Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Sitting here with a cold...

Sitting at the computer, wondering why I'm not in bed -- I have the world's most godawful cold, or maybe flu -- disturbing amount of lung congestion, an insanely sore throat -- but it's HARD to just lie in bed.  Nothing to look at -- nothing to knit.  Very hard to read when you can't breathe.  And then I got to thinking about Jenna.   Here she is:

Jenna Woodcox was in the studio the other day -- I first saw her sitting on the floor more or less like this, like a kid in a sand box, utter delight written all over her very pretty face -- a quite handsome young man standing nearby, just as smitten with her as I was... As it turns out, Jenna is a design and arts student with considerable experience in such things as interior design, a formidable crocheter, somebody I would like to hire for a day each week. 

We need to think hard, those of us who are now long in the tooth, about what happens to the knit and crochet business, the MEMORY of knit and crochet, if and when the industry continues to contract, as it is now, after decades of expansion.   Shops are closing; wool is getting more expensive because of scarcity; yarn manufacturers are also feeling the pinch.  Many of the dichroic glass button makers stopped doing it during the Great Recession (reminds me of the way indigo bit the dust more or less permanently in the American Revolutionary years -- the original, REAL royal blue never resurged except among die-hard, natural surface artists and dyers).

I see quite a few Jennas -- many of them male -- in the shop.  We need more.  Let's figure out how to carry these irreplaceable skills into new generations.  If everyone in the shop looks like me (or, for that matter, like Larry), it makes me very nervous.  That's one of the reasons I love it so much that we have the delightful Nick leading a group on Wednesday night.  He's young, brilliant (8 languages!), and a superb fiber artisan. 

Now I'm going to go back to bed.   And, oh, by the way....Artisan Knitworks is moving a half-block away on Grand River Boulevard in April (!!!!).  No more basement stairs to descend.  Stay tuned.  And, no, I won't say any more right now. 


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