Julie knits and writes and knits.

Chihee Kim’s knits

Chihee Kim’s knits

I’m trying to decide whether I should quit knitting altogether, or quit my job to knit a great deal more. I’m inspired and intimidated by Chihee Kim’s knitting over the past 6 weeks or so…

She knit everything in this pic in that time.

Chihee is my friend Yang’s mom. She hasn’t really knit much at all for the past 30 years, but Yang took up knitting, and Chihee, who now has three beautiful grandchildren, has been hankering to try it again. Yang gave her some odd bits of yarn she had in the house, and a couple of needles. Her mom came back a few weeks later with all of these garments.

Garments. Not scarves. Not washcloths. Garments.

But wait.

Chihee doesn’t read English, so the English patterns she can find in this country are of no use to her. She doesn’t have any Korean patterns. She just kind of thought of these things, and then knit them. Or she looks at clothes and sees how to knit them. Or photographs. Like people who can play music by ear, she can look at a garment, and just make it.

Okay, so her profession has been upholstery. And yes, she’s actually a master upholsterer, able to cut a pattern piece at a glance with zero waste. A brilliant sculptor and seamstress, with perfect taste. Okay, she’s got all of that. But look. LOOK. Scalloped edges, lace edging, cinched shaping, overhalping bodices, a cap with a brim. No patterns. No references at all. She just kind of used up all the yarn Yang gave her. She needs some more now.

Is it really necessary for her to be so intimidating? Yes, she’s powered by grandma mojo. It’s true. But LOOK at this stuff. Every thing more adorable than the last thing.

My advice to Yang: buy a LOT of yarn, and EVERY needle, and hand her mom the 25-year anniversary issue of Vogue Knitting. And my measurements.

Jealousy is an ugly emotion. Think I’ll go finish something now… Or pack up my stash and needles to send to her… sheesh.



  tina wrote @

Howling. Please advise if I may send along yarn for Silver Belle and my measurements as well. I think it is only fair!

  Marie-Claire wrote @

Is this what you were about to share with me on Friday? I was swallowed by too many work commitments to take a look at that moment… but I wish I could have seen them up close. They are brilliant! Is Yang’s Mom’s name spelled Cheook? I new a little Malaysian girl who’s name was pronounced Cha-ee, but spelled Cheook…

Anyways… wonderful wonderful… !

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