Mary Jane Mucklestone!!!

The American Queen of Fair Isle Knitting, Mary Jane Mucklestone at the Farnsworth Museum in Rockland, Maine. Mary Jane is holding my knitting and balancing on one leg because her class sample is on her raised right leg! She does it all!

YOU GUYS!!! I took a class with Mary Jane Mucklestone!!!

Late last week, my co-worker, Glenda, shared with me that she was going to take a class at the Farnsworth with Mary Jane Mucklestone. Needless to say, I was hoping that my calendar and husband would be supportive of me doing the same … and that there would still be space in the class when I signed up! The knitting gods were smiling in my favor so on Saturday afternoon, Glenda and I, driven by my handsome hubby, went to Rockland!

Mary Jane is a wonderful and knowledgable teacher. The class was inspired by my friend and knitting idol, Katharine Cobey, who has a one woman show at the Farnsworth through April 12, 2020. Go see the show. It’s magnificent. I blogged about it here. Katharine made famous diagonal knitting and the class was a Fair Isle design based on “diagonal” knitting but the Fair Isle way. Mary Jane was kind enough to bring one pattern for her Flying Geese Cowl about which she had intended to teach the class. She also was inspired to design another cowl pattern very shortly (days) before the class was to happen and we also got that cowl. It is, as yet, unnamed.

Choosing Colors

We learned a lot about choosing colors when knitting in the Fair Isle way. We were to come to class with an inch or so of ribbing in a dark, high-contrast color. I chose an Ella Rae Classic Wool in a dark charcoal gray. (Details on all my yarns are on my Ravelry project page. Find me on Ravelry, I’m “lindar”.) I brought a bunch of leftovers from my stash in various colors that I like which you can see above. Since you don’t need a whole lot of any one color, in this case, I brought bits and bobs. We needed three colors to really have some fun and I finally chose the creamy white Galway worsted and the one right next to it which is an ice blue colorway in a Paton’s Classic wool. All three are worsted weight and plain old wool.

While we were knitting, Mary Jane serenaded us with stories and tales about her travels to and knitting from Fair Isle. She is a wonderful story teller and full of knitting knowledge. I really enjoyed listening to her talk. She brought TONS of samples of Fair Isle motifs, talked about and demonstrated how some yarn colors, shades and tones, play well together – or don’t. It was a wonderful day.

Glenda, my co-worker, has finished knitting her Flying Geese cowl and she was blocking it when we last spoke. I must be knitting too slowly. I am planning to finish my cowl today because we have a snow day today so it’s an unexpected “free” day to sit in my atelier to knit. I don’t think I have to tell you that both cowls are fun to knit and a good way to learn to knit with two colors at a time (and you don’t have to catch the floats!)

I offered and Mary Jane has accepted me as a test knitter for this pattern and I am happy to oblige. Deadline is 2/13/2020 … so I had best stop “talking” and go knit!

Gone knitting!

Proof. Fan girl photo! Thanks for obliging me, Mary Jane!

Queen Bee Knits Maine Knitting Retreats?

 

View of the lake from the guest cabin

View of the lake from the guest cabin

I’m a little bit afraid to put it out there but being fearful just holds me back. So, with that said, I am putting it out there that I am thinking about hosting some weekend knitting excursions/retreats at our home in Central Maine.

I am privileged to live in a beautiful place. In my opinion, it’s the most beautiful place. Our house is five feet from a clean, clear lake and all the wonder that comes with it – loons, fishing, swimming, water skiing, boats, canoes, bald eagles, ducks, and more.

We have a little cabin on our property where we’ve been living for the past six months with our three dogs. It’s not fancy but it’s comfortable.  When I am done with the cabin renovation, it will sleep three or four comfortably with a shared bath and a little kitchenette. My thought is to have guests rent the guest cabin and we’ll do a lesson or two on our porch. I’ll provide a simple continental breakfast each day and then you’ll be on your own for dinner. I will provide you with a fiber map of great fiber-y places to visit while you’re here and great places to eat. Everything is within reach in about an hour and a half.

I’m thinking that a group of friends would have a ball up here. I know I have a ball with my friends and family here! Cocktail cruise in our boat one night, a road trip one day and some knitting on our porch with a lesson or two from me. It’ll probably be a year or so away … maybe more on the “so” end because we have to build a garage next year and the cabin will likely be following that project. So, unless you want to come and be really camp-y, it’s a way off. But I’m putting it out there.

Sunrise on Messalonskee

Sunrise on Messalonskee

I want to share this beautiful place and all the fiber-y goodness that Maine has to share. Prime weekends will be the Maine Fiber Frolic weekend in June or the Common Ground Fair in September. Not that we can’t do it for more than a weekend.

Pricing is yet to be worked out, but I’m thinking and dreaming. If you’re interested, let me know. Have any ideas or suggestions? I’m all ears!

Queen Bee Knits Maine Knitting Retreats. Love it!

 

Teaching Calendar

You may know (if you follow me on Facebook) that I’ve posted my teaching calendar for November and December.

I love teaching knitting. It allows me to share this craft that I am so passionate about and it gives me a setting where I can meet all kinds of new people.

I need to come up with some ideas about what FUN classes to teach after the basics are learned! I think I’ll run to the store today and “steal” a ball of the ruffled yarn and make a scarf for the open house on Saturday … and did I mention that all the classes purchased on Saturday are half price?!

Classes purchased on Saturday (at Michaels in Sanford between 11am and 3pm) at our Open House are half price! HALF PRICE!

To see my teaching schedule for September through December click HERE! And then come in on Saturday to sign up and pay for half price classes through 2013! I promise that we’ll have fun!

Gone knitting!

Get ‘er Done! I’m back and Teaching!

I’ve been getting all of my teaching stuff back out and am heading to Michael’s (Sanford) to  put my “story board” in the classroom and to put printed calendars for September and October out in the store.

I just heard that we have an Open House on Saturday, September 8, 2012 from 11am to 3pm. Wonder if our classes will be offered at half price?! It’s a good way to get two classes for the price of one!

I love teaching people to knit and I am looking forward to sharing this craft with others so that it lives on!

Visit my “Teaching at Michaels” page to see the schedule for September and October … I’ll see you in class!

Gone knitting!

Call Me “Teacher”

I haven’t written a lot about knitting in the last few posts. You must think I’m not knitting …

Well, I certainly am knitting but it’s been such an odd assortment of “oddities” that you may not believe it. I’ve finished a seed stitch bordered baby blanket and a newborn hat to match. I have finished a seed stitch dog jacket, as yet unnamed, to add to the Prima Dogma line by Queen Bee Knits. It turned out really cute, if I do say so myself! No pictures yet, sorry!

I’ve also been working on samples and demos at the Michaels store where I’ll be teaching knitting in April. I am not sure whether I misunderstood or if the store managers were unclear but, whatever, we’ll figure it out! I’ve got a calendar together for April and have sent out two emails to potential students who have been interested enough to give me their contact information. Signs will go up in the store next week when I get back from my trip to Chicago – in the yarn aisle. I’ll also have a few samples … I hope! I’ll be knitting them in Chicago with my own yarn. A couple of hats and a couple of fingerless mitts … and I’m hopeful that the classes will be attended!

I’ve knitted one uterus for the “government free v-jj” project headed by Annie Modesitt and another of her friends. I’m getting political? Who knew? But it’s fun to have an opinion and take the risk of sending a knitted female body part to a couple of Florida politicians. One as a thank you and one as a “hands off my uterus!”. 🙂

I’m also knitting swatches for my certification. I’d love to get them all finished and sent off by the end of the month. Not sure it will happen but it’s a goal to head toward.

All in all, life is good and I am feeling lighter and more hopeful. It’s nice to have a job to come home to after our summer vacation. Time to get some Queen Bee Knits patterns ready for test knitting (look out Ravelry! and Knit or Knot!) and to get some pieces knitted up for my shop.

Gone knitting … well, at least I’ll be dreaming about knitting!