Where have I been?

 

two women seated at spinning wheels listening to woman instructing at front of room. Shelves of raw fleece line the wall behind them. All are smiling.
Oh my! It’s been so long since I posted.
And I have so much to share, I hardly know where to start.
Between those unexpected “life” moments, and the beginning of summer weather, I’ve been out and about every day instead of writing. I’ve traveled, knitted, spun, fretted over family members, solved problems, held hands, wiped tears, given hugs, been to the beach (twice) and tried to stay cool.
Plus, in late spring, I had my whole fiber thinking process challenged in a great way by Abby Franquemont. I will never be the same…more on that later. By the time I came up for air, summer was in full swing. I suppose it’s part of our life cycle in this Michigan climate. When spring arrives, we jump at the chance to get outside and do stuff while we can.
So now, I’m jumping back for a quick visit in between summer adventures. Got some spinning and catch up time with friends planned this week. Will upload photos of the great places I’ve been this month. Look for a page for LYS around the country which I love to visit in my travels. “Local” yarn shops in the sense of wherever I’m resting my head at the moment! It’s so fun to go places and “find my people”…people who speak gauge, stash, spindle, breeds, patterns, texture, cast on, frog, social knitting, and a bag for every project! One day, I should post my bags, and the work in progress. I have been doing my share, no fear.

What’s in your bag? Post your project (and bags) as I’d love to see what you’re making!

 

Teaching Grandma

Teaching Grandma

Grandma gets the hang of using chopsticks.

“Tropical” Island Retreat

Poe Reef Light with SailThere’s an island in my heart where I love to go. I’d been inhaling the fresh air in my imagination ever since my visit last fall. I could hardly wait to return. I knew I’d see the trees sway, and the crystal water shimmer and hear the birds calling. We’d take the ferry ride to the landing and drive down the dirt road to our secluded destination. And be greeted there as if we were family. A little slice of paradise has become a home away from home. And this time, we were in for a surprise. Let me explain…

In the Straits of Mackinaw

Located to the southeast of its better known cousin, Mackinaw Island, our destination was the beautiful Bois Blanc Island in the Great Lakes. Part of the Mackinaw State Forest, mostly undeveloped Bois Blanc Island has one restaurant/general store, one tavern, private residences and a handful of places offering lodging. We were headed to the island’s only Bed & Breakfast, Insel Haus, for a weekend  knitting retreat organized by Heritage Spinning and Weaving.

Fourteen knitting affectionados had the run of the place for three days. Our gracious hostess, Christa Newhouse, provided instruction and access to her knitting patterns to all takers. So we knitted. We talked. We ate. We laughed. We spun and plied yarns. We ate more. Watched the hummingbirds and waited for deer. Enjoyed our beautiful surroundings and the company of like minded spirits.

We had beautiful weather with clear blue skies and the fresh cool breezes I’d been imagining. And then, Sunday. Hot. Humid. No breeze. None. We’d been transported to the Doldrums. Out came the fans, and the vats of cold drinks. Off with the sweatshirts and sweaters. Ninety-one degrees F!

Wow! Bois Blanc, in northern Michigan, gone (temporarily) tropical! An island of surprises in my heart.

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He leadeth me beside the still waters. He restoreth my soul. Ps. 23

Oh no! Sad news for sheep

For a Friday Smile: Anatomy of a Knitter by Missy Martin

Just love this young woman and how

“her legs lead her toward yarn shops”!

What does your inner Knitter look like?

The Knitter’s case for public transportation–in art

http://www.bbc.co.uk/arts/yourpaintings/paintings/the-felixstowe-to-ipswich-coach-11601

Interior of an English "coach", a luxury bus between cities in the mid 20th century. 3 rows of seats, each with a passenger. In the middle row, a woman wearing a head scarf is knitting away.

Felixstow to Ipswich Coach

Who’s that in those Foster Grants?

Vogue Knitting.

Stitches in my finger and typing, not so great combo

Hey, just in case you were wondering, I haven’t posted this week (yet) for a couple of reasons. First, I was goofing off on a knitting retreat last weekend. And second, when I got home, I had minor surgery on my left “long” finger to remove an old blood blister. Darn thing wouldn’t go away and was in the crease of my finger joint where I hold my knitting needles. Luckily it was an easy fix and I have some very lovely knots under my band-aid. My typing has suffered along with my knitting for a couple of days. Never fear, I have my drop spindle and a good supply of wool to keep me company, along with a good book or two. It won’t slow me down for long. I might even get the photos from the weekend uploaded today.
Meantime, have a wonderful holiday weekend. Stay safe and cool. And remember those who serve(d) our country!

Alpacas Resources from Heartline Alpaca Farm Virginia

Alpacas Resources from Heartline Alpaca Farm Virginia.

Who’s Irma? Ten knitters, ten stockings, ten unique creations

Two colorful Christmas stockings in greens, white and red, knitted with four different patterns, starting at the cuff, and separated by knitted braids. Heels and toes knitted in red. One says Noel with Green fir trees above. The other has a band of holly and a band of people.

In the Ethnic Socks workshop, two wonderful teachers, Mary Germain and Sandy deMaster, introduced us to traditions, methods and patterns of two-stranded knitting inspired by the socks made by Irma Mezeraups Ciganovich, a Latvian knitter. Irma’s socks and others knitted by our instructors practically danced through our hands as we heard about skills and beliefs of the Latvian knitters. Before we knew it, we had opened our materials, grabbed our yarn and started to make the first of many design decisions for our own stockings.

As we worked over the next two days, we learned knitted items in these villages reflected the beliefs, skill and industry of their people. How pattern covered every visible inch for fear of empty space. And colorful costly dyed yarns indicated the prosperity of the wearer and their family. Through the stories, we knit and considered our own choices of pattern and color. Making Irma proud, we hope. Ten knitters, ten stockings, ten unique creations.

For more about Ethnic Socks and Irma’s story, check out these two articles; “Messages in Mittens: The Story of a Latvian Knitter” by Sandra Messinger De Master and “Irma’s Christmas Stocking” by Mary Germain in Knitting Traditions, Fall 2011

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