April 21, 2008
If you’re a Wendy Knits reader, or a Loopy Legends Collector, you’re already heard about the elusive L-B! Well guess what? Loopy tracked her down and interviewed her for this week’s Limelight! She has a soft spot for animals of all kinds, so it’s no wonder that Loopy was able to talk her into the interview. It’s still next to impossible to get a photo (which makes one wonder if she truly does exist, or is a figment of Wendy’s imagination.) Here is a photo from our Fall Knitting Weekend last year. L-B tried to hide behind Maggie the sheep, but she was only marginally successful. She did give me permission to share this photo with you.
Loopy: Hi L-B! Well you’re a Loopy Legend, and you’re a Wendy Legend, right? (Which is better than being an Urban Legend, we think. Or maybe you’re that, too?) Thanks for agreeing to be interviewed today.
L-B: L-B in the Loopy Limelight? But haven’t you already interviewed Wendy? It’s commonly thought that I am Wendy’s imaginary friend. But, I’ll be happy to answer your questions and let your readers decide if I am real or not!
Loopy: We’ll read your answers verrry carefully, with all of that in mind. So when did you begin knitting, and who taught you:
L-B: I began knitting around the age of 9, teaching myself from an old book that had pictures of a baby tangled up in yarn. I began knitting doll clothes, especially dramatic, multi-color and lace hooded capes for my trolls (I remember learning yarnovers and pulling the long troll hair out from the holes!) and cabled hats for myself and freeform wall-hangings!
Loopy: Do you have a favorite thing to knit?
L-B: I love all forms of knitting now, but if I had to choose only one style, it would be Aran. I began spinning in the mid-seventies when acrylic was rampant and I wanted to knit with wool. I don’t spin as much now, but a beautiful handpainted roving or a fleece fresh off the back of a sheep at the State Fair never fails to lure me back!
Loopy: Since none of us feel like we ever have enough time in the day to knit, do you have any tips for us:
L-B: Time? I would trade much of my stash (please don’t ask) for more knitting hours in the day! My knitting goes everywhere I do–I knit on breaks at work, in restaurants, standing in the grocery line and even at stop lights (dare I admit that?). I enjoy knitting while mall-walking and one day felt a tug on my yarn. I turned to find one of the senior mall-walkers holding my yarn. The ball had fallen out of my bag as I walked and he had picked it up nearly on the other
side of the mall! He said he started rolling up the ball wondering what he’d find at the other end! Now, my challenge is to find knitting time with a puppy in my life. I’m getting good at tossing the ball a long way and knitting until Rose returns with the ball.
Loopy: We know you love animals, and they seem to love you, too. Tell us about your pets.
L-B: Rose is the most recent of my furry friends. She is a 6 month old Australian Shepherd who was unfortunately bred with double-merle genes, resulting in total deafness and some visual impairment. She was rescued by a wonderful woman with Aussie Rescue (ARPH) and I adopted her in March. She is an amazing dog who doesn’t seem to know she has any limitations. When she can’t see or hear me, she can scent me out. I’m training her with hand signals which she picks up quickly, but I have to be creative to get her attention to actually see the signs. A stick with peanut butter on the end has been a fantastic training tool! Lucky cat is well-known at Wendyknits for wooing Lucy, but they have yet to actually meet. Still, he “wears” his tuxedo at all times in the event he ever meets Lucy. Clancy, the beagle, and Molly, the tortoiseshell cat, round out the group, all of them with special challenges that constantly inspire me.
Loopy: They’re all very beautiful animals! And speaking of Lucy and Wendy, how did you and Wendy get to become such good friends. (If, indeed, you are two different people….)
L-B: Wendy and I met via her blog as we have the same passion for traditional knitting, then later in person since we both live in Virginia. Wendy is focused and prolific in her knitting while I can be perfectly satisfied knitting “nothing” with two swizzle sticks and embroidery floss as I did years ago on an airplane when my knitting needles were taken away at security. The process of knitting, manipulating the stitches, playing with color, fascinates me, which helped lead me into doing test and sample knitting for Apple Laine, Blue Moon Fiber Arts, Clara Parkes’ book, The Knitter’s Book of Yarn and , of course Wendy’s book and patterns. We are best of friends and possibly alter-egos. Wendy calls me Hippy Crunchy (I call her Bag Ho) and I boast 34 years as a vegetarian and nearly as long as an avid New England Contra dancer, whereas Wendy enjoys omnivorous gourmet cooking and has graphed Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of the Moon album and knitted it into a sweater!
Loopy: So are there any tales you’d like to tell about Wendy? Now’s your chance, you know.
L-B: What do you not know about Wendy? You mean that I can share, right? Well, her generosity is well-known, but did you know she gives her handknitted socks away to the Salvation Army? No telling where you may see her socks on the streets of D.C.!
Loopy: I think you probably just started a run to The Salvation Army. You two invented the phrase “Sock Yarn Doesn’t Count as Stash.” (Which you have graciously lent to us for a few fun products.) How did that come about?
L-B: Our phrase “Sock Yarns Don’t Count as Stash” was born out of our agreement last year to knit from our stash until we met at Stitches East. But, we were addicted to The Loopy Ewe and also wanted to rejoin the BMFA Rockin’ Sock Club, so we decided to amend our “tongue-in-cheek “rules” to agree that sock yarn and spinning fiber did not count as stash. But, man, did the sock yarn stash grow! (again, don’t ask!) I was already hooked on yarn from Apple Laine, Blue Moon Fiber Arts and Claudia, but The Loopy Ewe introduced me to my newest favorites, Tempted, The Sanguine Gryphon and Zen String! I really do need to put the sock knitting down sometimes to knit the aran and lace weight yarns that are being neglected.
Loopy: We like that you’re a bit addicted to sock yarn and we don’t think you need to put it down for a second. But we might be biased…. Thanks for agreeing to be in The Limelight with us today!
The Spring Flingers are coming! We’re so looking forward to having some of you here in just a few short days. (But we really wish that all of you could have come. Next year?) Due to preparations for the Spring Fling, The Loopy Ewe will be closed for in-person shopping this week. However, the online shop never closes and we’ll keep shipping orders, so you can keep shopping online during this time. This week’s Sneak Up will include: Duets, Hand Maiden Casbah, Numma Numma BabyBoo, Scarlet Fleece (more new colors), Noro Sock Yarn (only part of our order came, but we’re happy to share what we have so far), Pattern Tamers, and Gales Art Roving (this is Black BFL, hand-dyed – amazing stuff). So, lots of fun things to look forward to this week.