Punk Knits! Or how I spent my afternoon with a rock star

Today I did something I have never done before. I met a real rock star. Hilltop had a trunk show with Share Ross of Punk Knits. Plus the blurb from the site said she was going to do a little workshop on “how to make holes”. Since I’m usually the shy, wallflower type, I thought I could satisfy my curiosity by attending the workshop. I didn’t actually have to say hi or anything.

Before I go any further, let me back up a bit. I don’t think I’ve talked a lot about my teenage years on here. The short version of the story would be that I discovered MTV and “hair bands” (Poison was the first and thusly my first love, take that for what it’s worth!) when I was in middle school. This was fresh from a private school and a fairly protected childhood. I’m sure my parents didn’t know what the hell was wrong with their previously very agreeable daughter. I started teasing my bangs until they stood 12 inches off my head and listening to music that had lyrics that frankly I didn’t understand at the time. It was all just so far off the scale from the Barbara Streisand and Neil Diamond I had grown up listening to that the rebel in me just latched onto this hair band fever like my life depended on it. So, of course, I loved Vixen too. Girls that rock!

The thing is, I think that part of myself is such an anomaly! I’m normally so very quiet, at least I think I am. In fact the pink and black shirt I had on today (see below) is probably the most outrageous thing in my wardrobe. I LOVE love love punk stuff — but I never wear it. Back in those middle school days I wore a black leather jacket and about 10 pounds worth of jewelry — but so did everyone else. I said before that when I saw the pics from Punk Knits that I was highly entertained – I love the ideas, I totally get where it comes from, and I deeply admire people brave enough to wear it, to put themselves out for everyone to see. It’s just not something I was ever able to do myself. It makes me very happy and giggle like a giddy schoolgirl, but I couldn’t see myself actually making anything from the book.

But today I met Share, and my world shifted just a leetle bit. This is because the point of the workshop wasn’t “make these patterns” it was “take these ideas and RUN with it!” THAT I can do. And with that new perspective, there are so many ideas in here! Fun ways to combine yarns, little projects that don’t take a lot of yarn (and we know I like little projects), ways to throw some attitude into and change previously existing patterns. I love that sort of thing. It’s not all about skulls and mini skirts, it’s about expanding your boundaries, trying new things, and most of all, not being afraid. Right, then. This I can do.

And so we have this:

My autographed book (I’m sorry but I have to insert here the appropriate schoolgirl squeal SHARE ROSS SIGNED MY BOOK!) my swatch from the workshop, and some yarns I have stashed that might turn into a “punk knits inspired” tunic tank top thingy.

I’ve been thinking about this all day! Okay well ever since the workshop. In fact it started during the workshop. You see, Share taught us how to do a “controlled drop stitch”. I’ve dropped stitches on accident before, but not on purpose. And much to my surprise, I really like the result! It reminds me of raindrops for some reason. I could see a blue scarf or stole with these meandering through it, maybe with beads? Anyway, I also really like the yarnover dropped stitches too. That one made me ponder what these “holes” would look like with knitted wire. Don’t ask me why, I have no idea. We also talked about how these sorts of additions can be part of shaping a garment. For example, to flare a skirt.

Well, damn. I seriously didn’t expect to learn so much. Plus Share kept saying if I can do it, you can do it, and while I think she’s putting herself down a bit here, in a way she’s right. Why not? That’s the beauty of knitting. It’s all in just figuring out how. So I started to think… what am I inspired to make?

And it finally came to me this evening, as I stood outside (knitting, of course) with my boy playing in his sandbox. It was getting a bit nippy. The weather here always makes me wish I had just a little something extra to throw on over whatever top I have on. A lightbulb went off. I can make a top with dropped stitches at the hem so it flares over my hips (hopefully to tunic length) and then totally random raindrops throughout the body. Then the straps can have some holes in it too. I’m really into summer knitting at the moment (Wool! Be gone!) and something like that would be just perfect! Plus I’m trying to plan everything I make to be suitable throughout another pregnancy (hopefully).

So above you see my stashed candidates. Since I honestly have no idea what I’m doing I don’t think I can rationalize buying yet more yarn. The top three are all Rowan Cotton Tape, currently discontinued. I have two pink, two dark blue, and one lighter blue. I have no idea if that’s enough, but if I use large needles and stripe it, it might be. I might have to score some more on Ebay if I go that route. The pink and green is something I have a ton of. I don’t know what it is, it used to be a hat and a scarf but I never wore it so I frogged it to use the yarn for something else. The darker is Berroco Medley, but it does have wool in it. I have a fair chunk of it though. Might be best to save that for something else.

So there you have it! I think I’ll start off with the Cotton Tape and see how it goes. I’m so excited! Er… I won’t be starting this until I finish that damn CPH.

Some other notes on the book. I love that the models aren’t just models, they’re real people who seriously dig this stuff. Their bios are even in the back. One of them aspires to be a sex symbol.. that cracks me up. I love that this book doesn’t spend the first 30 pages telling me how to knit. I’ve been waiting for more books to do that! This book is always entertaining, sometimes bemusing, and just fun to have around. I’m glad I bought it.

And finally, because, schoolgirl in me again, it had to be done:

So a big thanks to Share for hosting the workshop and for coming to Seattle! I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: I am so very, very lucky to live here!

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3 Responses to Punk Knits! Or how I spent my afternoon with a rock star

  1. Liane says:

    Wow that is totally cool!

  2. Kathleen says:

    It sounds as though you had a totally rockin time. Can’t wait to see something knitted up from the book.

  3. tania says:

    you look so cute!! 🙂
    I’m glad you had such a fun time! Very cool about the book!! Can’t wait to see what comes of the knitting…

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