Wednesday, October 3, 2012

The Harlot in the Cities

Last Thursday, we had a lovely sock class at StevenBe with Stephanie Pearl-McPhee (otherwise known as the Yarn Harlot), then, we partnered with our friends at the City of Lakes Waldorf School in South Minneapolis to bring you even more Harlot goodness.

She gave her fantastic "This is Your Brain on Knitting" lecture.

Proceeds went to support the StevenBe Creative Community Foundation and creative fiber arts programs at the school.

"This is Your Brain on knitting" is a hilarious talk about what's happening in your brain while you knit. Using research and years of experience with knitters, Stephanie Pearl-McPhee talked about why you knit, why you can't stop if you do, and why you should start if you don't.

She’s the funniest, most kind, positive person, and a great speaker!

Jeremy setting up our information table at the Waldorf School.

On Friday, we had two more Yarn Harlot classes: Knitting for Speed and Efficiency and Knitting with Mawata.

Knitting for Speed and Efficiency starts with a short history of knitting, a look at knitting styles from around the world, then moves on to what Stephanie calls "lever knitting." Some people call it Irish Cottage Knitting. It is fast, efficient, and doesn't wear on your hands in the same way as other kinds of knitting.

Be careful on YouTube, though. Some people have posted videos that they label as lever knitting, but they're actually not doing it, well, correctly! Here is the real McCoy. And, just for fun, here's a video from the final heat of the Speed Knitting Competition at the Knit Out in Minneapolis from 2008. More than one method is used here, but if you look closely, you'll see that at least one of these knitters is using the lever knitting method.

We don't have any photos from Friday, because we were all too caught up, but, fortunately, Stephanie has awesome photos that kind of hint at the silk process (starting from hankies, not cocoons) in this blog post. There's also a Q&A from her here. If you're still curious, there's a little more information on someone else's blog here (we don't know this blogger, but we love her photos).

Mawata knitting involves degumming silk cocoons, and stretching them over frames to make silk hankies. Then you just pull on the strands and knit with it. It is really the coolest thing ever, it's a weird, mystical kind of experience to go from just a little pile of cocoons, to the fiber, to knitting it all in four hours.

Overall, it was a fantastic two days with a wonderful knitter and teacher.

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Have an idea for an event or talk we could host? Contact StevenBe by emailing steven (at) yarn garage dot com. (Replace the words with the symbols to get the actual email address, but you knew that already!)

1 comment:

mommaras said...

I had a great time at the luncheon with the THe Yarn Harlot on THursday and her lecture THursday night was, informative and hilarious.