I am not an early riser. More like a night owl. But yesterday morning, I woke up at 6am without an alarm clock, like a kid on Christmas morning. I had Plans. I hopped in my car and drove south to Massachusetts through the beautiful early winter morning on a lovely deserted country road. The mountain ridges in Vermont, and I suppose Massachusetts as well, mostly run north to south, so I followed the ridge and the winding river, almost crusted over with ice. There still isn't much snow, but everything had that icy frosting on it. I am so glad to be living in New England! Finally, I pulled up to a VERY charming white farm house with a picket fence around it. Two border collies bounded out of the house to greet me, and behind them came Kristin Nicholas. We had recently discovered that we only live about 25 minuted from each other so I came to play Knitting! Kristin graciously ushered me in and I am sure I gawked at room after room of rich, opulent color that she had created in each space. Handpainted walls, tapestry-like knitted pillows everywhere, colorful pottery on shelves, her own paintings–every room is an expression of her incredible sense of color and design.
We went into her studio and talked and laughed and played with our Flip cameras (for future tutorials on my website) and had the best potato-leek soup for lunch that I ever ate. I thought about one time, long ago, when I heard her talking about color. She had pointed to a mustardy yellow (that I thought was unimpressive) and proclaimed it was such a wonderful color. It wasn't until I was in Mexico in San Miguel de Allende, that I saw that gorgeous color in its true context on a wall next other incredible colors. It took a trip to Mexico for me to see how lovely it was indeed. Therein lies the lesson. There IS no ugly color. Only weak or strong color combinations. Kristin has been inspired by color from nature, by great works of art, and by ethnic textiles. She is so successful at conveying this in her eight books and her website and blog! Even her downloadable pattern leaflets are a profusion of color which cause me to look at my own patterns with a critical eye. She is now offering weekend workshops (see her blog Getting Stitched on the Farm), so that others may learn from her and get a glimpse of her life. She even wrote about our day on her blog! More than 80 sheep and many chickens were wandering outside in the pasture adding to the rich landscape that is her life. I sadly had to go before I could meet her daughter Julia, for whom Kristin's yarn line is named. But with some freezer lamb in my thermos lunchbox and her new book, Color by Kristin (which has a lot of photos of her home's interior), in my basket, I felt I was taking a bit of her world home with me. As I was getting into my car, I realized I had meant to take photos that day, but was so absorbed in the experience of being there, that I forgot! So you'll just have to get Kristin's book to see what I mean!