Sunday, October 14, 2007

Stitches East

I am just hours back from teaching about 18 hours of classes at Stitches East. It was so much fun in so many ways. I just feel all goose-bumpy when I think that I am among such a group of teachers, let alone all the amazing knitters there.
I like this show the best because of all the familiar faces I see. I saw many of my students cum friends from Cloverhill. That was just so satisfying. The absolute highlight of the entire weekend for me was watching Karen Porter of Children in Common and one of those dear friends made through my teaching, be named Knitter of the Year. She started a wonderful organization to help children in Russian and Eastern European Orphanages when she adopted her own children from Russian and saw the challenges faced by the people trying to care for the children there. Being Knitter of the Year will mean loads of good publicity for the organization as well as an award that Karen will put to good use as to help the kids. It was such a lovely moment. I was overcome. When I saw Karen in the market today, her comment was so humble and gracious. She said that for herself, she would never want this kind of recognition, but for the kids, she'll do it. Watch for the write-up in a future issue of Knitters.
Another highlight was meeting a wonderful gal from Seven Valleys, PA who is starting up a yarn shop. It will be called Sweitzer's Countryside Fibers and Gifts. I will post a link when her website is up. She is just about ready to open, and I told her I'd love to come up and teach for her. It sounds like her shop will be really nice, with a selection of yarn, felting supplies, and gifts as well as classes. I wish her much luck.
As for shopping, there were a few treasures to speak of. I found some beautiful hand-carved needles and crochet hooks at Mangham Manor from Virginia. I should show pictures of these things-absolute beauty, and carved from one piece of wood. They are formed into exquisite spirals, with rings around them or tiny cages with tiny beads inside. I found what may become my new favorite sock yarn--from Green Mountain Spinnery! It is not even up on their website yet, but it is so lovely. Yes, I know, more photos I have to take. It is not superwash wool, which I like. I have no trouble taking a bit of extra care of my socks. It is wool blended with either mohair or tencel and it is quite yummy. I can't wait to design with it. I succumbed to a few skeins of Blue Moon Fiber Arts stuff, mostly because the dyeing is so incredible. Their socks do feel great upon being placed upon grateful feet. I fell head over with this bit of genius brought to life in yarn. I was good though, and didn't buy it. Maybe when I finish the La Lana kit I bought at West. Uh Huh.
I got to spend time with my friends Gwen, Beth, Jeanne and Cindy, which is always enjoyable. It is great to continue to get to know the other teachers better as well. I discovered another blog to follow along that line, the lovely and talented Karen Alfke's. Her blog is everything mine is not: spare, elegant and brief. Check it out. My roomie, Debbie, and I are a perfect match and being with her makes the weekend even better.
My stitches experience gets to last one more day as I will be picking some friends up at the hotel tomorrow to go for lunch then giving them a ride to el Aeropuerto de BWI.
I am exhausted, but it is that good kind of tired, the tired that comes from giving your all. My mind is energized even though my body is the opposite of energized. I always know that teaching is my calling because the teaching itself never drains me, it always makes me feel happy, capable and excited. I am happy to be part of Stitches and happy I get to interact with knitters I would never have met otherwise.
To bed now.