Wednesday, November 28, 2007

One of a Kind

I wanted to acknowledge the passing of Mary Walker Phillips. Her obituary ran in the Los Angeles Times last Sunday. We knitters all owe her a debt of gratitude. I discovered her book, Creative Knitting some time in the early 80's and was quite inspired. This quote from her obituary expresses Mary's contribution:

"She has elaborated on one of the most traditional of women's textile arts, while maintaining a reverence for its time-honored tradition," wrote M. Catherine Daly, who curated a Phillips exhibit in 1987. "She has expanded the techniques of knitting beyond the boundaries of apparel. . . . It is this sense of continuity and change that is the magic of Mary Walker Phillips' knitting needles."

Ms. Phillips thought that knitted counterpanes, a traditional knitting technique was being lost, so in 1989, she wrote Knitted Counterpanes. This book is out of print. I managed to buy a copy on eBay this year when I couldn't locate the copy I know I have somewhere. Anyway, I digress. This subject is as fresh now as it was 20 years ago. Just look at Jared Flood's Hemlock Ring Blanket. Moreover, his new take on a vintage doily epitomizes the spirit of Mary Walker Phillips.

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