Saturday, August 1, 2015

I'm Ba-ack!

The itinerant machine knitting seminar nut is back in town.  Whew.

We arrived at home with head colds starting up - of course, I blame airplane germs - and I'm still sniffly.  But, now that I've been back a few days, I wanted to share the seminar experiences with you just a bit.

First, John and I went to The Knitting Cottage in Waynesboro, Pennsylvania, to teach a two-day seminar on Friday and Saturday.  The Knitting Cottage is a MUST SEE if you are ever in that area.  This is an immaculately clean, beautifully organized knitting shop stocked to the brim with beautiful, high quality yarns.  It's nestled in a lovely farming community.  Susan and Elizabeth have a big workroom in the back - also clean, fresh and organized - that usually has knitting machines, but they cleared the back and ussed it for the seminar venue.  We had about 26 knitters in attendance.  Waynesboro isn't a bad drive at all from D.C. or Baltimore, and several people drove to come.

We zoomed through the curriculum and I taught other things, as well.  With two full days to teach, I did a big fat variety of different knitting techniques.  The knitters are terrific; a few of them get a lot more knitting done than I do!

Big highlights for me:  Having dinner with Stephanie and Judy at the Parlor House; seeing Stephanie's sock machine collection and having dinner with her and her husband Howard; Karen giving me an incredible wedding ring shawl made by hand in Uzbekistan (Karen, I've displayed it on a table to show off the Lily of the Valley lace); staying at the fun Burgundy Lane Bed and Breakfast; attending a Mennonite hymm singing with Susan and Elizabeth (glorious), attending church with Susan and Elizabeth; dinner with Carol and Larry; a day of shopping at Amish businesses in nearby communities with Carol, Mary Ann, and Larry (and purchasing an incredible Amish quilt.  Have you got a yen for a real, handmade Amish quilt?  Have I got a source!), attending the monthly knitting club for a few hours, and visiting the Appalachian Trail for a few hours on our final day there (hello to Pyro Moses, Stretch, and Radar from Knitwit and Mr. Fixit).  The photo is John and I at the Mason-Dixon line on the trail. 

We had worked out a triangle route so I could do two seminars.  First, we went to Pennsylvania, taught there, then had fun for a couple days, then flew to Michigan.

I had never been to Detroit before.  Our plan was to visit the Henry Ford Museum.  Cathy, who organizes the Monroe Seminar, told me I'd enjoy the museum as much as John.  She was right.  We got sidetracked that first morning, though, and went to the Ford Rouge factory and watched them build F-150 trucks.  John and I were fascinated, just mesmerized by the process.  We only got a couple of hours of museum displays in before it was time to go, but no worries, we'd be back Sunday.

I taught the same class three times at Monroe on Friday because there were three teachers, then a different class three times on Saturday.  Since I had a limited time to teach, I featured my newest work, techniques out of the baby blanket book, 100 Ways, and Finishing School.  Honestly, I prefer to teach my little brains out, one different thing after another, but for the participant, these really big seminars with multiple teachers are just incredible.  I wish I could go to everyone else's classes!  Well, maybe I'll have time someday to attend as a participant.  They have all the synergies of size. Cathy and Larry had upwards of 90+ people this time.  What I couldn't get over were all the beautiful, familiar faces in Monroe!  It was so much fun catching up with old friends at the hotel.

Two people I spent a little time with have slimmed down, taking advantage of the same volunteer group I attend.  Curious?  If you email me, I'll send you info on the group.

If you don't go to seminars, you really ought to try it out.  Yes, I know I always say that, and I know I'm nagging, but I hate for you to miss out.  The camaraderie with other knitters is remarkable; it's as if we are all old friends almost immediately.  This helps eliminate the issues that come from being in a big crowd at a big seminar - not just that, but being broken into groups for classes helps participants make friends.  We have so much in common, resonate to the same vibrations or something.  I laughed until I was weeping at the hotel.

I don't have many photos this time.  We are always too busy to take many photos, and sometimes John and I find a friend who take some pictures, but we goofed and didn't do it this time.  Say, seminar attendees, I'd love it if you sent me some photos to share!

I have two more seminars this year, Princeton, Minnesota and Dallas, Texas, both in the fall.  Email if you want details.

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