For many of us, the summer of fiber festivals is heralded in by the New Hampshire Sheep and Wool Festival in Deerfield on Mother’s Day weekend, May 13th and 13th. I look forward to the lobster rolls, also first of the season for me, as much as I look forward to reconnecting with my favorite dyers, admiring the animals, and keeping my eye out for something new and unusual. We’ll be carpooling from Love.Yarn.Shop. at 9:00 on Sunday morning. Call to reserve a space in one of the vehicles. If you haven’t been to this festival before, check out this year’s booklet on their website. http://nhswga.com/sites/default/files/2017_booklet_online.pdf
The Pussy Hat project was so successful that a number of scientists who are knitters (or knitters who happen to be scientists?) have designed hats, headbands, and armbands with symbols that reflect their field. You can find them here. Here’s a link for information about the March for Science on April 22nd. However, other marches are being held more locally in Lancaster and Concord.
As the snow melts, trash begins appearing on our roadsides, and I remember the Keep America Beautiful campaign which was so vocal in my childhood to counter the litter problem. Every Earth Day, local groups–church youth groups, Girl Scouts, Boy Scouts–would walk the roads picking up trash. So while walking, or marching, don’t forget a receptacle to pick up the trash you pass.
Plans for the 2nd Annual Great Northern Yarn Haul are in the works. Thus far, 22 shops will be participating. Unfortunately one shop, White River Yarns, closed, but we have picked up 7 new shops, including What a Yarn in St. Albans, Scratch in Lebanon, Ewe-forium in Newport, Mountain Fiber Folk in Montgomery Center, The Yarn Sellar in York, and Whippletree Yarn Shop in Woodstock. Check out Great Northern Yarn Haul’s Facebook page to keep updated.
It’s not all about knitting and crocheting. There is needle felting, too. Needle felting is when you use a barbed needle to poke unspun wool into a desired shape. If you search on line, especially Pinterest, you will see beautiful examples of needle-felted figures, usually animals. I can’t guarantee your needle felted sheep will look as good as those, but I can guarantee that you’ll leave the class with one. We’ll be needle-felting on Saturday, April 8th, from 10:30-12:00. $10 covers the materials and instructions.
Although we have read many articles about how knitting reduces stress and creates a sense of well-being, this Guardian article by a doctor about how being creative drew her out of her depression and continues to be an important part of her balancing the work in her life, is a personal testimony that speaks to anyone in the medical field. As busy as she is, she makes a little time every day to be creative, whether knitting, writing, or drawing.
The rise in popularity of “paint and sips” makes me think that there are many people who have written off their creative talents– “I can’t draw. I’m not creative.” — but who, in fact, feel a need to create and feel safe in a class where everyone is doing the same painting. The arts at all levels, and our ability to participate in them, define who we are as a society. Let’s celebrate and support them in our communities by attending public performances, classes, art shows, and by making time every day “to knit four rows.”
As the snow begins to melt, we are turning our minds to pulling down the bird feeders and planting seeds. However, there is no need to turn our minds completely from our feathered friends. Soon they will be making their nests and you can assist them by hanging roving-filled nesting balls from the trees in your backyard. Nesting balls should be filled with natural fibers: roving, 3” pieces of natural woven fibers, feathers, fur, and straw all make good stuffing for the nesting balls. You don’t want synthetic material, nylon, long pieces of yarn or string, dyed materials, or dryer lint. Love.Yarn.Shop. has nesting balls filled with wool roving for sale for $8, and assuming the birds don’t take the ball itself, they are refillable.
In honor of Women’s History Month, I decided to print off photos of women who were recognized as the first female in their field to do something. As I was reading through the extensive history, I was struck how each one of these women worked her entire life in a career, often a career in service to others. No doubt she worked under various forms of discrimination. “Nevertheless, she persisted,” and she succeeded in previously held male-dominated fields. Kudos to the women who have gone before us. Kudos to the women who are currently competing in male-dominated fields. Kudos.
The rich palette from Quince & Co, out of Biddeford, Maine, Sparrow, is reminiscent of Italian Rococo art: the warm, saturated colors have names like Port, Venice, Butternut, and Eleuthera. If you are looking for a finger weight fiber for a summer garment, this may be it. LYS will be having a trunk show, with garments and patterns, starting the 8th of May, but yarn and patterns are in the shop now for you to check out.
Women in the Changing World of Work: Planet 50-50 by 2030. That’s the theme set by the United Nations today for International Women’s Day; the history goes back to 1908, however, when 15,000 women marched in support of the garment workers, demanding shorter hours, better pay, and the right to vote. Whether you stay home from work, don’t shop (gosh, you could shop at women-owned business, couldn’t you?), or attend an event, the important part of recognizing this day, is revisiting and remembering the historical struggles of women since the early protests of the 20th century…and teaching our children this history. One film I used to show my 8th grade students when doing a unit on Women’s History was Iron Jawed Angels, which always was jaw-dropping news to them. One early exhortation to keep history alive comes from Deuteronomy 4:9
- 9Only take heed to thyself, and keep thy soul diligently, lest thou forget the things which thine eyes have seen, and lest they depart from thy heart all the days of thy life: but teach them thy sons, and thy son’s sons …. “
Aside from the gender-biased language, the sentiment is one we should take to heart, lest we forget, lest we lose what we have gained.