Wednesday, 30 September 2009

Deciding on a Stove

Trying to decide which stove might be best for the Family room.

Tuesday, 29 September 2009

Really Nice People!

While waiting for a half hour to elapse before a banquet I happened upon a little booth called Esther's Place. Esther it turned out was a sheep, but her human companions had a little fiber shop and were offering lessons on felting. Despite my being a bit on the grumpy side a charismatic young woman managed to pull me over to the felting table where various people were busy stabbing little flat circles of wool with needles. Some were making pumpkins, others apples ostensibly as pins that one could wear for holiday festivity. I was handed a clump of orange felt and shown how to proceed. Natasha was very encouraging, but being an ornery individual, I refused to do a pumpkin and instead set to work on a tiny little three dimensional project:

I refused to give my creature eyes or whiskers or even stripes, but was very impressed by the young woman's good nature despite my irascible fixation on the form alone. The time for waiting had passed and I was due at the banquet so I headed off with my unfinished creature in my pocket.

The next day I went back for a few touch ups and got to meet Natasha's mother, Donna. What delightful people they both are! We traded stories about moving to the country and trying to become accepted by our neighbors. We talked about community building, about chickens, about fiber art and about the 60s (yeah, eventually it had to get around to the "good old days"!) What an inspiring person to chat with! I left feeling really good about people and the world. If you happen to be near Big Rock Illinois stop in at Esther's Place. They give classes, sell fibery things and even offer homey space for over night stays and retreats. The website is www.esthersplace

If you are ever in the neighborhood stop in and say Hi and tell Donna and Natasha hello for me!

Free Form Lace with Myra Wood

Myra's class on free form lace was probably the most fun of all! As you can probably tell from the photo (even though you can't see her face) she is full of exuberance, humor and energy.

Here is a better look! (Note she still isn't standing still!)

We learned to knit lace without a pattern. Here are some examples of the kinds of lace that Myra was able to come up with using her method.

It was very difficult for some of our class members, because they really wanted rules about how to be creative. By doing random holes symmetrically Myra made this lovely pattern.

After class I took a few random pictures of the hotel. It was wonderful to be in a big expensive hotel and see women sitting everywhere knitting!

The architecture was absolutely lovely. The lack of symmetry in using geometric shapes really gave the place eye appeal.

I got a kick out of the frosted glass "portholes" in the ladies' room.

These decks sure didn't look like they ever needed swobbing!

Monday, 28 September 2009

Student Fashion Show Stitches Midwest 2009

The student fashion show was the next evening. These were some of my table mates at the banquet. We exchanged impressions and information about our classes and had a marvelous dinner. Then came the fashion show, that dazzled and amazed us and then it was a real struggle to stay awake for the door prizes we had become exhausted by so much finery and excitement.

We were honored by a visit from American royalty. (The King of Pop).

Alexei Xenakis and Jane Slicer-Smith started us off...

The teachers were presented with gift baskets...

...and then we got to see some of the other students' pieces.

This shawl was really very lovely.

Here's a closer view.

This is the "Printo' the Wave" shawl that our earlier table mate (The Knitting Fool) made.

I'm not going to write much about these pieces, but rather let the images speak for themselves. I don't know the names of any of the knitters, so I can't identify them unfortunately.

These were some of Judy Pascale's students who took her felting class. They produced these scarves in her class.

Rick Mondragon adjusts a participant's shawl for her.

This piece had beads and genuinely glistened.

These women were from Minnesota and participated in their guild knit along. These were all the same pattern, but with different yarn and color choices.

This afghan must have used some of Laura Bryant's theories about variegated yarn. The knitter talked about using things she had learned in Stitches classes.

The back was different, but no less beautiful.

Here's another Lily of the Valley inspired shawl.

This was for a son going away to college (guess which one!)

I think this was a gorgeous vest!

These pieces won prizes. This woman used a very novel approach to producing her piece. It was by far the most creative piece of the show.

My former table mate also won a major prize!

It is always nice to get to see what other "real" people are doing! I enjoyed the student fashion show almost as much as the one with the professionals!