Wednesday, April 23, 2008

A Night With the Sunflower Girls

On Monday night, I went to my Sunflower Guild knitter's meeting. As usual, it was a lot of fun. There are so many people there, that I don't know everyone by name, but I know many of them from past meetings and from Misknits and Knitting in the Heartland. I don't go very often, because it's really off the beaten path for me. Yet every time I go to their monthly meetings, it becomes apparent I should try to get there more often, because I draw a lot of inspiration from their members. Those women REALLY know how to knit - extremely well.
No matter the age or skill level of their members, they are constantly trying new things and challenging themselves to try new techniques. My favorite part of the meeting is where they have a "show and tell." They go around the whole group, one at a time, and every single person, however shy or bubbly, shows off the Finished Objects they've completed or are working on since the last meeting. They usually describe the yarn they are using, and give a heads up on where they bought the pattern. During that part of the meeting, I find myself actually putting down my knitting to make notes or to go feel up someone's luscious yarn.

At this particular meeting, Carmen brought me the sock box that she was selling at the Knitting in the Heartland conference. The demand for her bags was so great that she completely sold out of them at the market and has been feverishly whipping up orders ever since. She made me this one - and guess what? It's like the one Stephanie Japel purchased from her at market. I LOVE the bright orange shade, and it fits nicely inside my huge lime green Laguna bag. If you want one of these bags, Carmen sells them for $25 on her Etsy website.

The program at the Guild this time was done by ShannonB. She did a great job! The topic was Felted Sweater Bags. Remember several years ago, when the book Alterknits came out? Well, there was a chapter in that book about taking 100% wool sweaters from the thrift store, then felting them and cutting them out to make bags.

Shannon has been doing this and making cute bags like this one. Since she knows how to sew, she sews in nice linings, and sometimes pocketed linings, into her bags to make them even more useable. She uses 2 lining pieces and some fusible interfacing, such as Deco-Bond. Her presentation was excellent.

A couple of years ago, when we showed that book to my 92-year-old grandmother, she started buying sweaters from thrift stores, felting them, and whipping out some really cute felted bags from recycled sweaters. Such as this purple one my Mother is holding. At right, is Grammy herself holding a purse in which she used PVC pipe for the handle. Very nice. I always marvel at Grammy's talent and creativity!


Laura said...

Your Mom and Grammy are ahead of their time, huh? How very cool!

I'm glad you had fun at the guild meeting, I so need to go one of these days. I've been a member of TKGA for years and have never been to a real meeting.

Shelly in Omaha said...

Your mother and grandmother are adorable! You are very lucky to have something that you all share a passion for...knitting and yarn.

I'm so glad you had a good time at the Sunflower girls meeting too. I would love to have a group like that to learn from. It seems to me that they really brought a lot to your day. In fact I went to a professional meeting lately that talked to us about surrounding ourselves with people who lift you up. There are so many people in our lives that only drain us... our energy, our emotions, our money, our very essence and vitality. Perhaps we would be better off spring cleaning our lives as well as our homes. These people lift you up. Stick with'em sister! Hugs, Shelly in Omaha

ChelleC said...

Thanks, yeah, we really had fun making those bags two summers ago - Grandma really made some cute ones!

My Mother and Grandmother are both real inspirations to me.