Once upon a time a long time ago (or so it seems), Liz and her mom, Jo, stumbled upon Heritage and we became fast friends. I taught both of them to spin and they each got their own wheels . . . here’s a story we ran in a print newsletter in the summer of 2002:
“The Youngest Spinner”
One of my goals in opening Heritage was to try to ignite a passion for the fiber arts in others. Elizabeth is one of my early success stories. Although, it really isn’t fair to say “my” because we are building a “family” around this shop and Elizabeth has been coached by many on Girls Nites and Knit Nites.
Elizabeth Van Fleteren, age 12, and her mother, Jo, stopped in the shop one Saturday afternoon in February after a visit to Mt. Bruce Station. By the time we talked for a while, Elizabeth spotted the drop spindles, so I taught her how to use one, and she left with it and a bag of wool. In April she and her mother took our one-day beginning spinning class where she easily made the transition from the spindle to the wheel.
Early in May she came back with babysitting money and purchased her very own Ashford Kiwi. The Kiwi comes unfinished and unassembled. Elizabeth finished and assembled it on her own and brought it to the shop on Knit NIte for help in tuning and tensioning it for spinning. Once that was accomplished, she was off and spinning and making sonderfully consistent yarn.
It has been heartwarming to watch Elizabeth turn into a spinner. Her determination and dedication are an example to all of us. Thank you, Elizabeth for putting a smile in our lives!
Fast forward to 2008
Liz (note her grown-up name!) is studying textiles at MSU, having a blast and growing up into quite a fine young lady that any mom would be proud of (good job, Jo!). Last month Liz came in with a sketch of a dress she wanted to make for a class project. It was to be machine knit at a fairly fine gauge. We settled on 3/2 cotton – a coned yarn most often used for weaving, but, since it is almost a sport weight, quite suitable for knitting (by hand or machine). So, she went back to school and, in her own words, “I worked really hard.” Here’s what she came up with:
Liz and her classmates dubbed it “Midnight Martini.” I call it beautiful and I’m really proud of her.