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Kentucky Sheep and Fiber Festival

May 24, 2011

Hi Spud & Chloë Friends,

I am back from Lexington, Kentucky and it was a fine weekend of fiber and animals and hot weather. I had a terrific time and I want to share a bit of the weekend with you here. Above is Luna having her bottle break. Luna belongs to my host, Dianne, who had a booth with her homegrown sheep, roving, yarns and knit goodies on sale. Boy, does she ever work hard. Thanks to Dianne for inviting me and making my stay such a comfortable one. You are a gracious and kind host.

I taught a busy and big class on Saturday morning to a group of enthusiastic Spud & Chloë at the Farm knitters. We made a mouse from the book and everyone worked so hard. I was excited to see Mandy again (in the white shirt). She had come to a signing I did in Lexington about 4 years ago.

Spud & Chloë yarn was everywhere you looked and the mice were furiously being knit up. I did loads of demonstrations for small groups as the class progressed. I showed techniques for Spud’s twisted loop stitch, French knots (for the mouse’s eyes),  how to embroider a spider web (for Chloë’s eyes), how to stitch on ears and arms and heads effectively, how to secure face embroidery and stitch small features and how to make and secure whiskers (on the mouse and Barn Cat in the book). We also went over stuffing tips and tricks and general toy making information. It was a busy class.

Here we have a mother-daughter team and a fast mouse knitter in the forefront. There was so much chatting and comraderie amongst the group. It was really fun and relaxing. I loved it.

I always have trouble remembering every name but I do remember Janice in the center. She and her friend (on the right) drove from Indiana to come to the class. In fact, I don’t think anyone in the class was actually from Lexington. In addition to Inidana, there were people from Ohio and all over Kentucky. I even met The Knit Girllls (check out their video podcast!) who drove from Mississippi (7 hours!) and there were two nurses who read about the festival on my blog and drove from outside of Chicago to come. That is so incredible and fun. I really can’t get over that.

Making a mouse can be serious business….

The class was big and fun. A few completed mice left at the end and the rest were almost completed. It’s fun to take a class and leave with something finished or almost finished to take home.

This is Vicki and she is a yarn shop owner. I loved meeting her.

At the end of class I signed books for everyone and there were lots of photos taken. I had a super-duper gift bag from Blue Sky Alpacas and Spud & Chloë for the attendees. I had a giveaway for a few extra patterns and a few extra hanks of Blue Sky Worsted Cotton that I threw in my bag. It’s a fun way to end the class and a big thank you goes to Blue Sky for the constant support and generosity.

This is one of my Ravelry friends, Bren. She is participating in the Spud Knitalong and brought her in-progress Spud with her as did several other knitters. That is so fun to see and she was so fun to meet in person. Finished Spuds are popping up everywhere. I love this photo because Bren looks so proud of her Spud! It makes me smile every time I see it. Isn’t that cute?

More signing….

This table had a group of four that came together from Estill County. They were amazing. I have to point out Barb on the left. Barb has been a longtime supporter of mine and online friend. It’s been years now. She warms my heart with her positive and genuinely kind comments, emails and support. It was such an honor to finally get to meet her in person. She was so funny as I was waiting on pins and needles to meet her. Class was starting and no one had introduced themselves as Barb to me yet. I had to ask, “Is Barb here?” I thought maybe she hadn’t made it to the class. Then Barb raised her hand and said she hadn’t said anything to me because she didn’t want to scare me. That is so funny and sweet and charming. Her friend, Keith, was an incredibly fast and meticulous knitter. Barb and her gang were so much fun in class. Thank you all for coming.

Diana, in the floral shirt, has 12 kids. That’s right, twelve! And she home schools. I was so interested in her amazing story and her open heart. She is a humble and hard working soul and I felt so honored to meet her and I love that she finds the time to knit in her hectic life.

I’ll leave you with a photo of Wendy’s that she let me share. Click here to see Wendy’s finished mouse and her adorable daughter giving the mouse a good squeeze. Wendy knit the Wrap Me Up Puppies (made in Blue Sky Skinny Cotton in Itty-Bitty Toys) in her own version with Blue Sky Organic Cotton that her daughter just loves, too. Click here to see that excellent work as well. Wendy is a fun and vivacious knitter!

In the afternoon on Saturday I had a really nice signing event, too. I signed lots and lots of books and Dianne, my host sold lots books. I love it when people bring a stack of my books and then apologize for bringing all of them for me to sign. I LOVE that more than anything and there isn’t an author out there who wouldn’t love it. I also love when the books are well-worn and loved with coffee stained and dog-eared pages and a broken-in binding. That is the best.

Thank you to everyone who organized and attended the Kentucky Sheep and Fiber Festival. It was a huge hit and a fun event! I hope I can come back again in the future.

I am almost done with a new Rib and Lace Scarf  in the new Skydiver colorway of Sweater. I will be back to share that very soon. It is gorgeous!

Have a good start to your week.

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