The Adventures Of Miss Flitt: Q&A With Designer Beth Hahn

Published on January 30th, 2011 in: All You Need Is Now, Art, Books, Culture Shock, Current Faves, Feminism, Issues, Q&A |

Popshifter: On the flip side . . . you’ve designed a few independent patterns for your website and for the yarn retailed through Knitpicks. How do you decide which patterns go into a Miss Flitt volume, and which are stand-alones?

Beth Hahn: Gretel was never meant for a Miss Flitt book, and it’s been fun to design something with a different feel. A lot of Ravelers have enjoyed knitting my Paper Moon hat pattern. That’s based on the hats worn in the Peter Bogdanovich film, Paper Moon. I designed it just as I was beginning the Miss Flitt books.

The Miss Flitt pieces are designed to have a Victorian feeling. In the final Miss Flitt book, I’m planning mostly shawls, but there will be one lacy sweater and a hat. Often, the turn of the story dictates what I design.

seance flitt
“The Séance”

Popshifter: What is the “knitting scene” like in Brooklyn?

Beth Hahn: Oh dear. You’d have to ask someone who has more free time than I do!

But let’s see: I’ve met tons of wonderful knitters through Stitch Therapy and La Casita. I did a Flitt-Along with the Park Slope knit group, and though I’ve only visited with my Bay Ridge knitters a few times, I enjoyed their company. In Manhattan, Knitty City’s been gracious. They’ve given Miss Flitt their window twice now, and I’ve met so many knit world people through them.

I think I want to start an R Train knitting scene. I get so much knitting done on the subway. As long as I get a seat, the light is great, and if you use circular needles, you won’t injure anyone. Other than that, my real knitting scene is kind of here on my couch.

Popshifter: Can you tell me about some of your favorite yarns, notions, and knitting things?

Beth Hahn: I’ve made a few things now with Alchemy. I love their dyes and textures. In the last book, I used the Fibre Company’s Canopy. I adore that yarn. For a while, I didn’t want to knit with anything else. I found a little ball of it while cleaning out my stash the other day, and I stopped to admire it. The Berroco yarns set a great standard, and the Joseph Galler yarns always have a beautiful drape. I really enjoyed the Knit Picks Capra, too. It’s very soft and with great stitch definition. I’m test knitting another Gretel size in Invernal by Aslan Trends. Gorgeous.

I am lost without my Susan Bates gauge tool. Just ask my husband; I am forever misplacing it, and forever asking him if he’s seen it. Recently I started keeping loose stitch markers and other tools on ribbons. It looks pretty, and I tend not to misplace my tools as often.

beth hahn

Popshifter: I know you’re a bit of a fangirl. Since Popshifter is “A Giant Leap for Fankind,” what kinds of non-knitting media have been inspiring you lately?

Beth Hahn: I made an attempt at starting a music blog. It’s called One Sure Song. The premise is, in each entry, to play and write about one perfect song. At first, I blogged every day, but now I’ve fallen off. It’s a great writing exercise for me. Right now I’m listening to School of Seven Bells and Bardo Pond. I’ve always loved a wall of sound. But I like so many different kinds of music. That’s really just right this second. Tomorrow I’ll be listening to the new Kanye.

I went to the Harry Houdini exhibit at The Jewish Museum. They have his famed trunk and milk canister and show films of his escape acts. He’s always fascinated me. There’s also a particularly moving journal entry on display. It’s definitely worth a visit.

I just finished reading Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel, so I must make a visit to the Frick soon to see the Hans Holbein portrait of Thomas Cromwell. It’s an excellent book, but at first I had trouble getting into it. The present tense always makes me feel a little claustrophobic, but it’s so right for the story. The court atmosphere must have been stifling—not to mention the heaviness of the clothes. I have design plans for a little (very light weight) seed stitch hat based on a coif cap.

Because my job(s) require so much sitting still, at night I take dance classes. I’ve been doing Egyptian dance for the past four or five years—belly dancing. I’ve even performed! The classical Egyptian form is a quieter version than what is commonly thought of as belly dancing. The dance is so elegant. I’m inspired by the golden-era dancers from the 1950s, like Samya Gamal. Plus those orchestras! I still do yoga, but not as much as I used to. I have to get back into it. Last night I went to a class and it was so om shanti om great.

Popshifter: Anything else you’d like to add?

Beth Hahn: For everyone who’s been following the tales of Emma Flitt, thank you! The last book in Vol. I will be out in the fall.

For more on Beth Hahn, check The Adventures of Miss Flitt site, her Willow Rosa Knits blog, and her ravelry designs. You may also follow her on Facebook.

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