Thursday, September 17, 2009

Cambridge, MIT, and a Lamb Meat-Up

Last Friday, I snuck Julia out of school a bit early. You see, I had to get to Cambridge to do a talk for the Common Cod Fiber Guild. I didn’t tell the people at Julia’s school that – I told them I was speaking at MIT in Cambridge. Which I was…..

First off, and most important in our journey. We had to “Meat-Up” with two women who ordered lambs (frozen, not live) from us. I chose the location – the Dunkin Donuts parking lot at the Fresh Pond Rotary, just across from “Whole Foods.” We had to be there for a 4 p.m. meat-up. It was a rush and we were 10 minutes late (a trend there, I know). When we arrived, Carol and her kids were waiting for us. We knew about their car so knew who to look for. Carol has purchased a whole lamb from us before although I had never met her. (She and her family met The Farmer at the side of Route 91 in May for their first purchase.) This was a re-order – and you know how much that means if you are selling anything. Re-order means success. We love repeat customers!

Katherine, Lamb Meat-Up #2, somehow found out about our Leyden Glen Lamb and I brought her a half lamb. Poor Katherine was standing across the parking lot from us. I saw a lonely woman with a cup of coffee and I kept looking at her while chatting with Carol. I didn’t know what Katherine looked like, nor what kind of car she drove (mistake there, must remember for next time!). But finally we all hooked up and talked about lamb and healthy food and kids and on and on. After a quick transfer to their coolers, our “meat-up” was over and Julia and I were on our way.

Next we drove on over to MIT-land and Julia and I met Guido (my contact at the “Common Cod Fiber Guild”) on the corner of Mass Ave and Vassar. He quickly hopped into our truck and told us what we were in for. We found a parking spot, parked, and then walked on over to meet up with other guild organizers at Bertucci’s. After a dinner of pizza, we went to the Stata Center at MIT, found the room, hooked up my computer to the “projector” which worked like a charm (we were at MIT, would I expect less….. no…)

And then we waited and hoped people would come. And they did. Every seat was full and it was a nice big lecture hall. It was a lovely, supportive crowd. Julia looked around and asked me why everyone was knitting. I said to her, “they are knitters, They knit…. ” “Oh……,” she said. Guido let her draw the door prizes and she loved delivering the goodies we brought.

I was introduced and then it was my turn. Everyone kept knitting and listening – that’s what knitters do. I know, I am one of them. But speaking to an entire packed room of a bunch of knitters…. You wonder if anyone of them cares what you are saying.

I started and they kept knitting…… I kept talking….. they kept knitting. I showed them image after image of farm, sheep, home, etc…. They kept knitting. I kept going. I had spent the better part of two days organizing this presentation and I was hoping someone would actually pay attention to it. You know…. Adults on their off time. They can do whatever they want. I know… I am one of them.

As I kept talking, I looked at the audience. They stopped knitting. Oh, joy…. They were interested. They wanted to hear what I was saying. I went on and on, showing many photos and explained how I use colors together. I showed them photos from my new book and hoped they would like them. At the end, we opened it up to questions and there were some good ones. After, we all adjourned to the lobby and I set out my samples from Color by Kristin. I talked and talked and met old friends and made new ones. It was a lovely night.

When I am asked to do one of these presentations, I do not take my work lightly. I know that I will not reach everyone. Not everyone will understand what I am talking about. They won’t be able to grasp the cues I give them on each photo, on each color description. My hope for these kind of talks is that each person walks away with just one “aha moments.” If they do, I will have succeeded. If they don’t, I will have tried my best. I always hope that each knitter/stitcher will look at color differently the next day… That when they walk out their door, they will open their eyes and see things anew… That when they go to a yarn store, they will be less confused and intimidated by all the beautiful shades and colors and textures of yarns and fabrics…… That they will jump into their next colorwork project with a little less fear.

If you are local to Boston-ish and want to find out what The Common Cod Fiber Guild is all about, I would highly suggest checking it out. Everyone was very nice, interesting, supportive and anxious to share their fiber and knitting knowledge. Members came from afar – Rhode Island, Maine, west of Boston…. The Guild seemed to have a whole lot of good programs cooked up for members this year. Wish I lived closer so I could get there for every meeting…

If ever I am coming your way to teach a class and you want some lamb meat, know I love to deliver our delicious lamb to places far and wide. I'm going to look into shipping it this winter so that will be a new option.

Thanks to all the folks at The Common Cod for giving Julia and I such a warm welcome!


Penny said...

YAY! I'm so happy all went well. If I'm ever lucky enough to be at a talk you give and you see me with a frown focusing on my knitting, i'm probably listening more intently. i'm backwards. ;) but yes, you have helped me look at colour differently and embrace a palate beyond grey.

Patience said...

Trust me, we were listening. I just wasn't knitting because my hands hurt that night.

Oh, my, those color fumes were powerful! That was a good presentation.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I need to try a sample paint on the bathroom wall.

Carol said...

Thank you so much for bringing another lamb for us! We will devoured that first one so quickly. I'm grateful that I got to see your samples before the talk. Absolutely gorgeous!

Susan said...

Oh, I am jealous! I wish I lived closer. I would have loved to come. I bet everyone poured over your beautiful samples. I love it, lamb plus a good presentation. You do it all, Kristin!

Hey, could I get a preview copy of your book? I'd love to do a review.

Susan B. Anderson

Joanne said...

Oh, I know just what you mean about giving a knitting talk! I always wonder if anyone is listening and if they're enjoying themselves. Mostly, the talks go ok (or even well) but one time, I saw a lady nodding off in the front about 10 AM in the morning! That's when I maybe wondered whether knitting is good, because it keeps people awake,when they are bored...

bernie said...

That sounds like a great time you had. I'm glad you got to share your thoughts with others and your pictures too. They are the best.

Anonymous said...

You need to get a shirt and hat with your farm logo on it to identify yourself as the
"lamb /knitting lady".