SVFF on Saturday

Little Turtle wakes us up around 5 in the morning, so for the first time the morning drive to SVFF I wasn’t drifting off to sleep.  The three of us left our house around 5:50 am, and began winding our way through Virginia to the Shenandoah Valley.  We watched the sun bleed through the trees, and fog linger over the fields with the mist thick enough to obscure your view barely six feet into the field.  We wound through farms and orchards, Little Turtle talking and gurgling in the back.  Pulling into the fairgrounds, the air was cool and I pulled on my sweater while we set up.


Today I was teaching Helix Knitting, using my Circle Game pattern.  It was such a great group of ladies – interested in learning, willing to try, and determined in the face of mistakes.  I was a little nervous –  not about teaching the class, but having Little Turtle along.  It was my first time teaching in-person since becoming a mama.  Michael was a champ – helping with setup, wrangling Little Turtle, and driving us where we needed to go.

After class we got to visit with a good friend from the Washington, DC area who was taking Patty Z‘s blending class.  I’m so envious!  If I didn’t have a baby, I’d be all over Patty’s classes on spinning cellulose fibers.  Ah, well.  Another time.  Once we wrapped up and said goodbye to our friend, it was for a walk around the fairgrounds, where we could see vendors setting up and preview some of the wares.  The vendors don’t start selling until tomorrow, but it’s fun to see how various vendors have gotten their booth transportation down to a science – slotting in every piece into the back of a car or trailer.

This evening we’ll get a special treat.  The hotel room has a TV, and we’ll watch all the television we don’t at home (since we don’t have at TV).  I’ll work on a pattern that’ll be in Crochet World next year, and we’ll get to bed early.  I’m looking forward to tomorrow’s Duct Tape Dress Forms, and getting to see a bit more of the festival.

Have you been to any Fiber Festivals this fall?  Are you planning on going to any?


Rhinebeck Recap, and Olana

My classroom and schedule.

As I’m writing this, wind and rain are blowing off the maple leaves in our side-yard, before they even get the chance to change full color.  It somehow seems a little appropriate.

Rhinebeck was everything it was made out to be and more.  I taught for 4 grueling and rewarding days, connecting with students and meeting other teachers.  It was wonderful and exhausting and exhilarating and I loved it.  I’m also glad to be home.

I was staying with my parents about an hour north of the town of Rhinebeck, and each morning I woke before the sun had risen (not quite the task it would be in the summer), loaded up the car with teaching supplies, and drove a glorious and visually-rewarding drive along the Hudson River.  The sun would rise as I drove, and I would watch the colors of the trees light up in the morning sun.  I’d anticipate the drive over the Rip Van Winkle bridge, and then would wind my way along Rt. 9, passing dozens of apple-orchards and pumpkin fields.

I’d arrive at the fairgrounds just as they were opening, find a parking place, and each day I’d hurry to my classroom to set up.  In the evening, with the adrenaline still pumping from teaching, I’d make my way back home as the sun would set, and watch the pinks and oranges and golds of the sunset reflected in the trees and marsh-grasses and purple hills.  Then I’d promptly get home, eat, prep for the next day, and go to bed early.

Working on duplicate stitch for Darn Those Knits!

On Sunday, that schedule changed a little, as my mother came with me.  I was fortunate to have an hour and a half lunch break between my first and second class.  I hastily downed my sandwich, then spent a whirlwind hour having my mother (who neither knits or crochets), show me her highlights to the fair.  I loved seeing the fair through her eyes.

She also managed to get some pictures of me actually teaching, for which I was grateful, or I would have had no proof that I was at the fair otherwise.

Rhinebeck is hard to capture in words.  On Saturday during my lunch break I tried to explore a little bit on my own, and quickly became overwhelmed by the crowds and the fact that I couldn’t get anywhere without shuffling.  I finally found a bench behind a building, and sat down with one other knitter, who was waiting for her friend to finish buying things from a vendor.  We admired the trees, talked a little, and I managed to get my head back on my shoulders soon enough to dive back into teaching.

Classes, for the most part, went smoothly.  As always, I walked away with things I’ll plan on improving, and I probably learned just as much from my students!  Some comments people made really brought home where my skill set lies, and I have some great ideas for future workshops.

Because Rhinebeck was so big, I’m going to finish this with a pictorial journal of the weekend.

Footwear is very important when teaching.  No fancy shoes for me –
My Keens served me well. Although I think they’ve finally bit the dust.
A “Frakensock” made by one of my students in the Heels, Heels and More Heels class.
The Iconic row of maples at Rhinebeck.  The Colors!
It was so crowded, and there was knitwear everywhere.
Fleeces at the fleece sale.  I wanted one so badly.
This shawl was the colors of the trees, and it made me so happy.
This sweater was one I did not knit.
But it was warm, and I inherited it from my grandmother.
It seemed appropriate.
The view from Olana (where many Hudson Valley Painters worked). My mother and I stopped as we were heading home.
The sun was setting.
The colors made your heart sing.



I will be at Rhinebeck, teaching from October 16th to October 19th.  I’ll be traveling on the Wednesday before and the Monday after.  That means from October 15th until October 20th, I’ll be super busy and won’t be answering my email or phone consistently.

Blog posts will also be intermittent.

If you’d like to take a class, you can see the classes I’m offering here.  If you’ll be at the fiber festival and want to say hello, drop me a note.  I’ll have limited time around lunch and would love to share a quick hello!

Shenandoah Valley Fiber Festival Recap!

Another newsletter went out yesterday, if you didn’t see it, you can check it out here.

Last weekend I was at SVFF, and had an amazing time interacting with students, and finding a couple of new-to-me vendors.

Being a little closer to the introvert side of things than the extrovert side of things, after teaching for 3 days straight, I spent Monday and Tuesday happily working on my computer and not interacting with anyone.  I answered only the most pressing emails, and was unable to even contemplate a blog post.

This isn’t unusual – I normally need an hour or two after teaching for a day to “recover.”  This was just a more extreme example.

I thought I’d share some highlights from the weekend, in the form of a pictorial essay:

Mr. Turtle in a tree, looking smug.
Heading into SVFF – we managed to completely blow past the sign and had to turn around.  I was completely hopping in my seat I was so excited!

Being in the mountains, the leaves were starting to change, even though they haven’t in Ashland.  The contrast of the leaves against the sky was just stunning.

Teaching duct tape dress forms!  Always a tricky part – getting the seam of your dress form to match up!

Bethany, the chairman, hooked me up with an SVFF t-shirt.  Even though it was cool in the morning (and I had on my long-sleeve shirt and a shawl), by midday I was cooking, and eyeing the short-sleeved shirts.  Bethany noticed and got me one.  I’ve already washed it once so I could wear it again today.

Teaching Hairpin Crochet!  Keep an eye on those two red hairpin lace strips – they’ll show up again!

The hairpin strips all connected!  A little tiny piece of One Salt Sea.

I had a short hour after my second class on Saturday ended to check out the festival.  I had to stop by and admire Dragonfly Fiber’s Booth and say hello.  My eye was drawn to the shawl hanging up.  It’s Faberge by Laura Aylor, and simply gorgeous.

On Sunday I was teaching an all-day class called Heels, Heels and More Heels!  It was a terrible amount of fun to geek out about something I love.  In the morning I was so cold – I had a turtleneck on under my dress, and a shawl overtop it.  Recognize the shawl?  It’s the Silva Shawl!

On Sunday at lunch I got a surprise – my student from my hairpin lace class was back – with far more than two strips connected!  She wanted to share two helpful pieces of advice about One Salt Sea.  First, she found it easier to connect the strips if she left her guideline in until after they were connected on both sides.  It also helped when she didn’t stretch the strips out until after they were connected.  I thought it was good advice, so I’m passing it along!

I loved the class space at SVFF.  The class tents were set away from everything else, and I didn’t have to compete when speaking with anything else!  Every once and a while we could hear some whistling from the sheep-herding demo that went on slightly nearby us.  I was disappointed I didn’t get to see it, but Mr. Turtle took pictures – this was my favorite!

I’m looking forward to heading back to SVFF next year.  It was a lovely event, and very well run.  Did you go?