Of the many things I do each week in the winter to bring in money, my favorite is the work I do for Knitting Out Loud, a small audio book company based here in Maine.
Kathy Goldner, founder and owner of KOL, has been one of my closest friends for too many years to contemplate. She married my husband's closest friend, then curmudgeon, now deluxe spouse, Scott Moore.
Every year we'd make the trek to coastal Maine from no matter where we lived (California, Maryland) and stay with these two wonderful & talented people. They always tried to talk us into moving to Maine; and we always tried to comply - but it wasn't until 2004 that we actually made it happen.. By then both couples had one irascible girl-child each (who proceeded to bond and add to the general enlightened chaos).
Nowadays, as you may have gathered, I find myself taking knitting very, very seriously. This is Kathy Goldner's fault. To pay her back, I'm going to publish here, for the first time, my interview with this knitting maven, good friend and successful businesswoman.
I spoke with MY KNITTING MENTOR, Kathy Goldner, by phone in October 2009. There was a lot of laughter during this conversation, which I've edited out for the sake of brevity...
MLWK: How did you get started knitting?
KG: My grandmother taught me as a teenager. I remember the usual scarf that started out one size & ended up another. Then I don't remember knitting anything until I was in my 20's. I worked with a woman who knitted. I knit a sweater for a boyfriend. I just go from one cliche to another! (I did dump HIM, so it makes it better.) Another friend taught me how to knit socks, so I knit one & gave it to my mother. I never knit the other one. My mother has one sock.
Two years ago, a friend gave me a very beautiful ball of yarn & I knit a scarf. Elisabeth, my daughter, took it. I was so thrilled that I'd knitted something somebody actually wanted! So I went to buy more yarn & the yarn store blew me away.
MLWK: What do love about knitting?
KG: The yarn, the colors & the textures. The fact is that if orange is not a popular color and you want an orange sweater, you have to knit the damn thing! Because I have this company (Knitting Out Loud) I don't have a lot of time to knit. I knit a lot of small things to give to people.
MLWK: What about your mother's other sock?
KG: Mom can't wear wool next to her skin! But I knit her a blanket, a hat & a scarf.
I also like the creative aspect of knitting.
MLWK: What's happening with KOL these days?
KG: In the works are "Arctic Lace" (Spring '10 release) featuring quiviot, musk ox and Native American cooperatives in Alaska & their knitting.
"Knitting America" by Susan Strawn will come out this winter. It's another history of American knitting. And "Wild Fibers" magazine editor Linda Cortwright will be reading articles that are no longer in print. They're just wonderful! She travels all around the world.
"Knitting for Peace" will come out this winter too.
NOTE: While MLWK was diddling around, the lovely "Knitting Yarns & Spinning Tales" was released, featuring a reading by Meg Swansen.
MLWK: What do you wish you could make?
KG: I love making clothes. I just wish I had more time! I knit at night and when I come to a problem like armholes, I have to wait 'til morning when I can trot across the street to Purple Fleece and have Debbie help me!
MLWK: How does your family view your knitting?
KG: Because I have a business doing it, it makes it more acceptable. My daughter thinks it's eccentric. My husband makes things with his hands - he gets that. He is a person who thinks it's necessary to make things with his hands.
MLWK: Talk some about your other huge project, History of Western Literature for kids.
KG: It's a literature program for elementary students that I developed & ran full time until the funding ran out. Teachers then asked parents to fund me so I could come back. It's a very hands-on program - I bring in objects & models. We do projects like Medieval rubbings from a knight's gravestone. (Scott's mother gave this to us!)
MLWK: Final comments?
KG: I find it very odd the way I feel grabbed and drawn by knitting. It's comforting somehow - like a wood fire.
NOTE: Knitting Out Loud has an umbrella company called Out Loud Audio Books. Upcoming in Cooking Out Loud selections are South Wind Through the Kitchen: The Best of Elizabeth David; The Book of Jewish Food and The Taste of Country by Edna Lewis.
Oh and Village Books carries them all!!