Surrounded by my people

Sometimes, I would much rather be on my own. I relish a day alone in the mountains to soak in the grandeur, listen to the birds, find the beautiful details in the tiniest pink alpine flower, and watch the clouds pass slowly overhead.

If I could, 6 out of 7 days each week would be spent in such a manner. Some weeks, the ratio would be 7 of 7, even in weather.

But since that isn’t possible right now, tonight was a more than acceptable substitute.

It is always so refreshing to be surrounded by creative, skilled, like-minded people. And when we get to listen to Stephanie Pearl-McPhee tell her humorous yarns of misunderstood knitters, horrifying dentist visits in the Dominican Republic, and “bacon powder”, we realize just how great this community is.

I am very lucky. Whereever I go, I find people with whom I have an instant connection. It usually goes a little something like this…

Me: Is this where the line ends? I got here early to get a seat.

Fellow Knitter: Hi! Yep, you’re next in line! I’m Angela. What project did you bring to work on while we wait?

Me: Oh, I’m just knitting a pair of gloves for a friend. And you?

Fellow Knitter Angela: Those are cute! What pattern did you use? Can I feel the yarn? Oh, that wool is so soft!

Me: I love wool. Half my wardrobe is wool, I think.

Fellow Knitter Angela: Me too! (giggles) Oh! Check out her scarf! (pointing to another lace knitter who just joined the queue)

Instantly, I am surrounded by skilled artisans who get it.


Tonight, while waiting in line for the book reading/signing, I saw two very different pieces of lace that I envied. The pictures simply cannot convey the skill, patience and aptitude it took to complete the projects.

First, a wedding shawl (I wish I’d taken a close-up of the detail):


Next, I believe the pattern is Michael West’s 2013 Mystery KAL (you can look it up on Ravelry):


From this angle, it looks like a triangle scarf or shawl, with a grey body and pink border. But wait until you see the whole thing….


Holy cow. Pink and three shades of grey/charcoal. Asymmetric and triangular, but certainly not in the expected way. Can we say, AMAZING?!?!?

I LOVE evenings like this, shared with other creative folks. It is always so inspiring. It pushes me to work harder, watch the details, and take pride in my craftsmanship. This is not at all easy. In fact, the woman with the second project described tears and throwing the unfinished project in the closet out of frustration. But master artisans never settle.

It was an inspiring evening among my people. And to top it off, I got a couple of very humorous books signed.



Controversy… and How the Yarn Harlot Handles It So Well

I went to bed early last night because I was just exhausted. So, as usually happens, I woke up a couple hours earlier than I needed to this morning. What to do with my time? I showered, made some coffee and breakfast, and sat down to read the morning news headlines.

Of course, the Denver Post had stories and maps and blogs and commentaries on the fires that are ravaging parts our state right now. It’s both scary and sad. And I want to write about them.

But the other thing I read this morning was Stephanie Pearl-McPhee’s recent essay regarding the U.S. Olympic Committee and their comments to’s Ravelympics ‘competition’. You can find it here:

I grew up watching the Olympics and I am a Knitter. I like watching some of the sports, and I like making my own clothing. I see both sides of the issue, and in all honesty, I really don’t have a lot of opinions on either side of that issue, except to say that, at the end of the day, I’ll have a sweater to wear and keep me warm next winter. Those athletes will just have run miles; they’ll still have to go out and buy their clothing. 😉

It is worth your time to read, whether or not you’re a knitter, because I really liked the way she handled the controversy, hurt feelings and the like. I actually thought about the way she wrote, in the context of the situation that faces us in Colorado with the wildfires. Hopefully, I’ll be able to express myself that well.

Yea Stephanie!