Like all hobbies and interests, the knitting world has its rockstars and celebrities. One of our most famous is Stephanie Pearl-McPhee, aka author and writer of “The Yarn Harlot” blog. I have a little journal that I use to jot down notes, ideas, and patterns that roam around in my head. The front page of that journal contains signatures of 3 people who have inspired me to become the knitter that I am today: Stephanie, Franklin Habit (see my “It Itches” piece September 2008), and Kristin Nicholas.
Kristin learned how to knit as a child, and when she entered the yarn manufacturing industry, her experience in the fashion world helped her to create a formidable presence at Classic Elite Yarns in Lowell, MA. Not only did her team’s patterns offer intricate details of cabling and fair isle, but the written instructions became a standard still used today. What drew me to Kristin was not just her talent, but her personal side. (Yes social media folks, I consider her a Trust Agent in the knitting world!) Ten years ago, she and her husband Mark had Julia. Because Julia was born with excess fluid in her brain, multiple surgeries were done for the next couple of years. To spend time with Julia and Mark, Kristin gave up her esteemed Creative Director position at Classic Elite. For my romantic self, anyone who gives up a career for whom they love has my admiration.
Though Kristin stopped working at Classic Elite, she did not give up her passion for color and fabrics. She has written a number of books which incorporate color combinations and embroidery. On Friday night, September 11th, I was privileged to be invited by Common Cod Guild president Guido Stein to have dinner with the officers, Kristin, and her guests – Julia her daughter and Cathy, a former employee at Classic Elite. We laughed over past ideas that went nowhere, gushed over the pizza, and talked about upcoming events. At MIT’s Stata Building, she gave a lecture on how she uses a color wheel and nature for inspiration. She described how adding a touch of embroidery can make a piece of clothing pop with excitement. During the door prize announcements, I won a set of postcards which were photos from Kristin’s farm and collection. 🙂 Kristin also allowed everyone to fondle the pieces she designed for her upcoming book, “Color by Kristin: How to Design Your Own Beautiful Knits” which were knitted in her Julia yarn.
Afterwards, a dozen of us headed out to The Friendly Toast for a late night snack. My meal of choice was the Caribbean Waffle paired with a pot of tea. Once again our conversations were full of liveliness ranging from our daily observations to Kristin’s lecture. Food, drink, and fun — what more could a knitting social media technology geek like me want? (Please, we know what the answer is, and that unfortunately is not going to happen.) Until I write again, feel free to check out the photos of the evening! =:8