Posted on March 23, 2014 at 8:39 pm

Last weekend I drove down to Cambridge a few times to do a lot of talking about the things that keep me up at night. And people willingly listened, which is the best part. It seems I am not alone with the up-at-night thing when it comes to textile history and technique, so it was my great pleasure to entertain and be entertained by the terrific folks at the Common Cod Fiber Guild as part of their annual Fiber Camp.

Friday night, I delivered a slide show lecture about the social history of the Coast Salish Knitters and their Cowichan Sweaters. I brought a couple of examples from my small collection, and I wore my Takoma, which was inspired by Salish designs, and was featured in the 2011 Deep Fall issue of Knitty. Everyone seemed very interested, and asked great questions throughout. And they got to pet the sweaters afterwards, of course.

nanaimoindianschoolphoto from the City of Vancouver Archives

Saturday, I taught three technique classes and had such a great time with all the enthusiastic knitters who came to learn. I was gobsmacked to find about 30 students waiting for my Terrors of Intarsia class after lunch. And I don’t think I managed to frighten one of them. What a brave lot!

IMG_5867photo from Sheeri here

After class, I met up with TheaBristol, Alison, MisaEllen, Melissa, and Erin for some liquid courage over at The Meadhall near Kendall Square before we returned to the Tang Center to stage a fashion show of our favorite designs for the last item of the day. We conscripted plenty of good sports to model everything, so Ellen could line up her sweater/dress project in its rainbow glory all at once.


Sheeri caught every thing in her photo stream, so I recommend you toggle over there for a visual. All of the smiles and mid-gesture hands should give you a good idea of what fun it all was, especially for those of us in the show, to hear how each of us brings our inspiration into a new design. I for one got to see Bristol Ivy’s Thorn up close (right to the top of the queue that one went) and her new design, Oranmore, in Clara Parke’s new yarn several days before both of them went live. What an incredible yarn that Cormo is, soft and bouncy with amazing stitch definition, and sadly it’s all sold out. Perhaps this will encourage Clara to do a round two, you never know.

I was also excited to see Misa’s work all in one place (she’s an amazing artist with color and applies stranded technique to a real modern sensibility), and I also got to baby-sit Amy Christoffer‘s scrumptuous sweaters for the day, since she couldn’t join us (new job as Creative Director at Berroco, don’t you know? she’s already writing blog posts for them, so check her out over there). We north of Boston knitters are losing both Alison and Amy to Berroco, so this was a kind of last hurrah and a celebratory toast before they packed off to Rhode Island. Sadly as it turned out, Amy was already too busy to come along, thus the sweater baby sitting.

Nobodesigners Bitter sweet though it was, I have to say it’s been a long time since I had so much fun at a fiber event. I’ve found the last few either a bit lonely or overwhelming, so this was a great reminder why I love the social aspect of our craft so much. I so much enjoyed meeting up with Twitter buds, old friends (hi Maureen!) and new faces (you guys know who you are). So thank you, all you amazing and generous people at Common Cod, for the most refreshing and fun weekend of my winter.