Friday, September 09, 2011

We are Getting Stitched this Weekend!

I'm anticipating the arrival of my new students on Saturday morning at 9 a.m. This thing I do - the "Getting Stitched on the Farm" knitting retreats is great fun if not a whole lot of work. First of all, I am opening my family's home to strangers. That in its own is quite nuts, if you ask my sisters and Mom (and me, depending on the day). But the guests are knitters and knitters are always kind and wonderful folks. The more times we do this, the easier it becomes. Each group of knitters that comes is full of individuals with different skill sets, different knitting goals to takeaway. Some students come as a group, some as a couple of friends, and some just by themselves as a special treat for their knitting self. As the first day goes on, everyone become friends and there is a certain rhythm to the conversation and interactions.  Stories start flying, laughing happens.

The most rewarding part of each class - for me, at least - is seeing how each knitter grows as a knitter..... how their skills increase.... seeing their "ah-ha" moment.... I love seeing that - seeing the light bulb go on, knowing they are leaving with more knowledge of knitting and design and color. Leaving more confident in their skills. Less fearful. More empowered to create on their own, break the rules, not worry about perfection.

These classes are a money-generating proposition - part of our farming enterprise. Part of the total package of who we are as a farm, as a family, me as an artist. I put a whole lot of effort into the classes and if you ask The Farmer, there isn't much profit in it at all. But it is one more way for me to share my skills and help add a bit to the farm income. It is either this or look for an off-farm job and that is not where I want to go with my life right now. Who knows, that may change but for now, I'm staying put - trying to make this work.


I also see the "Getting Stitched on the Farm" Classes as part of my passion of sharing my love of color and knitting with other knitters who perhaps might be fearful of combining different colors together... who need to know that they CAN do it themselves.... that they just have to find the confidence to put 2 or 3 or 4 shades together and it can all work.

The photos in this post were sent to me just the other evening from Ann MacDonald Kelly - one of the students from my July 2011 class. She finished her projects that she started here and I am so amazed with what she came up with! Ann is a teacher at "Black Sheep Yarn Shop" in Maryland. She also has just had her first design published in Interweave Knits Magazine. You can see it here.

So here's to the new students arriving in a few short hours. It will be a fun two days for all of us. If you are interested in coming to the "Getting Stitched Workshops" at our farm, there is one more left this year - October 1/2. I have two more spaces available in the workshop. Check it out here.

If you can't get to the farm, here is the link to the Sunflower Pillow Pattern on Ravelry where it is for sale. It is also for sale on my website on my shop page here.


mary kate said...

Bravo to you for finding a way to "make it work" on the farm! What a great model for your daughter? Your workshops sound wonderful...have you ever considered filming a series of them for those of us who can't afford to come to you? for DYI network or PBS? I know there are lots of knitters who would watch!
have a great and colorful weekend!

Ally said...

That's so great! I love that blue pillow - is there a Ravelry link to the pattern?

Kristin Nicholas said...

The pattern is available on Ravelry or on my website. Here is the link to Ravelry.

Thanks for the suggestion. I have updated this post to include the pattern links. (In between mops, buckets, and vacuuming.)

Ally said...

Wonderful - thank you so much!!!

Caffeine Girl said...

I've said it before -- I hope someday I can knit on your farm. I hope that you're able to keeping working on the farm, and don't have to get an off-farm job.