Nino's interest in knitting began with his teaching position when he recognized that the type of person in his 11th grade special education classes needed leisure time skills. He offered to teach in his spare time anyone in the building any craft they might be interested in learning. The interest came slowly, but increased with time. Although Nino knew nothing about needlework he purchased a dime store book on all types of needlework. Thus began his compulsion for needlework of all kinds. There was a time when he made all of his clothes including dress shirts, pants, and top coats. If the information that needlework is one of the best deterrents for Alzheimer's, Nino's knitting will continue full speed ahead. His projects so far this year (as of September 2001): numerous Shetland shawls, four or five lace center pieces, a raglan sweater, a Russian Wedding Ring shawl which took months to complete, about 5 pairs of socks, and his current work in progress, a Hap shawl. Did we mention he is now retired? And that he only enjoys things that are extremely difficult!
During his teaching days Nino taught cooking and eventually was able to open a lunch restaurant two days a week for the teachers and any guests that wanted to come. The students did it all. He wanted to open a legitimate restaurant where students could be hired for training and when they were ready, assist in finding them positions in food service. Much to his dismay, the administration would not support such an adventurous idea.
Ted likes knitting using just about every technique except double knitting and intarsia. He knits lots of socks because they are so portable and they can be used to knit just about any technique. He published a book of "Christmas Stockings" in 1994, intending to give novice knitters manageably-sized projects to practice techniques.
The fascinating part of knitting for Ted is the challenge of seeing how things work. A lot of the knitting he does is purely experimental -- trying to refine a shaping or some little technical point. Working others' designs offers a study to see how others approach a technical challenge. He really likes lace, seeing how it works and finding it fascinating to knit.
In answer to the favorite knitters question: Ted said "EZ, 'cause she started it all; Meg Swansen, 'cause she is so supportive of new designers; Joyce Williams and Lucy Neatby, 'cause they have such unique ways of translating the world into their knitting; Bob Powell, 'cause he has chutzpah; Sarah Swett, who is an amazing colourist; June Hemmons Hiatt, 'cause she knows so much and is so gentle in how she shares information; and Erica Heftman, who got me started thinking about spinning and dyeing."
Photos by Lori Berg
Copyright © 2001.
The Dining Room at 209 Main
Men Who Knit