There's just about nothing I like more than riding the ferry in the San Juan Islands in the upper northwest corner of Washington state. I was attending Deb Robson's Explore 4 spinning retreat--after a morning spent trying out fleeces from different primitive breeds, we had the afternoon free to explore the island. Every day the ferry makes a 3-hour run between the islands, taking school children and workers home, and we hopped on two different days.
Residents of the islands tell me that the ferry is a necessary evil--you can see people working jigsaw puzzles, walking laps around the boat, or napping. We visitors, however, remain transfixed by the scenery. I was lucky enough as a teenager and young adult to be friends with a family that lived on one of these islands, and this route always fills me with joy coupled with a bittersweet sense of time passing. These views remain deeply embedded in my heart, no matter how settled I am into my California life.
The early afternoon sunset inspired me to pull out my Spindrift collection and begin a series of swatches--who knows where this will lead!
- My Fair Isle Yoke Sweater class at Madrona Fiber Arts has some spots open--the fact that it falls on a Sunday that is also Valentines Day has left many classes uncharacteristically available, so if you've heard that it's impossible to get in, take another look!
- Hunter Hammersen has a new book out, Fine Things for Plain Occasions, and it looks like a wonderful collection of accessory patterns. She's got a pre-publication offer you'll want to check out.
- Have you heard about Susan Crawford's Vintage Shetland project? She's working with the Shetland Museum to recreate 25 garments in their collection--this looks like a must-have book for any Fair Isle enthusiast's library.
- The Neighborhood Fiber Company has created a beautiful new color way--Sans Frontieres--to challenge us to move from grief to action. 100% of all sales will be donated to Medicins sans Frontieres/Doctors without Borders. Hanks of this yarn would make lovely presents for your knitting friends and family!