If you are familiar with Kathryn Alexander's body of work or you are just seeing it for the first time, it quickly becomes very apparent that she is all about working with color. But rather than study color theory and following strict rules about which colors go together, she just uses lots and lots and lots of colors, the more the better, and a good eye. If you ask, Kathryn how many colors you would need to make a sweater she might answer "you could do it with 40 but 60 would be better". She plays with colors and shapes and avoids rules and symmetry. Her work falls in a category beyond knitting, to artwork. You can just as easily display her work on a wall as wear it. I like the way she thinks, I like the way she designs and I like her spirit. It is due to this that I try to take every class I possibly can with her -- maybe some of the creativity will rub off on me (that and that I have the fashion sense of a three year old and I am drawn to all the pretty colors).
On Saturday she spoke to my fiber guild. She brought examples of her work and showed many, many slides while telling humorous stories about how she became a knitter, knitting influences, and all kinds of funny and witty things. In addition to spinning, weaving and knitting, she rides horses. Horses are probably her first love. Her mother was a knitter but she didn't learn until she was an adult from someone else and it all happened on account of the fact that she doesn't play penochle. But life is strange that way.
After the talk she gave a mini workshop on spinning and knitting energized yarns. You needed to know how to spin to take this workshop. This is one of the few things that has tempted me to learn spinning and if I can find a few interested individuals, I may go up to her place in New York and have her teach me how to spin. She spins all her own yarn and never plies -- always uses the singles, although if you buy one of her kits the yarn is spun by Green Mountain Spinnery (which is a green mill) and then hand dyed by Kathryn. She has also talked them into carrying energized singles. She can spin all of the yarn for a sweater in a day -- that just astounds me. I always consider spinning to be a slow endeavor.
Sunday and Monday I attended Kathryn's workshop on Creating Surface and Color with Entrelac Shapes. I had taken this workshop before but still felt it was worth it to take it again. I will write about that tomorrow.