My mom has often said that alpaca people are the best people. Nice, friendly, helpful, down to earth and supportive of each other. The same goes for knitters in my opinion. My parents definitely have more experience with the alpaca side of things and the alpaca people that I have met are through them are amazing people. I have brought a lot of knitters and knitting enthusiasts into the farm. And in my opinion, fiber junkies, knitters, crocheters, and spinners are also the best people. I think we all go hand in hand and make an awesome pairing.
Over the past year, I have been teaching knitting at the farm.
I have enjoyed every minute of this new adventure. As a self taught knitter, I struggled a lot in the beginning...watching online videos, taking book after book out of the library, having lots of fails and successes. I kept trying...practicing...learning...enjoying...to get to the point where I am today.
I certainly still have a lot to learn as all knitters will tell you. There is always a new technique to learn, to try, to decide what you prefer. New patterns to test. New yarns to squish and love. New needles to test out. Knitting is a never ending learning experience. And as an advanced knitter (I think I can call myself that at this point) I remember what it felt like to be a brand new knitter. To feel awkward with the yarn, feeling like it was all going to fall apart, remembering how to cast on, bind off...etc. But enough about me. This wasn't supposed to be about me.
It's about community. The alpaca and fiber community.
People walk into our little world of Arrow Acres Farm every week.
They comment on the smell of the store. (It's the wood burning stove and Sage candle combo by the way.) It takes people back in time to a slower pace, simpler times. It reminds them of their grandmother's old stove. They remember their mothers, grandmothers, aunts that taught them to crochet or knit as a child. Memories come back, smiles are on their faces and we instantly have something to talk about. The alpacas make them smile. My dad takes them on a tour, shows the kids how to feed an alpaca a carrot, tells some jokes. My mom sits at the spinning wheel after all her farm chores are done and she can finally SIT and RELAX for a little while.
I usually have a lesson going on, or some knitting taking place.
It's just a really special place here and I can't really explain it.
I have been fortunate to have amazing people sit at my knitting table.
I become a part of their life. What's going with them, good, bad, and everything in between.
We talk about more than knitting, that's for sure. We laugh. We are therapy for each other.
We give advice, we are an ear to someone going through a hard time.
And all at the same time, there is yarn. Yarn creates a community.
From the animal, to the roving, to the spinning wheel, the swift and ball winder, to the needles in my hands.
It's a process and it connects us.
And if you're really lucky like I am, your knitters bring you gifts :)
They also spoil my littlest guy, Chase. He gets ice cream money from Purple Debbie every time she sees him. He got an adorable tote filled with stickers and markers and color books from Joan.
Here are some pictures from my Fair Isle class yesterday afternoon.
My mom spinning up some fiber from one of her alpacas.
And some of the goodies my students have given me...
"Seashore Sharon" sewed me this adorable project bag!!!
And introduced me to Post it rolls!!!!!! The perfect tool for following along with knitting charts!
Right?!!??!!! How great is this?! And she told me to keep the roll. She also made us all chocolates, but I ate them before I could take a photo.
Handmade stitch markers from Robin and Joella! I mentioned how much I love the Miss Bab stitch marker you get with your yarn purchase. A simple metal ring with a bead so it doesn't catch on your knitting. THANK YOU!!!!!!!
So, to keep this community strong and going, I am extending this space to a Ravelry Group.
I will be posting classes, questions, maybe some knit a longs, etc.
You can find me at: http://www.ravelry.com/groups/arrow-acres-farm
Thank you for stopping by and listening to me ramble on and on. It's therapy for me too :)