Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Interquilten in Interlochen

Interlochen, Michigan is best known as the home of the Interlochen Center for the Arts, with its internationally renowned Interlochen Arts Academy High School and Interlochen Summer Arts Camp.

Interlochen is otherwise a rather small village. Last summer, a new quilt shop opened and added its zest to the burg. It’s called Interquilten. And last week, the store moved to a new location – across the street – into an older building that has been an Interlochen fixture since I was a kid, when it was The Music Box, a gift shop with what I remember as a fabulous array of old fashioned candies. The building has a quirky shape, and an oddly slanting roof. It’s painted red. Inside, there are flagstone floors, walls paneled in wood, and even a fireplace. Charm and then some!

Not only is the building loaded with charm, but the store will soon be loaded with my handspun yarns, greeting cards, and knitting patterns for sale starting in February, 2010. I’m also scheduled to teach a knitting class in February, and I expect to be offering more knitting classes there in the coming months. The class I’m teaching in February is “Knitting Savvy: The Basics of Cables”. It’s a two-session class, meeting from 11am-12noon, Thursdays, Feb 11 & 18.

I do love cables! Here’s the class description:

Knitted cables – those twisty, winding patterns that are often seen on Aran sweaters – look complicated. But, they’re easier to knit than they look. And, they’re fun, too! In two sessions, we will cover the basics of making cables: a “front” cross, a “back” cross, twists versus snakes (sounds dangerous!), even cables, and odd cables. With the basic skills we will cover, you will be able to navigate the most complicated-looking cable pattern! Participants will have the chance to begin a scarf that includes a cable pattern.

Here’s a picture of a pillow – with cables – that I knitted a few years ago. I called it “Garden Party”.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

3rd Annual Fiber Arts Retreat

My First Blog Entry!

I live in the north, where winter is snowy and cold and a great time for fiber activities.

One of those activities occurs in a couple weeks: the 3rd Annual Fiber Arts Retreat at Twin Lakes Camp, near Traverse City, Michigan (February 5-7, 2010). What better way to spend a weekend in winter than to sit and spin in a pine-paneled lodge next to a stone fireplace surrounded by cheerful folks with fiber obsessions!

The retreat schedule is largely unstructured, allowing folks to work on their fiber activities, or go snow shoeing, or gaze into the fire, or enjoy a cup of tea. The only scheduled event this year is a spinning workshop that I’ll be leading. There will be a short session on Friday night and a follow-up session on Saturday afternoon. We’ll cover aspects of controlling thickness and twist on Friday, and strategies for consistency from bobbin to bobbin and from skein to skein on Saturday.

The retreat is organized fabulously well by Elizabeth Koeppen and Jenny McCain. You can contact Elizabeth or Jenny at:

Here’s a bit of info from the flyer: “The purpose of this retreat is to encourage and foster a close knit and supportive community of women that love fiber arts. Please feel welcome to bring any of your finished projects as a show and tell. If you have any items for sale and would like to showcase them, we will have a display table available. We hope this event is fun, encouraging, and time well spent with friends!”

Twin Lakes Camp is owned by Grand Traverse County. Although near to Traverse City, it has a quiet, countryside location, with lots of hiking (snow shoeing, skiing) trails. Gilbert Lodge is the building where we gather to carry on with fibers and such. I love its wood floors, large windows, and enormous fireplace. It also contains the kitchen (always available for tea, coffee, or snacks). There’s a separate dormitory building for staying overnight.

Here’s a picture I took from last year’s retreat.