Wednesday, April 24, 2013
Monday, June 21, 2010
A lot has happened since my last post, and I cannot even begin to put the journey into words. Suffice to say that I am here, whole, and living this gift I've been given to the fullest. I have to share an experience from this past weekend at my shop in Port Gamble. The event in Port Gamble, the Civil War Re-enactment, brought many into town, including a young 11-year old named Sadie, who has been spinning her own yarn for 2 years now. When she entered the shop I saw her eyes glinting at the yarn, fibers, and spinning wheels surrounding her. Her first words to me were "I've been spinning my own yarn for 2 years", and in that moment we made a connection. Sadie was like this little sponge, soaking up all the fiber knowledge she could. I gifted her with fleece from "Gracie" the "Ya-Ya" sheep who lives on nearby Bainbridge Island. We made rolags of "Gracie", punis of cotton, and of course, spun yarn. Sadie made herself at home on the futon at the back of the shop, carders in her lap, preparing the wool for spinning when one of her friends came over to her and Sadie exclaimed, "this is the cozy corner, watch this" and she proceeded to show her friend how to remove the carded wool fibers from the hand carders - a perfect rolag! This is what it's all about, teaching, sharing and creating community. My gift to Sadie - a little fleece and a drop spindle. Her gift to me - her enthusiasm, and her promise to share what she learned this weekend with someone else!
Thursday, May 15, 2008
It has been nearly 43 years since I tumbled down the magic rabbit hole into the world of knitting, my grandmother, my teacher, holding my hand. Although I have grown passionate about other aspects of fiber arts, knitting was first -- it is in my heart, my soul. It is my connection to my past, to my Grandmother. As in life, knitting is a journey of transformation, full of choices, we sometimes choose the familiar easy road with its predictable outcome; or the new untraveled road where the journey pushes our skills to a new level, and we emerge more confident having traveled it.
I have done a lot of knitting, over a lot of years. So when asked how many knitting projects I have going on at one time, my standard response is "a few". This is an understatement, but to reply with an actual number, as in 3 or 4, would be inaccurate. MY UFO's are most likely in the double-digits and holding. I was confronted with this truth last week as I began to clean what had become my not-so-creative "creative room" due to an overabundance of clutter. This room also serves as a guest room, complete with a bed that was buried under layers of yarn and fiber. So, with a houseguest on the way, I began to sift through the layers.
I unearthed a couple of unfinished projects from the 80's, which felt like an archaeological find to me because I didn't know they were buried there, and I wasn't sure what they were. As I looked at the yarn and the partially knit fabrics I thought, "what was I thinking?" You know the saying about if you hang on to something long enough (especially clothing), it will come back into style. That may be true, however, what I might have worn in my 20's would not pass for appropriate clothing on my body now, more than 20 years later. What to do with these UFO's.
Rather than being shackled with the arduous task of finishing each of these projects as originally intended (I would have to be insane and a masochist!) I began to look at them differently... not what they were originally supposed to be, but rather what they could become... now. A small cropped sweater (no sleeves yet) could very easily be transformed into a vest. A nearly finished sweater "back" that, I admit, holds absolutely no interest for me,not to knit or to wear, may very well become a pillow top with a little fulling in the washing machine. Hmmmmm, these things I can do!
So, here is my revelation. I will no longer refer to my unfinished projects as UFO's. Unfinished Objects... it just sounds so negative, doesn't it? From this day forward they will now be referred to as WIP's - Works in Progress. Now doesn't that sound positively creative, almost artistic!
By changing this 3-letter acronym, my load has been lightened and I've been set free, or at the very least, a couple monkeys are off my back. I got to thinking that this whole WIP thing could be applied to other facets of my life, for example, my housekeeping, which is constantly interrupted by my need to knit or spin ... again "work in progress". My gardening (or lack of)can also be described as a "work in progress", although there has not been much progress there lately, as my bumper crop of dandelions will most certainly become a garden of "blow flowers", as Miss Lily calls them, before I attend to them.
As I see it, it's all one big work in progress, really. You, me, our lives in general, and today, my knitting stash in particular, as my hands meander through seemingly endless bags and baskets of yarn. Yarn gathered over years because it "spoke to me", because I just knew it would become something, eventually. You "yarnies" out there know what I am talking about. Today I realized that my stash already is something, and has been something all along... my inspiration!
Sunday, March 09, 2008
Okay, Okay... It's been nearly 3 months since I last posted and I promised myself (and a few friends) that I would better my average posting time of every 6 months so here I am posting. It's not that I don't think about it, I just don't seem to get around to it, between dyeing, spinning, knitting, and trying to weave (yes my floor loom at the shop still sits there waiting to be warped...). Life is busy. We all know that feeling of not enough time in the day (or night) to get it all done.
Well, as of this morning "they" have given us another hour of daylight, while robbing us of a precious hour of Sunday morning sleep. In a few days our body clocks will forgive "them" and we won't even realize the time change until they give us our hour back in October.
Much has happened since last post, mainly the Madrona Fiber Arts Winter Retreat! Woo, Hoo. It was a whirlwind 4 days in the marketplace, and what a wonderful market it was. Twice as many vendors this year and major sensory overload for us yarnies and fiberholics. A few of my new spinning friends hit the market for their first time and were quite simply breathless.
For those of you who visitied our booth and helped make the market a great success for us - a sincere thank you on behalf of Judith, Kathryn and myself. Also, if anyone out there took a picture of our booth and would share it, please e-mail me. I forgot to replace the batteries in my camera... (yes, all 4 days I forgot...).
So, for lack of a "booth" picture, I posted one of my felt pieces (which also hung in the booth). The inspiration was a Winslow Homer painting. I used local Romney wool as the canvas, other wools, silk, and mohair to create my felted interpretation of Homer's beautiful painting. The felt wall hanging now resides in the home of Jan M. who lives in Alaska.
The weather is warming up so this week should be spent dyeing more fiber (and yarn) in preparation of the Whidbey Spin-In the first weekend of April. Hope to see many of you there!
Tuesday, December 18, 2007
For the past 3 Saturdays, the town of Port Gamble has celebrated "Country Christmas" with an old-time flair. There were arts & crafts, heavenly baked goods, tractor-pulled hay rides with Santa, and a Christmas Tree lighting celebration followed by an amazing fireworks display. We had carolers strolling through town --they even came into the shop several times to sing for a while, and warm up of course. If you haven't made it out to Port Gamble yet, it's worth the trip.
Tuesday, November 27, 2007
Just a reminder that Port Gamble Country Christmas starts this weekend, December 1st and 2nd, and continues for 2 more weekends in December too. We put the tree up at the shop this past weekend and will finish decorating it this weekend. I hope to see many familiar faces these next few weeks at Port Gamble, and many new faces too.
If you haven't been to the shop in Port Gamble yet, we are in the old red Fire Hall across from the General Store (next to the yellow Post Office building). Our hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Weekdays are by appointment only.
Monday, November 26, 2007
When I arrived at the shop one morning last week I was greeted by a Duck. A lone duck, quacking and pacing back and forth along the front of the shop. A friendly duck looking for attention maybe, but more likely food so I fed him my bananna (it was that or an apple and I decided to save the apple for MY lunch). The duck stayed around for a while, waddling back and forth outside the front of the shop. He peered in through the overhead door a few times, then just wandered off. He didn't appear to be hurt physically, and he certainly had a good appetite as he devoured my entire bananna in seconds! I guess he was just a very friendly duck passing through Port Gamble ... likely heading south to warmer climates.