Sunday, June 01, 2008


World-famous knitter and graphic artist Franklin Habit was in Austin this weekend. He brought his 1000 Knitters Project on the road, and I volunteered to help The Knitting Nest host his visit. What a day!

I showed up bright and early -- two hours before the shop opened -- to help get ready, blowing up balloons, etc. There were already people waiting in the parking lot! Franklin got there an hour early and got set up to start taking pictures. Since shop employees and volunteers were there first, we had our pictures taken first.

For reasons possibly related to the massive amounts of caffeine I'd ingested, I was very shaky during the knitting. Franklin asked some questions about how I got started, and before I knew it I was relaxed and knitting away on the extremely long scarf to which all of the knitters are contributing. He said we could knit whatever we wanted, but did ask that we try to keep the same number of stitches on the needle. I just knitted straight across, but the person before added a whole bunch of YOs, so the scarf quickly expanded in width. Future viewers should be able to find the "double-wide" section from Austin.

I don't know how he does it, but he had a very relaxing approach that put people at ease rather quickly. I enjoyed listening in on the stories people told as they talked to Franklin while being photographed. I can't wait to see this book when it comes out. Franklin's first book is due out soon.

The day went well, with a steady stream of people in the morning, a bit of a convenient lull around lunchtime, and then a bit more relaxed in the afternoon. We had time to sit around and knit -- I finished my Kohle socks with much help from Entrelac for helping with a tapestry needle, scissors and a wonky stitch that she tamed with extreme skill. We snacked, got to chat with Franklin, a coffee run was made (like I needed it). I got to meet tons of fun knitters that I've never met before. A most excellent way to spend the day.

Then, after the shoot was over and the shop was closed for the day, even more fun. Stacy asked Franklin if he would draw a picture of Dolores on a wall in the store. And we got to watch it happen. Franklin said it was the largest drawing of Dolores he had ever attempted. It's so perfect. From the bird on her head, to the figure of Hank in her arms, to the little Knitting Nest birds on her, um, caftan(?), it's marvelous. Here are some pictures of Franklin at work...

And then we had barbecue, courtesy of Stacy and David. Jeff brought some potato salad we'd made, and others brought bread and slaw and beer and all kinds of other yumminess. We all had a wonderful meal, surrounded by wonderful people and beautiful yarn. How fun is that? I think everyone who was there would agree that this was a truly special day. We'll have to do it again sometime!


  1. Thanks for all of your help - we couldn't have done it without you!!! I agree - the entire weekend was just magnificent!!

  2. It was so much fun, and I'm glad that you were there to help, too!
    I love your review of the day, you covered everything so perfectly. :)

  3. marcia in austinJun 2, 2008, 10:06:00 AM

    It was pretty fab, indeed.
    When I walked in, I thought I recognized you from your photo. Then I saw the sock on your needles and I knew for sure :-)

  4. Aw, looks like a blast, I'm so sorry I missed it.

  5. Looks like you all had a blast. Next time I'm in Austin, I want to visit Dolores!

  6. I've always wanted to know what the back of Franklin's head looked like!

  7. Wayyy cool! Boy, are you ever gonna get a lot of hits from strangers today. Have fun!

  8. It's always fun for me to read other people's blogs about my brother's adventures. He checks in with us, of course, and we all read The Panopticon, but it's still really neat to see him at work from other people's perspectives. We can't be there with him, so it's wonderful to read about how much support he gets and fun he's having with the people who assist him on his travels. And seeing his drawings progress never fails to amaze me--same as it did when I was a kid and he'd draw me Garfield, Snoopy, unicorns, and whatever else I asked him for (wish I still had those! Darn it!). Thanks for the awesome post.


  9. Came over from Franklin's blog... Great report from the other side of one of his sessions. Wonderful to see him drawing Dolores; thanks much for letting us see him at work! You guys are obviously having a lot of fun. Makes me sad I'll probably never get to thanks for the chance to visit, too. ;)