Spring morning at Graves Mountain Lodge

We’re back to work this morning after a great weekend of iffy weather but lots of fiber fun and TKD’ing for the boys. Kit and I spent the day out at bursting-with-Spring Graves Mountain Lodge in Syria, VA.

We were there with over 50 other fiber-fanatics who converged on the lodge for Dog House Yarn’s 2nd Annual Spring Knitting Workshop. Kit and I got out there early (arriving just at 8 a.m.) to help the vendors set up:

  1. Jane from Spring Gate Farm with her luscious cashmere (and my cashmere designs). Kit did most of the work helping Jane set up and enjoyed spending much of the morning with all the vendors while I did the “meet and greet” and worked the DHY table
  2. Lawre from Lawre’s Laine was there with her lovely daughter Becky, setting up her array of needle cases, hand-made buttons, scissors holders and other “stuff for your fluff” (she also had the circular needle case I’d ordered from her last week at Bedford — see the picture at the bottom of this post … she did a wonderful job and I’ve asked for a straight needle case to match).
  3. Elisabeth from Wolle’s Yarn Creations … a woman who I met last week in Bedford and bought a “cake” of her amazing blended cotton yarn. If you’ve not seen this stuff … it’s gorgeous. Kit actually won a skein in the door-prizes Rosanne and the vendors offered for the workshop participants.
  4. Anna from Cloth-n-Clay brought her amazing array of sheep-themed pottery (incl yarn bowls, mugs and a plate that I barely resisted bringing home with me).
  5. Diane from The Camel Shoppe … a fiber artist who sells hand-dyed yarns and roving for spinners … gorgeous stuff!

Sittin' and knittin' on the porch before the workshop started

So while we were setting things up … the early-birds took advantage of the lovely spring morning and sat on the porch and knitted and chatted away. I’m thinkin’ that part of the workshop was worth the price of admission — a chance to knit and chat with like-minded, fellow-fiber-fanatics is not to be tossed away lightly!

But Rosanne had put together a wonderful workshop for all: a talk by fellow knitter and Peace Corps volunteer, Lisa Spinks, who has spent several years in Panama helping the local women with their handcrafts and Melissa Weaver Dunning (a native Virginian) a master story-teller, folk-singer, weaver and knitter, who was the keynote speaker for the workshop. She did a program of songs covering sheep-to-shawl … and boy can she sing! She also did a wonderful overview of the history of knitting from the British Isles (a subject near and dear to my heart!). She has an amazing knowledge-base of traditional knitting and showed many fine examples of the different styles of Arans, Ganseys, Fair Isle, Faroese, and other British knitting styles. It really was a fascinating talk! She did an afternoon session on hand-dyeds but since I was teaching about color-knitting at the same time (and I’ve yet to find a way to bi-locate!), I missed that talk.

Traditional British knits: lace and sweater swatches from Melissa Weaver Dunning

Here are some of the swatches Melissa shared with us … swatches showing the traditional Shetland Island lace-knitting and mini-sweaters to show the myriad of colors on traditional Fair Isle “jumpers”. I was fortunate to sit with Melissa at lunch and enjoyed picking her brain a bit about the different knitting traditions and other aspects of teaching and knitting and fiber fanaticism. Melissa has been involved with the Joseph C. Campbell Folk School for many years … a place where I’d love to teach and study!

Interesting side note: we’ll both be teaching at the Shenandoah Valley Fiber Festival in September if you’d like to catch up with both of us!

After a delicious, truly Southern style mid-day dinner … we had a fun show-and-tell with the participants showing what they’d made or were currently working on. I had been wearing my Sunburst Spectacular all morning (a design we had included in the goodie bags for all participants) so I thought I’d change it up a bit and don my Pervenche Poncho … another lace design that has proven popular on Ravelry. I also showed “My Wild Irish Rose” … a design I’m about half-way thru using Elisabeth’s “magnolia” colorway.

So what were the boys doing while Kit and I were off having fiber fun?

The boys were busy, too!

After their morning chores (Kit is VERY thankful for having avoided those this weekend!), dh took them to their first Tae Kwon Do tournament. Supreme Grand Master Seong, a 9th degree black belt and the “father” of our local dojang, hosted the tournament at his main dojang.

The boys not only competed … but competed very well indeed …

I came home to four trophies — HotRod (9) won 1st place for sparring and 2nd place for breaks; HamBone (13) won a 2nd place sparring and 3rd place for form … not bad for their first-ever tournament!

Thank goodness it was a rainy Sunday — after Mass and breakfast at our favorite spot, we came home and rested from our weekend!

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