Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Afghan Rescue League

I have never made an afghan.  The amount of toiling away would send me away.  So it pains me to find these works of art cast off at thrift stores. (Yes. Works of art. Sun streaming in on a colorful blanket draped across the back of a squishy couch, warm coffee in your favorite hand thrown mug, a nip in the air, a magazine you've been resisting until you could devote at least thirty minutes.  Feel it?  Work of art.)  And so I buy them, usually for about three dollars.  And I love them.

Thank you Betty (and Doris B. Rosby, and Doreen, and Eileen M, and...).  I hold your work in the highest regard, and I will tend to it lovingly.

Love, Ellen

p.s, - someday I'll show you all the others.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Fiber College 2010

I spent the last four days at Fiber College on Penobscot Bay.  What did I learn?

I learned how to really spin a yarn from Rudy Amman, and also how my spinning wheel works, and that I am far behind in my wheel maintenance.  I walked in a beginner, I walked out with confidence and the tools to spin like Ellen.  From now on, I'm going to make Ellen Yarn.

I learned what makes a delicious photo from Mary Jane Mucklestone.  I brought my sweaters with me and a group of us ducked away to a dreamy little cabin in the woods, oceanfront, and we clicked away.

I learned how to insert a zipper in a sweater, Fred Rogers style, from Elizabeth Green Musselman.  Elizabeth also taught me how to make a killer knot, well actually, a frog closure, but I plan to put this knot everywhere in the near future.

I learned sweater construction using the percentage method from Jackie Fee.  I have had the pleasure of meeting Jackie on several occasions before, but this was the first time I have heard her full lecture.  If you have the opportunity, do not miss it - you will walk away an empowered knitter.

I learned to spin core spun and boucle yarns from Josette McWilliams.  All the rules went out the window.  I think I may have found my Ellen Yarn.

So, any one of these lessons learned would leave me merrily skipping down my creative path for days.  Possibly weeks.  Or months.  But they pale in comparison to the bigger experience at Fiber College, which is next to impossible to put into words. 

I discovered there are people with seemingly obscure obsessions like me.  I hula hooped.  While knitting.  For an hour.  And I wasn't alone.  I hugged for the first time an internet friend.  From Texas. I laughed loud and hard.  I lounged at the ocean's edge with a bottle of wine and another friend, her Airstream behind us.  I teetered down a dark path with a six pack, a cell phone as flashlight, led by a handy pointer finger on a stick.  I found a woman that reminded me of my mother's twin sister.  That has never happened.  I learned about living deep in the woods off the grid, but more importantly, how to face and embrace moving back into town with a sense of moving onward and upward. 

Thanks Astrig, from the bottom of my heart.