A Way With Strings

Music professor Claudine Pinnell Bigelow (BM ’92, MM ’94) has a way with strings—orchestral and woolen. When she’s not making her viola strings sing, she can often be found knitting, her needles clicking out a music of their own. And she doesn’t just make your average hats and scarves, either. Her most difficult project to date is a lace heirloom shawl, gorgeously complex, that took her an entire year and 1,700 yards of yarn to finish.

Bigelow has been teaching herself to knit, from the basic to the intricate, for 25 years. She began by making booties for her first child, and now all three of her children—not to mention her friends and sisters—harbor hope that Bigelow’s ample workbasket will contain something snug, stitched just for them.

For Bigelow, knitting also creates family ties to the past. She says knitting makes her feel close to her Swedish ancestors. When she hits a snag with a project, her fingers seem to know just what to do; she calls it a genetic talent, “a rich part of my Scandinavian heritage, a gift from the hands of great-grandmothers I never knew in this life.”

Full Name: 
Claudine Pinnell Bigelow
Grad Year: 
BM 1992, MM 1994
Author: 
Breckyn Moore Wood (BA ’13)
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