In the past, the amazing little class just conducted in the studio with children -- taught by me, my wonderful Alex (age 12) and Dierdre (age 12), and assorted adults. There is real magic in the way young brains function. What flexibility and agility! Show 'em something and they soon are not only doing it, but making it look like, well, child's play. Why do people underestimate children so completely? "Well, I'll cast on for you because children can't do it," or "OOOOH dearie, how ARE we???" (in baby talk). Ask a twelve year old a complex question, you'll get an answer that is both honest and penetrating. Maybe we should start a permanent children's group and put Alex and Dierdre entirely in charge. The problem, of course, is that I can't pay them in money. The feds would come get me. But I can give them endless yarn! Alex is almost done with his first vest, complete with pockets, buttonholes, and nicely crafted bands. Dierdre is making a pullover out of Trendsetter Tonalita -- really beautiful. I drafted a simple little pattern and off she went.
Also in the past, a truly nightmarish encounter with a button maker who apparently didn't believe that we had cancelled her visit for lack of space and traffic, etc., and showed up anyway. I'm exhausted.
In the present, a studio that is picking up steam, attracting new people, making everyone happier than we've been in a long time. I wish I could spend more time there. It's frustrating to be doing everything less well than I could do if I were there more regularly. I could be designing sweaters regularly, dyeing more yarn, teaching more people...........Oh well. In good time. For now, I have a book to finish.
In the future, the near future, in fact, there's the New York Sheep and Wool Festival at Rhinebeck. I probably will rent a car and take four days to come and go by way of Canada (better roads). It's a long way to Albany and fairly tedious -- but the festival is the biggest in the nation, at least to my eyes (some people think Maryland, but I haven't sensed as much energy there in the last two years). And there are so many wonderful vendors that I hate to miss it -- not to mention antique shops.
Then the Southeastern festival across the street from the Asheville, NC, airport. I need to figure out how to kidnap Larry. He needs to get out of the studio. The NC event is a natural. He loves the Carolinas, and it's the right time of year. So -- I need to plot, cover the studio for the weekend, and pile him into a car. When we were last driving through NC, we found just an amazing number of wee antique shops with genuinely interesting buttons and old buckles. They were off the beaten path, with prices not hiked up to meet the expectations of interstate travelers, who frequent the big malls along those roads (sometimes by the busload). Better to go to the smallest of the small and find the truly original and unique buttons at good prices. And the additional reward is that you get to visit all of those sleepy towns with a single old-fashioned cafe on Main Street, filled with people who haven't seen strangers in awhile. I remember once in Kentucky having the distinct feeling that I was scandalizing everyone with my black fitness pants and (to their eyes) rather garish Marketplace of India jacket........not at all ladylike, I suppose, particularly because you're not supposed to be braless at age 65..........oops..........almost 66 (on Wednesday). Too bad about that. I keep thinking it's going to stop, but it doesn't. I just keep getting older.
The Southeastern festival is actually a joy. I didn't go last year (conflicts). But it keeps getting bigger and bigger. It's held in a huge agricultural arena/center, which includes an immense main building with tiers, and then a series of drafty but atmospheric outbuildings/sheds. The sheds are not entirely visible, so the people who rented space there were not entirely happy when I went the last time. Maybe they've fixed that situation with better signs. But the big building has dozens of high-quality dyers, spinners, and so on -- and you go round and round in circles, tier by tier, to explore the place. What an immense amount of fun)
That's it for now. Believe me, when there are travels to report, I'll be back atcha, as Palin would say.