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 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 that 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: http://www.blogtalkradio.com/yarnthing/2016/02/23/knitting-ephemera-by-carol-sulcoski or in your favorite podcast catcher like iTunes or Stitcher Radio.