This month, we had the pleasure of having Lydia Christiansen from
Abundant Earth Fiber over on Whidbey Island come in and speak. She shared with us her story, and the story of how we get the yarn that we rely on to keep our holiday hands busy, ourselves and our loved ones warm, and our stress levels at a manageable level regardless of the storms, literal or metaphorical, around us.
Business being business, we first attended to announcements. The winter season is always chock-full of great events, and this year is no different. Make sure and check the guild’s website for more information on things like St. Distaff’s Day (January 9th), the annual Mini-Retreat (January 16th), and the guild’s Holiday Party (our regular meeting date, December 8th). Also, you’ll find more information on things like our Holiday Donation Drive, and the newest updates on next year’s Yarn Train (date finally set for April 9th!).
Georgie stepped up next to give another great book report. The book she shared, The Art of Slip-Stitch Knitting, was another great pick with some really fun and unique looks. These are the type of projects that make even seasoned crafters stop and look at your needles and go, “how are you doing that?!” And as always, Georgie really gave us some good information about it, plus added her own knowledge when showing us her projects and sharing that you can make some of the projects even more spectacular if you use three colors in the two-color projects!
Sherry was up next with a great Knit News presentation. With all the November-based wool events happening all over, it was truly inspiring! I know next year I plan to participate in NaNoSweMo!
By now, you all know just how deep my love for Show and Tell is, so I’ll skip straight to the good stuff. And good, it was! Georgia kicked things off with an Outlier shawl that I have loved since before she even cast on for it. Halloween is one of my favorite holidays, and the tiny little skeletons on that shawl just make me happy. Hers wasn’t the only beautiful Outlier, though. Katie shared her gorgeous shawl, and Sherry upped the ante with a vest made from two of them! There were more Seahawks-themed works, slippers, hats, and even an adorable bright-red monster! One of the final projects makes a good segue, though. Paula brought a stunning sweater she knit from yarn she got from Lydia, our guest speaker!
As Marion introduced her and she made her way to the front, it was already clear from the piles of luscious wool topping all the tables that this was going to be good, and it was!
Lydia graciously told us all about her life, and in what a lot of us can relate to, her nearly accidental forays into the world of wool. Her adventures and determination to start a mill on her own, and to run it in a way that was as good for her and her family as it was for the world at large was inspiring. We learned all about the ins and outs of what it takes to run a mill, and how difficult yet rewarding it is for her to run her mill as locally as possible.
The mantra she’s lived by, that whenever there’s a mistake it’s not a loss if you learn from it, is something we can all stand to remember. We all got some great conversation and food for thought out of the concepts of locally sourced products, and how cheaper fashion can be so detrimental to so many.
The samples she handed out were an unexpected and delightful surprise, too! I’ve been mulling my options for what to make with the luxurious fingering weight I wound up with ever since! I think everyone will join me in a warm and heartfelt thank you to Lydia, for sharing so much of herself with us, and for all her hard work in keeping the fiber arts alive and well in our area, too!
As the holiday season continues to bear down on us, it’s important to remember that line between giving and being thankful. Between receiving quality versus quantity. And it’s important to remember, too, that even fiber arts can be twisted into something stressful if you focus purely on churning out gifts. So take some time for yourself. Be good to yourself and let the crafting be your joy and your outlet. I promise that your loved ones would wish that gift for you, no matter how much they want that laceweight sweater under the tree!
The Allegedly Normal Knitter