Friday, June 29, 2012


Some of you have wondered (on Ravelry) when the workshop registration will be available on-line.  Poor Larry is laboring away -- he's never done this before.  But it SHOULD be up and running at some point this week, perhaps right after the 4th.  Thanks for patience -- it will be worth it.


Monday, June 25, 2012


........We are about to add one more workshop to the Friday afternoon listings -- a class having to do with Siamese Socks (as I think of them) -- You can learn how to make toe-up socks two at a time on circular needles!  It will be taught by Lynne Wardrop, whose sock patterns (under the label Avalon) use and are sold by Lorna's Laces Yarns (Chicago).  Lynne is a Michigander with lots of workshop experience.  She has worked for both City Knits Detroit and Artisan Knitworks.  I do hope that on-line registration for all of these wonderful events will be up and running before end of the week.  Stay tuned, and more later.   svb

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Third Coast Fiber Arts Festival -- Yarn Bombing!

As mentioned in an earlier entry, we're going to be staging a yarn bombing about two weeks before the actual event, coinciding roughly with the start of the semester at the university.  At Artisan Knitworks, we plan on holding maybe three long evenings in which people can bring in their leftover yarns, big needles and hooks, and have pizza or some such thing (we'll buy) while cooking up LOOOOONG, nutsy strips of wooliness.  They can change width, have big holes or fringe, be wild.  You can do the same thing in your respective knitting or crochet groups, of course.  I ask only that (a) you tell me you are doing it so I have some idea of what's afoot -- drop a note at, and (b) you make most of them more or less in shapes than can be used in winter for scarves.  I am going to invite people who don't have any money to take them down after the festival and use them to keep warm.   We'll attach a card to each one when we do the bombing.  Might decide to take 'em down myself, wash 'em, and give to a shelter.  I do think it's important to really cut loose -- make things that are completely nuts!  Thick.  Colorful.

So -- knit and crochet away.  We have lots of yarn in our so-called Stash that would be suitable.  If you are buying it for the boming, we will have a discount for the Stash yarns (maybe 2 for the price of 1)-- we will trust you on the whole point of what it's used for.   It might get rained on, so make sure it isn't really high-quality stuff.  All wool is washable, of course -- think about all of those sheep standing out there on bucolic Scottish hillsides.  It rains in Scotland.  But it doesn't make sense to subject the best-quality stuff to the elements.  I will say more when our studio sessions approach.   In the meantime:  Be sure to look at the website ( for the list of festival workshops.  The vendor applications are still coming in, but soon I'll have to cut them off -- we will be out of room.   Cheers!    I hope to be able to go to Grayslake, Illinois, this coming weekend for the Midwest Fiber and Folk Arts Festival.


Sunday, June 10, 2012

Third Coast Festival, plus an upcoming trip...!

For those of you who haven't seen it yet:   The list of workshops for the wondrous Third Coast Fiber Arts Festival is now 'up' on our company website.  Have a look!  It's We will be opening up registration, with fuller detail as to what the workshops entail and what homework (if any) you'll have to do, within two weeks.  All depends on how much work poor Larry (who is pretty much doing all of this by himself, at least on the computer end of things) can squeeze in over the next ten days or so. 

But get a load of this:   Somebody should remind me that I'm 67 years old, no longer a spring chicken, and so on.  I have decided to go to the Midwest Fiber and Folk Art Festival again at Grayslake, Illinois, on the Thursday night of the weekend of June 21-23 -- This festival is near Chicago -- maybe 5 hours from Detroit if you stop for some kind of break -- in my trusty Enterprise rental.  Hope it's a Ford this time and NOT a GM product, which for some reason aren't as comfortable or as well designed.  Or so I think.  I need to get to this festival in particular because I want to have a LONG conversation with the people from the Windy City Knitting Guild, who always attend the Midwest Festival with their wonderful mannequin.

What mannequin?  Well.  Years ago, I found Polly Esther Cotton at the Midwest Festival.  She was an amazing creation -- a focal point for conversation, for gathering, for remembering that clothing used to be made entirely by hand.  Women and men would gather around her and, using the provided yarn, needles, and hooks, add to her raiment.  I think I've talked about her before on this blog.  I have added many bits to her garb over the years.  I talked a couple of times to the guild people about creating a kid sister for the mannequin -- never did it.  Here's Polly:

Now, I CAN do (and have done) exactly that.  We now have unpacked and assembled Rita Merino, who stands VERY tall in the studio, dressed in a Michigan Fiber Festival T-shirt and donated skirt.  Soon, she will wear a bodice that I'm going to crochet or knit for her with cap sleeves.  We'll put her in nice black tights, add the gorgeous hand-crafted socks that my old friend Elaine Clark is making out of scraps, and surorund her with bushel baskets full of yarn, tools, etc.   What I need to do at Chicago is to strike up a conversation (a) about whether they want to bring their NEW mannequin to Detroit to keep company with Rita during OUR festival, and (b) whether we can create some kind of joint narrative about the two mannequins, why we have them, what they do for the world. 

Then I'm going to come back home and head out again for Columbus, Ohio, on Saturday night.  The annual TNNA convention is the same weekend, and I want to attend for the Sunday marketplace events.  This year, I won't be able to take a class -- I really DO want to go to Grayslake for at least a day.  But it will be good to talk with friends and prospective (or actual) vendors in the market for some hours.

WHEW.  Makes me tired just to think about it.

More soon.


Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Workshops -- Third Coast Fiber Arts Festival

Update:   The listing (without descriptions) of 3rd Coast workshops is now available at our website,  I find it just plain gorgeous - hope you do, too.  It will take us a couple of weeks to get the registration on line -- but we'll do it.  Stay tuned.     svb