Knitting Ephemera by Carol Sulcoski

Knitting Ephermera by Carol Sulcoski was today’s HOTTEST Topic and we love hearing the tidbits she collected on the Yarn Thing Podcast with Marly Bird.

Carol Sulcoski and Boris
Carol Sulcoski and the just as famous Boris.

Carol learned to knit by her mom in the seventies, came back to it as an adult to relieve stress and relax. When she left her job to be home with her kids, she began ‘noodling around’ and started a blog, writing articles and dying yarns. (See also Black Bunny Fibers!) Even though she’s gone back to that work environment, she has connected with co-workers through yarn and knitting lunches making for fun at work, too!

Nowadays, as with a lot of those in the fiber industry, she teaches, designs, continues writing articles and books. As she gets to know others, she learns fascinating tidbits. Having lunch one day with Trisha Malcolm (editor of Vogue Knitting) she mentioned that there feels like a book in there with all of this trivia, they decided together decided that a book could be done. Ephemera by definition means thing Knitting Ephemerathat are intended to last a short time, but become collectibles. By combining them all in a book saves them from being lost as well as authenticating anecdotes that may have become rumors.

For instance, the Orenburg knitters of Russia. This is was a story that appealed to Marly because of her familiarity Galina Khmeleva  who is in her area of Colorado. Items that were created for Royalty, were then blinded so as not to be duplicated. Orenburg knitting has become a high standard of lace knitting. Another one Carol liked was about Susan Bates and Mary Maxim, icons of large companies. Susan Bates is not a real person, but Mary Maxim is! One of that companies employees was named Mary Maximchuk, the ‘chuck’ part being dropped and an identity created.

  • Fables may include about ‘SheepSquatch’ in West Virginia.
  • There was a knitting fraternity in the 1930’s, before the second World War, featured in the Columbia University newsletter, that called themselves Knitta-Natta-New (probably misspelled that)
  • Kaffee Fassett, knitting designer extraordinaire, read a book about the Midnight Cowboy and suggested to a movie producer that this might be a great movie, which won an Academy award. (This was mentioned in a biography Mr. Fassett wrote, so it’s not a completely unknown fact.)
  • In countries like New Zealand and Australia, there are more sheep than people, or as Carol says ‘More Sheeps than Peeps!’
  • Merino wool prior to the 17th century, it was punishable by death to export the sheep out of the country, because they were trying to keep the breed pure.

Carol has collected a lots of little tidbits over her career, but that seems to have run in the family. Her dad was actually qualified to compete on the ‘Jeopardy’ game show, which requires a lot of trivial knowledge. (He didn’t actually compete because as a school teacher the required stay of a week in New York to participate was beyond his budget — just offering that so you don’t attempt to search for video.) All of us who consider ourselves collectors of knitting trivia, anyone will love what Carol has put together as love letter for the rest of us! The book is available through Amazon, here is the link.

Carol has been on Yarn Thing podcast before, in 2012 ( here are the show notes) and last year (and those show notes), and we love having her come back to keep us updated on what she’s been up to. You can follow Carol Sulcoski at her yarn company website www.blackbunnyfibers.com, with blog, CLICK HERE to see a list of her other books, also Black Bunny Fibers on Facebook page, and an author page there, a designer page in Ravelry.

If you missed getting to hear this LIVE, and discuss in our chat room, that’s OK, you can listen to this where it aired as an archive: https://www.blogtalkradio.com/yarnthing/2016/02/23/knitting-ephemera-by-carol-sulcoski or in your favorite podcast catcher like iTunes or Stitcher Radio.



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  1. Kris says:

    My son loves sharing “fun facts” with us at the dinner table. Now I have some to share, too! We don’t have a pet, but if we did, Boris would be a great name!

  2. Anita says:

    When I hear the name Boris I always think of Boris and Natasha from Rocky and Bullwinkle. I so enjoyed the interview with Carol. Her book sounds perfect for the nightstand, lots of interesting bits of history. Your friendship shone through the entire interview.

  3. Heather says:

    This book sounds like a great commute book for the train! I’d love to win. I also think Boris is adorable. I wish I could have cats; my husband claims to be allergic, so we can’t have any! 🙁 Maybe if he ever dies. Ha!

  4. Rachel says:

    Love this book, just from what I have heard of it so far. Great to just pick up and read a liitle, or astonish your friend with how crazy you are about knitting.

    Do all knitters have their own boris?

  5. Lee Ann says:

    Loved your interview with Marly Bird. I’m sure if I were to win your book, ‘Knitting Ephemera’, it would have a efficacious effect upon me involving the Edification and Information for me as a knitter. Snicker…I cannot have a cat because my husband doesn’t appreciate felines, but if I did I would want a ginger cat, named Boris Karloff.

  6. Heather B says:

    I have 4 female cats…they saw the picture of Boris and now I think they all have a crush on him. (He IS quite a handsome fellow! ;- ) Also, you’re book sounds like so much fun (and it has a 5 star rating on Amazon! It’s in my Wishlist…but I’m keeping my fingers crossed…) Thanks!

  7. Greg says:

    My favorite Boris is Karloff. 🙂 I love the idea Knitting Ephemera! I’m looking forward to digging into it when I get a chance. Thanks! –KnittingDaddy Greg

  8. Thekla says:

    Boris is a very cool name for a cat. I really enjoyed the interview. Carol is so enthusiastic, she brings us right along with her. Thank you.

  9. Theresa says:

    Absolutely loved the podcast today. I look forward to checking out the book. Love it when knitting pops up in my favorite books and movies. BTW Boris is a great name for a cat.

  10. Lori Biamonte says:

    I am so anxious to read the book that Carol and Boris wrote. I just hope I can learn to say the name correctly. I talked about it at my KAL at my local yarn store last night and just couldn’t get the word “Ephemera” out. I’m hoping they will stock the book there. When I win my copy, I will share it with the owner to encourage her to do so.

  11. Julie Cohen says:

    Hi! I am curious as to why you named your cat Boris. Your book sounds really interesting, and I would love to circulate it around my knitting/crochet group (I am the only crocheter, lol).

  12. Michelle says:

    Boris, the cat sounds like a wonderful feline. This is a book that is right up my alley! My friends love having me at a conference cocktail party because of my knowledge of ephemera!

  13. Trisha says:

    I always have a challenge when naming my pets – Boris is such a cute name for a cat. I look forward to turning the pages of your new book.

  14. auntaanne says:

    I really enjoy the podcasts when I am walking. It teaches me new things while I’m getting fit. We have lots of cats in our neighborhood and I plan to name the pretty Siamese looking one Boris. So happy I can do that.

  15. Lorraine S. says:

    I really enjoyed the interview with Carol and learning some fun facts about knitting. That type of trivia is right up my alley! I would love to see a book like that about crochet too! Boris looks like such a sweet cat. I bet he makes a really great companion! Thank you for another fantastic podcast!

  16. Ramona says:

    Boris looks adorable. I’ve excited about this book since I started seeing it pop up on social media. I think it might have been at Vogue Knitting Live when I started seeing it.

  17. Missy Schmidt says:

    I used to have a hamster named Boris! So he is definitely my all time favorite Boris! Thanks for another great podcast!

  18. savannagal says:

    Boris is adorable. I’ve always been a cat lover and have had many through the years. I currently have 2, a cornish rex and a sphynx. I have to say though, if I ever get another it will definitely be adopted from a shelter. Thanks for a wonderful and interesting podcast.

  19. Suzanne says:

    Inquiring minds would like to know if Boris made it in Carol’s new knitting book. At the very least, there must be some factoid about knitters and cat lovers, right?

Marly Bird

The One and Only, Marly

Marly is a knitwear and crochet designer (and yarn addict) that is here to help you learn how to knit and crochet in a way that's fun and approachable.

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