Friday, November 13, 2009


My little band of spinners and I have been madly spinning for the Sewanee Arts and Crafts’ Holiday Crafts Fair next weekend. I was offered a booth due to a last minute cancellation and I grabbed the opportunity. We’ll have lots of beautiful new handspun yarns with loads of pattern support, kits with patterns included, some beautiful fiber for spinners, naturally dyed sock yarns, and handwoven and handknitted pieces. The booth will be in the front room with loads of lovely natural light so you can see all the colors. Fun will be had by all. It’s Saturday, November 21 at Cravens Hall on Kentucky Avenue on the campus of the University of the South at Sewanee, TN. I believe hours are 9-5 CST. The sampling of yarn here is my own handspun to be offered as a Justify Kit. Below is a view of a recent hybrid I knit of Justify. Yarn is spun by Daria Bocciarelli, one of the spinners in the LV ltd fold. I taught Daria to spin a year ago. I was going to sell this yarn she spun, but couldn't let it go, so I knitted it up and yep, I can't let this Justify go either. It's mine....all mine...booooaaahhh.

As I’ve been spinning for this show, memories of my mentor’s teachings have been flashing forth and I’ve been reveling in gratitude for their generous guidance over the years. What a cavalcade it has been too. There’s my Yoda, Sandy Sitzman, lover of all things fibery, former owner of Woolgatherings (now being carried on by daughter-in-law Kate Sitzman with a newly opened shop on Etsy) who is most responsible for enabling me along these lines. As I finally come into my own with long draw en point, memories of my first spinning class with Luisa Gelenter of La Lana Wools sparkle through the old brain pan. Since then I’ve been supported by generous mentorings from Rachel Brown, Kathryn Alexander, Judith McKenzie McCuin, Carol Huebscher Rhoades, Mary Spanos, and, last but most, Rita Buchanan. Last summer, Rita sat me down at her Schacht Matchless with a piece of cotton roving and had me spinning gorgeous-soft-bulky-lofty-cotton yarn in a matter of minutes. Every time I visit Rita she gives me one of these mini lessons and every time whole worlds open at my feet. But what really excites me is when I see the skills I’ve learned reflected in the work of my own students and I realize that they in turn teach me volumes in so many ways. What got me walking down this path of gratitude? Just the other day a woman who came to my beginning spinning class at Rhinebeck last year wrote to tell me she had taken Kathryn’s class this year on my recommendation and that Kathryn loved her spinning enough to want to knit with her yarn. Such a full circle…Kathryn (and Rita, Sandy, Luisa, Judith, etc) taught me the skills I passed to Sandra who took them back to show Kathryn, learn from her and hopefully pass them further down the line. Those of you who have been in my classes (especially Harrisville last summer) can see me getting all verklempt. Talk amongst yourselves and pass the tissues.

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