Posted in Knitting
June 22, 2008

I’m old + the 80s are back

This week, I started teaching my fashion/fiber program at ArtWorks. Things learned by the Master Teaching Artist, or MTA (that’d be me): present day teenagers are fascinated with the 1980s, I am old, and also, I am old. Witness this exchange:

Apprentice: “I love Cyndi Lauper.”
Me: “I think one of my very first cassettes was Cyndi Lauper.”
(Two apprentices, whispering to each other): “What’s a cassette?”


My apprentices are fantastic so far, very enthusiastic. We’re planning a timeline-inspired fashion show for their final project. This week, it’s research at the Case Western Reserve University library, learning to dye wool and knitting 101. I also gave mini-knitting lessons to two boys from the ceramics class. They got it right away, but were too cool to keep doing it. Funny. Some visiting artists from Turkey were with us for a few days — the leader of their group brought some textiles for us to inspect. I’ll have photos for you as soon as I get them off the camera.

In other related, cool news — the owners of Ozark Handspun, one of my favorite yarns, have commissioned my apprentices to produce some nuno felt pieces incorporating their yarn that will go on tour to various yarn shops around the country. Yay! Of course first they need to learn how to felt… we’ve got 40 silk scarves on order and will be practicing on those with the wool we dye this week before we move on to the tasty and amazing Ozark Handspun! I couldn’t resist, I got a hank of green Ozark Handspun for myself, too. Me and my green issues…

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  • andi

    That Ozark is truly delicious – I can’t wait to see what the kids come up with – as for the Nuno felting – thwap, thwap, thwap! Anyone who took your class at KC will have very fond memories of thwapping their felt in the ladies room! good times. – and honey, if you’re old, I must be practically geriatric! sheesh!

    Reply to andi
  • Donna

    Wow, that yarn is gorgeous! Why have I been thinking about knitting so much when summer has barely begun? Probably because if I want anything to be done to wear by this winter, I need to start now…

    I was at Melt with some co-workers, one was examining the menu–printed on the back of an old album cover. She wondered who Hall and Oates was, and I said they were popular in the 80’s. Oh, my mom listens to that stuff, she said. She and another co-worker were born in 1985–I graduated from high school in 1984.

    Reply to Donna
  • Rosemary

    That is delicious yarn!

    A few years ago, when I had an actual office all my own, I had a giant Duran Duran poster from 1984 hanging up. A coworker walked in, younger than me by almost 10 years, and said, “Ooh… is that vintage?” It took everything in me not to throw one of my shoes at her.

    Reply to Rosemary
  • Sally

    I’m 28 and I remember casettes. I still have some. Heck, I even record them occassionally because my car has no CD player.

    Reply to Sally
  • Mandy

    Don’t feel bad. I am a corporate trainer and recently discovered that today’s 18-22 year olds have no idea who Prince is. Prince!!??!! I also just had a class of 4 individuals who were not familiar with Huey Lewis and had never seen Back to the Future.

    Reply to Mandy
  • Rosemary

    Oooh… cassettes… and you make mix tapes! Awesome!! I tried to explain the comment of the mix tape to my 9-year old and received a confused stare. Sigh.

    Reply to Rosemary

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