Sunday, June 15, 2008

Fleece to Face with Carol Sulcoski

Her BookFranklin's note: Good morning from Toronto. This interview with Carol Sulcoski, one of the talents behind Knit So Fine: Designs With Skinny Yarn, is part of the fantastic new book's multi-blog tour (click here for full itinerary). It should have appeared yesterday, June 14.

Unfortunately, guest interviewer Dolores Van Hoofen, who had begged for this assignment back in May, disappeared shortly after we cleared customs in Canada and only turned up again this morning, wearing nothing but her glasses and a hockey sweater of unknown provenance.

As we have been unable to revive our girl reporter sufficiently to complete her assignment, what follows has been reconstructed by Harry from her notes and rough draft. We offer our apologies to Carol, Interweave Press, and Knit So Fine's legions of fans.

DVH: I'm sitting here this morning with my dear friend, Carol Sulcoski, one of women behind one of this season's biggest new books, Knit So Fine: Designs With Skinny Yarn. The other two, Laura Grutzeck and Lisa Myers, couldn't be bothered to show up. Carol, good morning!

Hello again, Dolores.

DVH: What can I get you to drink, cupcake?

CS: If you've got some of the Krug Clos du Mesnil '95 I'll have that. Otherwise I can slum it with Perrier-Jouet.

DVH: Right you are, pretty lady. Tequila coming up. And would you care for some snacks? I got soft cheese on Triscuits, toast points with anchovy paste and these fabulous Crispy Hay Nibbles I picked up at Trader Joe's.

CS: Thanks. Just had breakfast. How about we just skip right to the interview?

DVH: It's kind of warm in here. Would you like to take off that sweater?

CS: Actually, I made it myself so I would prefer to keep it on.

DVH: Were you this difficult before knitting stardom, or has success made you so stand-offish?

CS: Well, I–

DVH: Doesn't matter. Moving right along. Let's see, "Question one, ask subject to tell something about self, such as when she started knitting." Carol, tell me something about yourself. When did you start knitting?

CS: My mom taught me when I was seven. She always made us mittens and scarves–it was the seventies, so they were usually avocado green Wintuk. I convinced her to teach me to knit and started a scarf. I didn't learn to purl, though, for about twenty more years. When I was a young lawyer in Philadelphia, I started knitting again to help deal with all the stress. I remembered how to do the knit stitch, and bought a little booklet to teach myself the rest.

DVH: Fascinating, Carol, just fascinating. And you have very nice rack, by the way.

CS: Well, okay. Thanks. I hope this isn't too forward, but since we're asking personal questions can you tell me what your micron count is?

DVH: Why don't you have a little feel and take a guess?

CS: Never mind.

DVH: Ah, East Coast girls. So prim and puritanical on the outside, such seething cauldrons of passion just under the surface.

CS: Does this have anything to do with my book?

DVH: Oh, right, we do need to have some book chat or Franklin says I don't get my fifty bucks. Knit So Fine is all about skinny yarn. What do you have against fat yarn?

CS: Absolutely nothing. But just as the yin needs its yang, just as a delicate Brie provides an alternative to the tart Cheez Whiz, I find that skinny yarns provide a great counterpoint to chunky ones.

DVH: I'm just teasing you, cupcake. It's my way. Honestly, that Colinette Tao you sent me–the stuff you used in one of your patterns–is divine. Pure silk always makes me think of Rita Hayworth in The Lady from Shanghai. What drew you to it?

CS: I was entranced by the luster and feel, as well as the sense of luxury and glamour it evokes.

DVH: Well, I did a wee swatchie with some of mine, and knew exactly what I wanted to make because the drape with fine silk yarn is so incredible. Guess what I made with it.

CS: Um...A Clapotis?

DVH: No, guess again.

CS: Véronik Avery’s Beret Gauffre?

DVH: Wrong! Guess again.

CS: I didn’t think so. But I really like talking with un accent Québecois.

DVH: I’ll give you a hint. I’m wearing it right now.

CS: A camisole?

DVH: Wrong! Show and tell time. Lacy knickers! Perfect for summer! Look!

[Long silence.]

DVH: I think it’s definitely hot in here. You’re flushed. Why don’t you take off that sweater?

CS: I’m...fine. Besides, one of my editors, the wonderful Anne Merrow, warned me quite ferociously to keep all my clothes on during interviews.

DVH: Well, excuse me for living. So, little Miss Famous Author, why should people buy your book? Doesn’t it take forever to knit stuff with these little tiny yarns?

CS: Dolores, hon, you managed to knit yourself a pair of size XXL lady knickers in just a few weeks, so you can see that fine yarns don’t take that long. Besides, one of the biggest advantages of fine yarns is fit. Fine yarns fit better and they are more flattering to one’s figure. Even a zaftig Romney will look much more svelte and slim in a sweater knit in fine yarns.

Speaking purely hypothetically, of course.

DVH: Can you give us a little peek at the future?

CS: Sure thing! Right now, I’m finishing up a second book with Interweave Press that is scheduled for release in January. It’s all about how to knit socks in handpainted yarns, and patterns were contributed by some of the coolest designers in the business – Nancy Bush, Ann Budd, Priscilla Gibson-Roberts, Véronik Avery – as well as some newer names, too. Laura, Lisa and I are also talking to our editor about a sequel to Knit So Fine: I’d love to do a follow-up that features designs for men and women. And maybe sheep.

DVH: Exciting! Can you give me a little peek at your rack?

CS: You'll have to wait until Mardi Gras like everyone else.

DVH: More tequila?

CS: No.

DVH: Fine, we're done. Franklin, where's my fifty bucks?


lynn said...

whoa, that Dolores . . .

Heidi said...


Sandra said...

I wondered where Dolores had snuck off to yesterday...
I look forward to your recap of Toronto - I was thrilled to meet you, and I'm sorry I didn't wear the Venus de Knitting shirt.

no-blog-rachel said...

That interview was so fabulous I now need a copy. Of the book, not Dolores.

Carol said...

You don't think that when they talk about "Dolly" the cloned sheep, they mean . . . .

Thanks, Dolores, Harry & Franklin! It was fun!

amy said...

I can't imagine any other interview on the blog tour quite living up to this one.

And oooh!! I want a copy of that new sock book!!

puffthemagicrabbit said...

Oh my. Glad you were relatively gentle with Carol...

Rudee said...

I adore Dolores.

Faina Goberstein said...

I think that Dolores did earn her 50 bucks! Thanks for such a fun interview, Franklin. Good luck with your book!

Barbara from Nova Scotia said...


Obviously Dolores is not on first name basis with the word 'behave'. Naughty sheep.

=Tamar said...

Harry did a wonderful job, considering what Dolores's notes probably looked like. (I always sympathize with the typist.)
I suppose it's kind of a personal question, but I've been wondering... what's Harry's dye lot?

karyn said...

can we see pictures of the knickers? they've got to be some work of art...or craft!

anne marie in philly said...

didn't know dolores swings both ways... :-0

Anonymous said...

That naughty Dolores :) Terry

Cindy said...

What a hoot. This is the best.

Rhonda the Stitchingnut said...

Will Dolores be coming out with her own patterns sometime perhaps? After all, I don't think we've seen those nickers yet. I'd love some nickers. XL... come on, show the rest of us!

Alwen said...

When Barbara from Nova Scotia says 'behave', I can't be the only one who hears it in Austen Powers' voice!

Martha0051 said...

Are we to take it then, that you will be keeping all your clothes on during interviews?

Kristen said...

"size XXL lady knickers"

Heh, heh, heh. Snicker, snicker!

Carol said...

Are you laughing at the size? or the suggestion that Dolores is a lady?

Granny's Girls said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Granny's Girls said...

I hope that hockey sweater was blue and white? My stash is full of lace weight and four ply (madly waving to Harry. I have to buy that book tomorrow after work. There goes my budget again. "Wool" is right after food and before "petrol for the car". I'll walk before I quit knitting. Dolores darling, be a pet and talk Franklin into coming to visit London while your in Ontario. I will take you both out to lunch in a nice little pub where the "pints" of ale are cold and frosty and the chips are crispy!

dale-harriet said...

{Oy} Dolores, s glad to see that you're in fine form; it won't be long before we're going to need to schedule some debates for you with the other candidates. Can we trust you to keep your clothes on? To not try to talk the other candidates out of *their* clothes? I feel some confidence with this; your interview was remarkably informative and entertaining. Did you apologize to Carol for any questionable behavior? Oh, and Harry? Good job, lad!

WonderMike said...

Show Us Your Rack, Dolores!!

I grew up in Louisiana so I can say that without irony.

Sara in WI said...


On another note, will you be taking more photos for your book at camp?

Knittiana! said...

Everytime I come to visit this blog there is something else, something of the sort that you loose control over your facial functions and make snorting noises as well as spitting and squealing. Please don't stop, continue on and please keep this attitude. I wish I would still live in Chicago, I would so buy you a good German beer.

kuaikuai said...

The interview's better than the book!

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