The Fiber Side of Village Books

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Last Push!

Katie & I met for our last work session at good ol' Zoot this past Tuesday. The large waterfall painting was finished (have to go to the show to see it) and only two nests remain to be knitted. All of the artists will hang the show next Wednesday & Thursday in the Clifford Gallery at Waterfall Arts in Belfast. Until then, Katie and I have a concept, but no SOLID idea what Swifts & Swallows will actually look like! Just part of the thrill of doing installation art!

Come be surprised with us next Friday, March 5th, when the exhibit opens, from 6-9 pm. I'm planning on selling the individual nests for $4.00 apiece as a donation to support Waterfall's great "Branching Out" program.
Hope to see you there!

Now I'm off to "help out" at the NETA Knit, Spin & Spa this weekend in Freeport. I'll be travelling with Kathy of Knitting Out Loud. Really looking forward to this & hope to see some of you there! Check out NETA's site for details.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Reggae Shawl

This shawl is starting to look like it listens to Bob Marley & smokes ganga!

It even has dreads!

Goats & Birds

MY GIRLS: Lucy & Winnie

Cashmere combing has commenced. Lucy is the main producer so far. Neither of them thinks it's a lot of fun - but a handful of grain helps. Yvonne Taylor of Black Locust Farm is helping with advice. In March we'll go over to her place & help comb.

Bird-wise, Katie & I flapped on yesterday in a pretty crowded Zoot, painting & knitting respectively. There are now 15 "nests", one finished drawing/watercolor and another large watercolor well on its way.
The opening reception at Waterfall Arts is Friday, March 5th, 5-8 pm. The Taking Wing exhibit will be on view until April 23rd.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Mentor: Kathy Goldner, of Knitting Out Loud

Of the many things I do each week in the winter to bring in money, my favorite is the work I do for Knitting Out Loud, a small audio book company based here in Maine.

Kathy Goldner, founder and owner of KOL, has been one of my closest friends for too many years to contemplate. She married my husband's closest friend, then curmudgeon, now deluxe spouse, Scott Moore.

Every year we'd make the trek to coastal Maine from no matter where we lived (California, Maryland) and stay with these two wonderful & talented people. They always tried to talk us into moving to Maine; and we always tried to comply - but it wasn't until 2004 that we actually made it happen.. By then both couples had one irascible girl-child each (who proceeded to bond and add to the general enlightened chaos).

Nowadays, as you may have gathered, I find myself taking knitting very, very seriously. This is Kathy Goldner's fault. To pay her back, I'm going to publish here, for the first time, my interview with this knitting maven, good friend and successful businesswoman.

I spoke with MY KNITTING MENTOR, Kathy Goldner, by phone in October 2009. There was a lot of laughter during this conversation, which I've edited out for the sake of brevity...

MLWK: How did you get started knitting?

KG: My grandmother taught me as a teenager. I remember the usual scarf that started out one size & ended up another. Then I don't remember knitting anything until I was in my 20's. I worked with a woman who knitted. I knit a sweater for a boyfriend. I just go from one cliche to another! (I did dump HIM, so it makes it better.) Another friend taught me how to knit socks, so I knit one & gave it to my mother. I never knit the other one. My mother has one sock.

Two years ago, a friend gave me a very beautiful ball of yarn & I knit a scarf. Elisabeth, my daughter, took it. I was so thrilled that I'd knitted something somebody actually wanted! So I went to buy more yarn & the yarn store blew me away.

MLWK: What do love about knitting?

KG: The yarn, the colors & the textures. The fact is that if orange is not a popular color and you want an orange sweater, you have to knit the damn thing! Because I have this company (Knitting Out Loud) I don't have a lot of time to knit. I knit a lot of small things to give to people.

MLWK: What about your mother's other sock?

KG: Mom can't wear wool next to her skin! But I knit her a blanket, a hat & a scarf.

I also like the creative aspect of knitting.

MLWK: What's happening with KOL these days?

KG: In the works are "Arctic Lace" (Spring '10 release) featuring quiviot, musk ox and Native American cooperatives in Alaska & their knitting.

"Knitting America" by Susan Strawn will come out this winter. It's another history of American knitting. And "Wild Fibers" magazine editor Linda Cortwright will be reading articles that are no longer in print. They're just wonderful! She travels all around the world.
"Knitting for Peace" will come out this winter too.

NOTE: While MLWK was diddling around, the lovely "Knitting Yarns & Spinning Tales" was released, featuring a reading by Meg Swansen.

MLWK: What do you wish you could make?

KG: I love making clothes. I just wish I had more time! I knit at night and when I come to a problem like armholes, I have to wait 'til morning when I can trot across the street to Purple Fleece and have Debbie help me!
MLWK: How does your family view your knitting?

KG: Because I have a business doing it, it makes it more acceptable. My daughter thinks it's eccentric. My husband makes things with his hands - he gets that. He is a person who thinks it's necessary to make things with his hands.

MLWK: Talk some about your other huge project, History of Western Literature for kids.

KG: It's a literature program for elementary students that I developed & ran full time until the funding ran out. Teachers then asked parents to fund me so I could come back. It's a very hands-on program - I bring in objects & models. We do projects like Medieval rubbings from a knight's gravestone. (Scott's mother gave this to us!)

: Final comments?

KG: I find it very odd the way I feel grabbed and drawn by knitting. It's comforting somehow - like a wood fire.

NOTE: Knitting Out Loud has an umbrella company called Out Loud Audio Books. Upcoming in Cooking Out Loud selections are South Wind Through the Kitchen: The Best of Elizabeth David; The Book of Jewish Food and The Taste of Country by Edna Lewis.

Oh and Village Books carries them all!!

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Shetland Monster & Taking Wing

The Shetland Monster Shawl

The book that makes me want to be a better knitter, Country Weekend Knits by Madeline Weston (St Martin's Griifin, 2008), includes a pattern for the Old Shell Shetland Shawl. In this free adaptation (which I am knitting for myself) I am choosing colorways that reflect both my stash and the natural colors on the coast of Maine. I call the shawl "Monster" because it is growing into an unruly lap warmer, with a strong personality. The softer, kinder version in Country Weekend makes my shawl look downright feral. I'll be knitting it, by the way, for the rest of my days...

In other news, the Taking Wing project is still flapping along. Above is a better shot of the nest/bait bag hybrid. Katie & I had some great working

time again yesterday at Zoot, where a lurking lad took our picture. He wasn't THAT young, actually. He turned out to be Robin, the artist responsible for the terrfic exhibit of black & white photos currently on display in Zoot.

Katie & I are creating a "Bird Paradise", and in this photo we're working on the imaginary landscape that Katie designed as a backdrop for the nests. We're thinking of it as an installation, with elements on the wall & suspended from the ceiling. What do you think, Martha?

More when I replenish my batteries, both in the camera & in my body.

Happy knitting or whatever creative act you're committing!


Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Bird Struggles!!!

This "nest" is knit in the round then sewn to a discarded & torn lobster bait bag. Seems like something a bird might pick up as building material.

A sketch of a cliff swallow in its early stages. This bird don't want to appear!!! Color may help....