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!

 

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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

Packing for the road trip?

Sign hanging at the driveway to the farm with llamas feeding in the distanceThis weekend, I am heading to Pendleton, Indiana, for a workshop about “Ethnic Socks” at the Trading Post for Fiber Arts. Thus the question, what to pack?

You might think that’s a simple question. I can throw a couple of changes of clothes and personal care products in a bag and call it good. But that’s only part of the equation, and the simple part at that. The tricky part is choosing which knitting and/or spinning projects to bring. It goes like this…

I’m pretty sure I need to bring

something to knit in the car (hope driving will be shared)

something to knit while talking (something at a point not requiring full attention)

something to knit “in case” (road delays, weather delays, or I finish something)

small project to knit in a restaurant (start new socks? no, it’s a sock workshop, silly!)

something to spin if the mood strikes (spindles or wheel? both? spinning tool basket?)

needles and knitting tools for above (plus spares “in case”)

-all of the items on the class materials list

Plus…
camera for photos of class, yarn, fiber, alpacas and llamasclose up of a llama looking into the camera with curiosity
snacks and water for sustenance in the car
lunch so we don’t have to leave during the workshop
maybe some wine for the end of the day

Yeah, that might cover it. No TSA regulations to consider. Thank goodness this is a road trip!

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