. Spooky!
I approached the Knitting Celebrity. (Digression to explain Kay’s Policy on the Greeting of Celebrities: For Regular Celebrities, as a NewYorker I am obliged to follow a strict policy of being too cool to approach or even acknowledge their existence until they are out of sight, at which point I make knowing but silent eye contact with my fellow NewYorkers, so that they know, and they know that I know, that we have just seen a celebrity. A couple of weeks ago I saw Keanu Reeves (yes! I know he is rawr-worthy to female fans everywhere, but I never can forget his stoner-like delivery of lines in Much Ado About Nothing–“Dude….I’m like totally the bad guy in this movie.”) on 23rd and Fifth–a decidely un-VIPish corner– looking lost and talking on his cellphone, and I didn’t even blink. Move along! Nothing to see here people! But Knitting Celebrities, as the glittering citizens of a subculture or perhaps another plane of existence, are fair game in my book. They must endure my “Hi! How are ya? I LOVE your work!” I believe I told Debbie Bliss I adored her, for which she inexplicably gave me a candy bar, but that’s another story.)
So anyhoo, I ran over to fawn at poor Vivian, who was so kind, and we chatted and very soon she said, ‘I love that pin! Where did you get it? You know I love miters!’ I was so proud to tell her that someone I ‘knew’ had MADE it, and we chatted on, and then I remembered: for some reason, I was carrying Francie’s mitered-square stitch markers, still on the card, IN MY PURSE. So I asked Vivian, Hey, do you use stitch markers? Well, of course she does. (She is the queen of knitting MITERS.) So wa-la! I presented Vivian Hoxbro with Francie’s lovely mitered-square stitch markers. Francie had cleverly attached the set with a kilt pin, so Vivian pinned the whole set on her jacket like a piece of jewelry.
She loved them.
Look how cute the tiny miters are, how precise.
This made me very happy. Thanks so much, Francie!
PS Dishrag Beat: The Monthly Dishcloth Knitalong group, of which I am a proud (but lazy) member, has just reached 1500 members. That just boggles my mind.