Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Teaching in Granby, CT and Musings on Design

On Friday afternoon, I’m heading down to Granby, CT to teach two classes at the Ewephoric Knitting Weekend on Saturday sponsored by Marji's Yarncrafts. I’m teaching an edgings class and a color class. Both have space and so if you have been yearning to take a class with me and you have a free day, call Marji’s Yarncrafts at 860-653-9700. I'll be leaving my family and animals home to fend for themselves. I know they can do it even though they sometimes lead me to believe they aren't capable. Good thing I'm not too gullible.

I have taught at the Ewephoric Knitting Weekend several times. The annual weekend was started probably fifteen or more years ago by Phyllis Fishberg who owned The Wool Connection. I taught at her very first weekend event – I think I may have taught felting knits – way before it was an important trend and commonplace in the knitting world. I have returned several times since - if a bit sporadically - to spread my knitting knowledge. I love the knitters who come to this weekend – it’s more low key and relaxed than some of the larger conferences which makes it a lovely place for me to teach – not quite as stressful - and a great place for knitters to learn and share.

Phyllis Fishberg and her husband Bob entertained me for many years in their home when I taught at their Ewephoric Weekend. I used to bring them lamb chops as a house gift which they always got a big kick out of. Phyllis and Bob were some of the kindest, hardest working people I met when I was doing my job at TYC (the yarn company). When I think of the job I had at CEY, some of my fondest memories are of the people I sold to and developed products for. When you work for a yarn company, you aren’t only working for your company – you are working for your retailers. You are trying to develop new products and new ideas that will bring them success and keep them in business. Of course, you too are trying to keep yourself in business, in a job that pays you, stocks yarn, and ships your product throughout the USA. But it is a mutual arrangement – making the retailers happy and interested usually results in them selling more of your particular product. The goal was for all of us to have success and make the knitter happy. Sometimes I miss those days.

Now, I am on the other side of things and it is a bit different. As an author, I am thinking mostly about my creative self – about bringing my particular designs to fruition in the form of the printed page. I have to think about making a product that knitters will want to buy – designs that are original, enticing, interesting to knit. But I also have to like it myself - enought so that I don't mind my name and reputation being associated with the designs - for ever after. All the time I am designing, I am thinking about the cohesive collection I am creating. It’s a tall order, if I do say so myself. I always love what I am creating as I am creating it and always hope that the knitter will like it to – so much so that they will part with their money and buy my book and my yarn to knit with.

Designers and authors are fed by their knitting public, whether they really think about it or not. That’s why I relish the upcoming weekend where I will have a chance to talk with knitters out there who are passionate about their craft. I will teach them some tricks but they will teach me too. Most times the class participants aren’t aware that they are teaching me, but they are. I’m always listening for comments, raves, complaints…. It puts me in touch with what knitters are looking for or not.

Come and learn if you can. It should be a lovely day of sharing knowledge amongst ourselves. What a great way to start off spring. I’ll have lots of great samples from my upcoming book and I hope I will inspire everyone who takes my classes.


Deborah said...

Wish I could be there! I hope you come back to MN sometime! Have fun. I read the first part of the post incorrectly and looking at the photo of the kitties, I thought you wrote the family was going to have to "felt" for themselves!

Anonymous said...

Good Morning from Shell to Kristin,
Wish I could come to your classes ~
I'm an East Coast transplant in the midwest at the moment......but loving teaching children knitting here. I've been doing it for nine years.
My students are very much the "yarn afficiandos." Your knitting/colorwork is very inspiring. I hope to buy your whole line of Julia Yarns soon as I can to share with my knitters.
We just had a "Humor in Knitting" day on March 25th here sponsored by our library. Franklin Habit came to speak and was terrific.
I'll put in the good word to the staff, maybe next year we could have YOU as our guest !! That would be wonderful.
Until then, enjoy your teaching days this weekend.

Anonymous said...

hi again from Shell,

..... just have to say I love the photo of the cats so peaceful on your yarn samples and knitting. What a lovely cozy image for a rainy spring day here. Its coffee time, drawing and knitting items for our local Waldorf School store. The patterns of the cats and the knit patterns = perfect !
My tabby cat girl is my KnitStaff helper in all ways.
happy day,
Shell ~

Willow said...

I would love to attend if the classes were in Southern California. Can we entice you with lovely weather?

Cats and knitting always go together. I believe that all yarn produced around the world is 1% cat hair.

Renna said...

I wish I weren't halfway across the map away from you. I'd love to attend your classes.

Lyn said...

Lovely photo! They are so cosy together.