Ruby Townsend was in the “Intarsia with a Twist” class at Stitches West, to learn how to do intarsia in the round. I like to wander around before class and see what yarn people brought to work with, because it is fun to see what types of yarn knitters bring. Ruby apologized, because I ask them to bring 100% wool for class, and she brought acrylic yarn. The reason I ask for wool is that it is easier to work with, but I assured her that the acrylic was fine, and it wouldn’t be a problem. Ruby said that she always knit with acrylic yarn.
When class started, I asked if anyone had knit intarsia before, and Ruby raised her hand. Later, as the class was practicing the technique, I walked around to see how everyone was doing. Ruby asked me if I would like to see some of her intarsia work. Of course, I did, so she pulled out a little book filled with photos. Here is what she showed me.
I wanted to see more of the book, so I asked her to share with me, as class ended. It turns out that Ruby has quite a story. This particular sweater was custom designed and knit for Glenn Beck.
Ruby also did quite a lot of knitting for Johnny Cash, June Carter, and their family. A black vest she knit for Johnny Cash is in the Country Music Hall of Fame, as one of his favorite pieces of clothing.
I really enjoyed the photos of young Ruby, with the recipients of her beautiful work. I must say that Ruby is also incredibly lovely today, and I hope that when I grow up I have her verve and continue my passion for learning new things.
As for acrylic yarn… it gets a bad rap. As Ruby shows, it can create beautiful garments. And, it won’t deteriorate as natural fibers do, so if your item is destined for a museum….just sayin.