March truly came in like a lion and went out like a lamb. With this month quickly approaching its end, I realized that I haven’t blogged in a while and have much to share.
At the end of February, I taught a weekend workshop on Lace Forensics and Stranded Colorwork at Crazy for Ewe, a lovely little shop in Leonardtown, Maryland. Nestled right in the heart of their historic town, Ellen has created a social place for knitters to hang out and enjoy our craft. With excellent monthly KALs, and cool window displays, many of her loyal students had interesting personal histories. I love hearing stories from knitters - when you take the time to listen, people will often take the time to share. During weekend workshops when I do so much talking and instruction and often come to the edge of losing my voice, I love sitting back and listening to people talk about how knitting has woven itself into the fabric of their life. I look forward to coming back to teach there.
In mid-March I taught at the beautiful Aspen Wye River, the location where President Clinton negotiated a peace accord with Benjamin Netanyahu and Yasser Arafat in 1998. Although there was a bite in the air and we experienced much rain, it was the perfect weekend to cozy up in the library by the fire, or one of the wonderful little nooks the property offers and knit away together. It was the migration season for Canadian geese, so hearing thousands of them chatter to each other on the river at night while sitting by the outdoor fireplace, then see them take flight in the morning before class in a massive cloud felt like witnessing a miracle. Run by Dianna of The Knitting Boutique, her customers were quick studies as I taught Mosaic Knitting and lectured on the History of Knitting. Teaching intimate retreats in a secluded location is one of my favorite teaching experiences, because I get to know the students on a personal level, eat meals with them, share stories in pajamas, and trade recommendations for future knits we want to cast on. I saw old faces and new, and look forward to coming back again next spring.
This past weekend I taught Stranded Colorwork in Charlottesville, Virginia. Susan and Blair of Magpie Knits have created a haven for knitters that made it one of my new favorite shops. With an excellently curated collection of fiber (a few hanks of Farmers Daughter may have come home with me), beautifully decor, great students, and a feeling of warmth and welcome from the second I walked in the door, it was a delightful weekend. Situated right in the heart of the action on the main street in Charlottesville, the area was charming, with great restaurants and shops which I enjoyed with my family who tagged along. On Friday evening we had a cast on party for the workshop the next day, and on Saturday I taught class at the Common House. Located in the historic Mentor Lodge, which was originally a social club for the African American community of Vinegar Hill built in 1913, the Common House is committed to honoring the history of the local community. With super slick decor, amazing art on every wall, eclectic furniture, and great food, what a memorable place to teach at! I met some very interesting people and look forward to returning there in the fall.
At this workshop, I introduced a new Fair Isle pattern, the Space Case Cowl. Knit in one long tube with a purl ridge, the latter half is tucked inside like a Matryoshka Doll with right sides facing out. The provisional cast on is then removed and joined with Kitchener stitch, creating a double sided, 4 layers-thick (since stranded color work creates a double-thick fabric) squishy delight. Knit with 1 hank in each color of Neighborhood Fiber Co.’s Studio Worsted in Cleveland Park and Charles Centre on US 8 needles, this cowl is an ode to any space enthusiast. On one side, motifs of launching space ships, Saturn, and crescent moons delight, and on the other the phases of the moon parade across tucked between exploding stars. I’ve always had a deep fascination with space, especially moon phases. The 2 colors of the NFC yarn are perfect and make me feel like the part of me that wanted to be an astronaut as a child got her due.
Today, I’m delighted to release this pattern into the wild with a 20% discount with code SPACE. The coupon will be good through the end of March!
Download the Space Case Cowl here and prepare for liftoff in 3….2….1…