Meet Susan, a Whiskeyknitter from the early years who moved to Richmond last year and started our very first daughter chapter. Or sister chapter? I almost made a Chinatown reference there and then rewatched That Scene on YouTube and realized that if I did make a Chinatown reference, I would go to the special hell.
Susan would never go to the special hell. She’s far too classy. Say hello!
Tell us about yourself…
Susan: Well, my interviewer has been known to describe me as the microbiologist-pilot-ballerina…
True. Very true. 🙂 How did you get started knitting?
Susan: It was a perfect storm – a “Snowpocalypse”, if you will. Well, almost. I’d been watching the whiskeyknitters group gather and was generally unavailable for their evenings. Then my schedule opened up and I started to attend with a long-term cross-stitch project (and by long-term, I mean since I was about 13 years old – it will be beautiful one day, I swear). Then my husband decided he wanted us to get Christmas stockings that looked like big socks. Rather than buy them, I suggested that I learn to knit and just make them. This meant that my very first knitting experience was oversized men’s toe-up socks. No practice squares, just straight to toe-ups. It’s not the smartest decision I’ve ever made, but it worked out well in the end.
What project has made you curse most creatively? Why?
Susan: I probably don’t have anything for this. That’s a little shameful, really, because I do have the capacity for some creative cursing. Knitting is a conscious form of recreation for me, so I tend to have more patience with it than with other things. That said, there are two experiences that stick out, even if little cursing was involved. First, the night that I spent 2.5 h on a simple feather and fan scarf, and only succeeded in advancing about 2 rows – I’ve never done so much TINKing in my life, not even when turning the heel on that first ever toe-up sock! The second is my recent saga of the cedar chest with the seized lock that suddenly separated me from all my knitting supplies (!!!). But, like a true addict, I made fibercraft lemonade: I used it as an excuse for a brand new project while I waited to get the chest to a locksmith to drill out the latch.
Susan: I love a good, dark, malty beer. My favourite scotch at the moment is, hands-down, the Oban 14. My beloved Stephen bought me a bottle for Christmas and then stuffed the tube with the same weight in jelly beans just to bother me. In retaliation, he was allowed neither jelly beans nor Oban.
How is drinking while knitting working out for you? Any good stories?
Susan: Whiskeyknitters requires a level of strategy that Sun Tzu might respect. One must select a project that requires as little attention to pattern as possible, minimal stitch counting, no flat space to lay out the work, and yarn that doesn’t tangle easily. One must also account for the light levels in the whiskeyknitting location du jour – no dark monochromatic yarns in an atmospheric pub! And even then, pack your Zen. In this way, young Grasshopper, you too may become a whiskeyknitter.
Or, put another way: know your limit, knit within it!
If you were yarn, what kind would you be?
Susan: Probably a variegated sock yarn: lots of twisty, enigmatic and unpredictable colours, soft merino that’s fine enough to be a bit of a challenge to work with but has just enough nylon in there for strength.
What do you enjoy sniffing more–whiskey or fiber–and why?
Susan: Books. 🙂 But of those two choices, definitely whiskey. Fiber is more of a visual and tactile experience for me.
What’s your favorite thing about Whiskeyknitters?
Susan: Absolutely the people I’ve met.
What’s your hope for the Richmond chapter?
Susan: That we grow a vibrant community of fun, curious, and kind people, and that the group will endure if/when I move away someday.
Join the Facebook group for the Richmond chapter today!