It’s been a long five days (very, very long). My feet are sore. I’ve discovered that beer and cookies do not contain all the nutrients necessary to lead a functional life. Also, 6am is no friendlier a time than it was two years ago when last we met. In spite of the punishing routine my co-workers and I fell into, it was one hell of an experience.
I got to spend some time around people like Stephen West and Ragga, who made me wonder what I’d come up with if I collaborated with someone whose design concepts are opposite mine. Or really, anyone (looking at you, Quinn).
I was able to audit most of Mary Scott Huff’s 2 Strings = Not Scary class. I know now that the colorwork I taught myself isn’t being done incorrectly and that the rules people set for techniques that make them limiting are often garbage. I throw and I only use my right hand. My yarn doesn’t get tangled (or, at least, no more so than it usually does). I also admire her energy. I want the chutzpah it takes to call someone a “sexy beast” when I’m complimenting his or her knitting. Or I just want to be around someone who can and does.
I got to hobnob with the knitting elite like Melissa Leapman, Julie Weisenberger of Coco Knits, and Franklin Habit. Plus, I met some amazing fiberistas: Takako from Habu and the energetic and delightful Claudia McLean of Claudia Hand Paints. Everyone was friendly and very enthusiastic about teaching in StevenBe’s unique classroom spaces. I really enjoyed every tidbit I gleaned from my eavesdropping downstairs and only wish I could have been upstairs for Franklin’s Photographing Your Fiber class. It got rave reviews from students. Also, I’ll admit it, some of my pictures are pretty awful, though to my credit none of them feature knits on cats. It’s a good thing I have an unholy alliance with MN Fine Art Photography.
I also got to spend some time with Stephanie Pearl-McPhee, otherwise known as the Yarn Harlot.
This is the second time Stephanie has taught at StevenBe and this time she wrote a brand new lecture for our knitters. There was a MacGyver joke and all the cool kids in the sound booth cheered when we learned that Feist is a knitter. That’s not the whole of it, though, I promise. It was about the way our society views knitting and how that’s affected by the way knitters view and speak of themselves. It was inspirational and empowering and is definitely going to change the way I talk about my process and my art(!). Just because a project was simple now doesn’t mean there wasn’t a lot of hard work leading upto to it. And yes, this is my grandmother’s knitting. She knit, she purled, she yarned over (yarn overed?). She may not have done them in the same combination that I am but every stitch is a motion that echoes across time and brings me closer to her. Yes, clearly it made me think. It was a winner, Steph, and I hope you give it again many times in many places.
Thanks to the teachers who made this long (long, long) weekend an amazing experience, to my coworkers for keeping me sane-ish, and to our customers who brought laughter to me every day of this crazy little thing called Fiber Fest.