Friday, September 09, 2005

Back Home

Well mostly back home. The trip to Oertha was wonderful. The hospitality, as always, was the best! It is really very nice to be wanted. I was quite honored when I found out that I was only the 2nd person they had flown up to teach and the first was a well known (as in across ALL the Kingdoms) Duke/Laurel/teacher.

The classes went well. Felt I wasn't always "on", but everyone who took the classes eventually worked their way through the techniques. I had 3-8 students per class. The most amazing was a young lady (?13-ish) who picked up some of the stuff faster than the others. She was quite shy and quiet, but by the end was joking with the rest of us. Hope to see some of her work several years from now. She is really quite amazing.

We stayed in a very nice house, complete with cat. We were the only ones staying there and our hostess took very good care of us. Of course she did take us around on Friday to several tempting shops and yes I did spend money. The first was a yarn shop that carries QuViuk which is wool from the underbelly of a muskox. It is THE softest wool I have ever touched. You knit it lacey so that it holds air. It is extremely warm. Of course it is also VERY expensive. Ah well. The shop was in a 3 story - log cabin house out in the woods. The lady also carries a wonderful variety of products including some I'd never seen before. Very dangerous place.

Next was a stop at A Weavers Yarn. Susan who runs the shop is a delight. She is excited about new products and really works to support the interests of her eclectic customers. I left her with a list of websites and products that I was introducing to the group so she could followup if there was interest. The shop is a mix of spinning, dyeing, weaving, needlework, and other textile products. I bought a carved horn awl (local product), a couple books, and a kit on African embroidery. She gave me some silk cocoons and introduced me to some new paternayan yarn on the market. It is a bit rougher and I think will work well for our kneeling carpet projcet. She will act as procurer for us.

Then off to another shop - The Spinning Room. Marnie does beads, dyeing, spinning, and weaving classes. The shelf of threads she has dyed over the years is wonderful -- a whole dyeing history and colors that make my fingers itch for a needle. She is currently into doing the fused glass and some metalwork. The back room has several large looms and she should be very proud of the beautiful weaving she has done.

Fairbanks is large, but not. It is hard to explain. It covers miles, but it is not densely populated. There is a Lowes, Walmart, Home Depot, Michaels, JoAnns, etc. The stores are huge. It takes maybe 15-20 minutes to cross town. The air is dry so with the weather in the 50/60's it was comfortable. Nights dropped to 30's and they had had their first frost just before we arrived. The trees were turning gold and it was a lovely sight to see. Had some Northern Lights on the flight up, but just green, white, yellow. If you like open space and quiet - Fairbanks is a nice blend of civilization and edge of the universe.

Now back to reality and finishing the project portion of my column. Finished the column and submitted it before going, but didn't finish the stitching. Need to do that today, so off to stitch.

PS I'm trying to add a ticker, which I found courtesy of In a Minute Ago, to lead up to THE party.

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