Monday, November 26, 2007

Ya Just Never Know

I wore my Buenos Aires Jacket in Manos del Uruguay yarns in Forest and Woodland to church this past Sunday. It is a dead simple sweater made in fabulous yarn. No fancy shaping, the stitch is a variant of garter stitch, it doesn't even have buttons.

I got more complements on that sweater than I have ever gotten on any knitted item that has graced my frame. Everyone I passed, including men, for crying out loud, complemented me. Of course it was gratifying and I enjoyed it, but I kept thinking of how simple the sweater was to knit.

What this shows, of course, is the power of a great yarn and a classic design. One doesn't necessarily have to jump through hoops as a designer to come up with something really amazing. My hat goes off to Judith Shangold for her great work pairing Manos up with good architecture.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Overheard at My House:

Tonight, Eric was doing the dishes, including the handwashing of the big stuff. He doesn't usually do that so he commented that maybe he was buttering me up because he dented the car. So we got into a conversation about how we are pretty low-key about stuff like that-he has never gotten upset about car things, or spending money, etc. When we got to the spending part of the conversation, he said, "I've gotten upset a few times about spending," to which I replied, "Well, at least I've never had to hide my yarn, like half the knitters I meet. " My daughter, listening from the other room said, "Um, mom, it's not like you could hide your yarn." My husband started laughing really hard at that one. I don't know what's so funny...


Cloverhill Yarn Shop, my beloved professional home for the past 7 1/2 years, is for sale. I am taking the news quite personally because this place means so much to me. Chris's reasons for selling are personal and important, and because she's become a friend, I totally support her in this decision. I have been associated with it since before it was Cloverhill. When I started working on Saturdays to save my sanity during Eric's law school years, it was The Weaver's Place. It was Terry Flynn who first thought I could teach and gave me that opportunity. When Chris took over, thanks to Ginger's influence, I ended up back in my old classroom with a new name. Chris took over where Terry left off and continued to build the shop (which has been around in some form for about 30 years I think) into a place customers love to be. She changed things, such as refocusing the shop from weaving to entirely knitting with spinning on the side, but the atmosphere stayed cozy, unassuming and welcoming. The amazing education program continued, with fabulous teaching and a wide array of classes. Customers and students have become friends. It is so much more than a job to me. It has been the ticket to personal growth beyond my role as a stay-at-home mom, but within the confines of that first and most important focus. Teaching there gave me the confidence to teach at Stitches, which has grown to mean just as much to me. Chris has been a generous mentor, patient employer and great example to me of what a business woman should be. The other women who work there have become important friends in my life as well. I have no idea what will happen with the eventual new owners, but for some reason it feels like an ending to me. I was going to take a leave of absence from formal teaching in the winter anyway, so the news coincides with my own realignment of my professional goals. I certainly would still teach at the new shop if I find a place there, so I am not closing the door, but it is certainly the end of an era for me.

Please contact Chris through the shop if you are interested in acquiring this little gem of a place.

Friday, November 09, 2007

On the needles

Okay, okay, trying to post more often here. My knitting life is not my primary focus, as I am still very much in the middle of raising my kids. I have one out of the house, but 4 are still home and with me every day. But, here is what I'm up to.
I finished teaching my perfect sock class. It has good bones, but needs some focus and refinement. I have been reworking the handouts and class outline for that. I thank my intrepid students from the bottom of my heart for being my guinea pigs. They all did wonderfully.
I am working on Stitches West classes. I am very proud and excited to be a part of the Market Sessions there, and am beefing up my classes for that sector of the conference.
My short-row intensive class went really well. It is intense, but everyone stayed with me and did great.
Wrestling season starts next week, so I am knitting furiously on Sam's vest. (He has to wear a shirt and tie every day during the season and likes a sweater vest. He outgrew his favorite cotton one and requested one in his high school colors.) He finally decided on the cover vest of Meg Swansen's Woolgathering #77. It is coming along beautifully in Hammond Maroon Galway wool.
I am working on the appearance of this blog and getting the settings back to rights.
I am still teaching 2-4 hours of private lessons per week. I have some lovely students who have passed beyond the realm of clients to becoming friends. That is one of the most satisfying parts of this little part-time career of mine.
So, all is good in the knitting part of my world. Hope it's the same for you.