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Coming home after a splendid trip, I slept for days. Good thing too because my teaching schedule to come was full and I needed to rev up for it! I was happy to return to Mountain Knits and Pearls in East Stroudsburg, PA, where I taught Gansey Techniques, Twined Knitting and Latvian Writers. In addition to being a great yarn shop, it is also a bead shop. In October, I returned (after 14 years!) to Whitehorse in the Yukon, to teach the Northern Fibres Guild again. I didn't see the northern lights or take a dog sled ride like I did last time, but I got to see Real Live Musk Oxen. Oh yes! Another thing checked off the Bucket List! My friend Wendy took me up to the Yukon Wildlife Preserve to look around. This is the office, but there are other buildings on the property where they have classes in milder weather. As Wendy and I approached the huge area where the Musk oxen were, she warned me not to get too close to the animals. She showed me how the fencing was doubled! If the oxen felt threatened, they could rip through one layer, and maybe two. So I had to stay 15 feet away from the fencing and of course I didn't have a zoom on my camera. (Yes, it's my darn iPhone again, with my good camera safe at home!) It was frustrating to only get this close, when I wanted to run up and hug them! They are SO CUTE! Not that they would have appreciated that. The boys were in one pasture, and the girls and babies in another, far, far away. The Preserve also has caribou (below), moose, and other animals.... This friendly little mountain goat was begging for me to take him home. Sigh. The trail that connects all the pasture lands is a couple miles long and Wendy and I didn't go all the way around the loop. It was cold! Whitehorse has changed since I was there last time. It seems to have "grown up" a bit, having more infrastructure than before, such as a stellar sports arena for the community. I enjoyed my time in the Yukon and remembered many of my students from the last time I taught there. Going home, I got an email from the Kalundborg Museum in Denmark where I had first visited in 1997 to study the amazing Skrå-trøje. Some of you reading this may have taken my two-day workshop on this sweater. This is the 100th anniversary of the museum and they were celebrating by putting the Skrå-trøje on display finally! And they had requested my little sweater sampler to show alongside the original! I was so proud! But since the one I actually made had been stolen the year before, I sent along one from one of my great students who had kindly donated hers to me. (Thanks Sabrina!) I wish I could have made it to the opening. Then, what a rush of towns, guilds, and classes! I returned to the Rochester Knitting Guild and saw old friends there, drove up to Montreal for another happy weekend, taught for three and a half days at Stitches East in Hartford–just a short drive from home! Then I hopped on a plane to teach in California and Oregon. I had never been to Ottawa before. It is a grand city and the government buildings are beautiful! Earlier this month, I drove to Northampton, Mass to teach at Webs--a most dangerous place to work if you are on a budget! I remember the first time I went there, after hearing people rave about the yarns, I wandered around and thought it was indeed a very nice store, but I wasn't feeling hysterical about it. It was only on my second trip there that I found out that the huge back room that was the same size as their enormous sales floor, was open to the public and everything was discounted back there! I made up for my lack of enthusiasm on the previous trip. _________________________________________________________ So now I am home. For the first time in probably ten years, I don't have to fly somewhere for over two months. I have lots of projects in mind to work on, but I am also taking some needed rest, baking bread, reading, and watching silly movies. Tomorrow I am going to a friend's house to learn how to make cheese. I am looking forward to a new year full of promise. Full of trips. I'll be in Italy in June and in the UK most of August. Still pinching myself. May you all be peaceful, happy, safe, self-aware, and free. Enjoy your lives and treasure your family and friends, your own creativity. Happy New Year!
On June 5th I flew into Columbus, Ohio to attend The National Needlearts Association trade show. I hadn't displayed in a booth since 2002 so I was feeling a little rusty. Since this is strictly a wholesale show, I was there to open new accounts for my knitting patterns. Fortunately, my friend Marilyn King offered to come along from the Denver area to help out. She efficiently got me organized (you'd think I'd never done this before as disorganized as I was!) and we quickly got our display up so we could go out for dinner and relax. My booth: Left, center, and right The next night we went to dinner at a nice German restaurant in Columbus with friends and colleagues: JoLene Treace and Marilyn King, both designers and friends! Denise, Arnhild Hillesland, and Linda from Ames, Iowa. I taught on a trip hosted by Arnhild to Sweden and Norway several years ago. Too much fun! She carries my favorite Norwegian yarn: Rauma (Strikkegarn and Finullgarn to be specific). Well, schmoozing is definitely an integral part of TNNA and I did my best! My four new patterns were well received and I am working hard to get them into booklet form to print and distribute by September 1. I met Julia Grunau, the creative mind behind Patternfish—a new website just for downloading patterns. It is a month old now and already there are over 950 patterns there. I am thrilled that Julia asked me to participate, so I am also working on pattern layout for that venue. It's a lovely site and very navigable. Check it out! After TNNA I taught for 3 days at Knitters Connection, also in Columbus, OH. This was the event's second year and it was wonderful! I met the Ravelry gang and Clara Parkes (and bought her new book, doncha know: The Knitters Book of Yarn). At the obligatory Knitters Connection teachers' meeting, Cat Bordhi was so excited to show us all a new technique she worked out for making ssk look nicer. You know how one side of your sock gusset can look zig-zaggy? Well now, with her method, the ssk line is as straight and clean looking as the K2tog side. This photo, below, shows the difference on a sock heel gusset. I can't wait for her to put up a new video on YouTube to demonstrate it! How lucky we in the knitting community are, for teachers like her who want to share knowledge rather than keep it proprietary. My sock heel gusset, with normal ssk (inconsistent size and tension of decreases) below and Cat's neat and tidy ssk above. Is that awesome or what? OK... so it's subtle in this photo, but I am very psyched about this! I am looking forward to the remaining workshops I have planned this year. You can always check out my schedule on this blog—I update it monthly, believe it or not! I'll be in Colorado and Stitches Midwest and Stitches East*, three knitting events in Vermont (YAY!), Pennsylvania, Virginia, Santa Fe, Michigan, Montreal, Chicago, northern California, and Ohio will finish up my year. What a great year it has been so far! * I am offering the Danish Skrå-trøje again at Stitches East this November and want to share photos I received from Dianna Smith who took the class 2 years ago. After completing the little sweater in class, she designed her own full-sized Skrå-trøje. What a fabulous job she did! I am feeling more and more like a Vermonter, which is a good thing. It just gets harder and harder to leave to travel. Mmmm.... future currant jelly! Enjoy your summer, everyone!