Some milestones are worth mentioning. 50 years ago today my parents were married in East Jordan, Michigan. They’ve persevered through 4 kids, 10 grandkids and 6.5 great grands. Many of you have met my folks as when they come to visit me they usually spend time at the shop (it is the best place to see me!). Dad makes our drop spindles, which are used every time we teach a new person to spin, Mom knits nearly all of our sock samples (until being sidelined these past few months with carpal tunnel surgery on both hands, consecutively). They are my cheerleaders and inspiration.
Over the holidays we drove to Tennessee to visit Mark’s family. He is one of four boys, but with only four children between them, the gatherings haven’t grown that much over the years. They are always pleasant. On the way down, we stopped in Berea at the new Kentucky Artisan Center. If you haven’t been, add it to your next trip down I-75. It’s at the north Berea exit and full of inspiration, both fiber and otherwise. Berea is known for weaving as the sign outside the center mentions. I bought a couple small woven pieces to use as inspiration, a small hand towel with a tulip trim and a hot pad woven in rep weave.
With many hours in the car, I read a lot, but I also worked on designs for several new pieces made from Shepherd’s Wool. Mostly swatching so I have measurements for building the patterns, but I also knit a totally unwearable mitten. BUT, it tells me what I need to know to write a pattern for the real thing. I know many people probably think I’m nuts that it excites me to knit a swatch, but it does. I see potential. So much potential. I’m thrilled that I came back to an email from Kathy in response to my newsletter call for knitters for proofing my patterns. Yeah! It makes it easier to design when I know I can keep designing and others can knit. Really speeds up the process!
Wednesday we had the first of our Holiday classes. It was Dye Play Day. And play they did. And laugh. And kick themselves (that would be over a skein of lace weight yarn that went into the pot without being fully tied). And dye beautiful stuff. Yarn, roving and batts. It was fun to watch the excitement and creativity at work. Today I am readying for teaching the Peerie Socks. Peerie patterns are simple, small Fair Isle patterns. We died BRIGHT yarn specially for these socks and each pair (even each sock) is different. Fun stuff . . . good learning of several new techniques including using a provisional cast-on, picot hem, two handed color knitting and short rows.