Mary Jane’s Calendar

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Oh no!

Mon 28 Jul 2014 05:07pm

Bad blogger! Totally didn’t blog in Alaska! The best event EVAH! Here’s  a QUICK travelogue-retrospective… be sure to also check my Instagram Feed to see way more pictures of the NetLoft’s AMAZING Friends and Fiber event.











I was barely back to Maine before I split for Shetland!!! Lordy!

Gudrun Johnston and I are in the midst of taking a happy crew of knitters around Shetland for a week …Gudrun and Mary Jane’s Grand Shetland Adventure. Follow us on Instagram ( ( (hashtag #shetlandadventure) I’ll be posting images more than words…because we’re having too much fun in real life to hook up to the cyber world! Ah the truth…but hey! You know…a picture worth 1,ooo words right?



The Palouse Fiber Arts Festival

Wed 11 Jun 2014 06:06pm

The Palouse – just google it. Marvel at the beauty. Endless rolling beauty. Now imagine a Fiber Arts Festival in that neighborhood! What does it say? Road Trip!

Google Images of “The Palouse”

When is it? This weekend, June 13, 2014 – June 15, 2014

Shelley Stone of LYS The Yarn Underground dreamed up and organized this great new event.  Two full days of fiber arts workshops, and a fantastic market featuring lots of local vendors that’s free to the public.

Who’s teaching? Amazing local artist Sarah Swett – total crush, took one of her classes at Madrona – so inspiring – A-Mazing I want to take her Undercover Sketchbook class, but truthfully I’d sign up just to watch her eat breakfast. Amelia Garripoli from the Olympic Peninsula, author of Productive Spinning  and all kinds of articles on fiber, also raises plants for natural dying and animals for fiber – all round expert on everything imaginable! Also local talent and amazing fiber resource Lynn Ruggles , and Mary Scott Huff – the one and only lovely Mary Scott Huff – she’s the speaker on Saturday evening – the topic? All I Need to Know I Learned From Knitting. I love her. I maybe want to marry her. Ok. She’s married, never mind.

Where is it? Moscow Idaho, right on the border with Washington. My mom and I are driving over from Seattle on Friday, taking an extra long time to enjoy touring the scenic byways, stop at every hysterical marker, and visit any old thrift shop we find along the way. Visiting Dusty, Cofax, Steptoe Butte…and maybe even Palouse Falls, although they’re a little bit off our route.


More info here!



Join the Palouse Fiber Arts Festival Facebook Page

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Kentucky Sheep and Fiber Festival Review

Sat 31 May 2014 08:05am

Where else have I been spending my time? Kentucky! The Kentucky Sheep and Fiber Festival in Lexington. Yes indeed. What a great place to visit in the springtime, and what a wonderful, manegable and personal event. I struggled over that last adjetive… but personal seems right, or close to it. It is an intimate affair, very local, with everyone seeming to know one another. Friendly and welcoming too – inclusive, like we were all in on some special secret!

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The event attracts amazing teachers, I again wished I could be taking classes as well as teaching them! Natural dying guru Dagmar Klos, author of The Dyer’s Companion, taught one class using marigolds and another with indigo. Someday I’ll be in one of her classes.

Anne Hanson! Hello! Elegant! She’s got her own line of yarn now – Bare Naked Yarns, all natural sheep colors – I was so lucky lucky lucky to get some – I’ll tell you more about that in another post . Anne taught her amazing Sweater Fitness class as well as beginning lace.

There were spinning and fiber prep classes from Constance Hall, Stephanie Stratton and Jessica Faulhaber. Martha Richards covered Ridgid Heddle weaving and Knitting with Handpainted Yarns. I’m so happy that weaving classes are making a comeback. Nicola Brown had some really creative Felting Classes while Sara Dunham covered Blogging with a side of Photograhy. That’s not all – Soapmaking! Yes Sara Hood taught Learn to Make Goat’s Milk Soap.

Katie Starzman and her sister Laura Poulette were there with Katie’s new book The Knitted Slipper Book fresh off the press and with all the samples. I got the book, why didn’t I take a picture? A darling an delightful duo – follow their adventures on their blog. Creative fun and festive!

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I succumbed to buying yarn…how could I not? It had my name on it! The marketplace is stuffed with interesting local products you just don’t see anywhere else!

As usual for teaching I brought along all of the swatches from my books. A student brought a Burra Bear all the way from Shetland, who was quickly camouflaged amongst them. He was so at home, I hoped he’d hop in my bags. It is time I got one of my own. Burra Bears are one of the great souvenirs from the islands, don’t return home without one!




My students were stellar! So nice! So friendly, they told me all about the area and about themselves. I was invited to the Farm to Table dinner, put on by the local culinary school and an important addition to the festival, held shortly after my classes…but my students let me know that I had time to catch The Preakness, to see if California Chrome would win again… and he did! Now the Belmont for the triple crown! Horse Racing. Who knew I would care. But I do. It is infectious! I’ll be watching – and drinking Kentucky Bourbon – Saturday June 7th.

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As if the Fiber Festival wasn’t enough to lure you to Kentucky, the same weekend the quaint village of Midway has Francisco’s Farm Arts Festival I drove out to see it but got there too late after teaching but the drive and darling town were worth it all on their own.
Kentucky also boasts a Bourbon Trail, so you might just end up spending a week! Or more.

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And as I mentioned … HORSES. Serious Horse country. THE Horse country. Spectacular scenery, all smooth rolling green hills, with white fences and black barns. And it is interesting terrain, for me anyway. You know I like to hike up hills, to get to the top. Well here, you hike down, to cool moody riverbeds… I didn’t have a chance this time but you bet I’m going to come back.

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My last evening I was in for a treat, as I got to stay at the farm of my thoughtful and caring host Dianne MacDonald. You might know her from her blog Sheep Dreams. What a dreamy location she and her husband have for their Tanglewood Farm, in the wee burg of Nonesuch. Beauty in every direction, and oh so many darling sheep!

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Muckle Mitts for Alaska!!

Fri 30 May 2014 07:05pm

I’m going to Alaska soon…and to get in the mood, the Net Loft had a Muckle-Mitt-knit-a-long. Ok I am so lame I forgot to tell you about it here on the blog, but I did let my Ravelry group know…and if you follow me on Instagram, you’ve seen my progress. The yarn is from a kit the Net Loft folks put together with their own exclusive Three Irish Girl’s yarn and Dale of Norway Heilo. The special Cordova Colorway I got is called Sandpiper – the cheery yellows really brightened an otherwise gloomy day. Check my Rav group and the Net Loft’s Ravelry group for other colorways. Here are the latest images.

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At first I was afraid the variegated yarn wouldn’t work, the dark brown was very close in value to the solid charcoal. But the pattern motif is graphic enough that the pattern does not disappear. I especially love the little bits of light blue!


Ok, I got obsessed and started a reverse colorway. Here the pattern is a bit harder to see, but I still like it. I think it will become clearer once I’m finished. I may not have enough yarn for a pair, but I could not resist!!!

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Check out this  AMAZING ALASKAN EVENT, a week long adventure in fiber crafts, June 22-29, 2014!


What the NetLoft says:

We invite you to come join us for an Alaska Fiber Arts weeklong adventure set in Cordova, Alaska, a coastal fishing community nestled between the snowcapped peaks of the Chugach Mountains and the scenic shores of Prince William Sound.

Workshops, lectures, hands-on activities, knit and chat sessions, interlaced with outdoor wildlife experiences, will feature a unique blend of instructors from both around the country and from within our local region.

The Net Loft’s purpose for this event is to create an engaging learning environment to strengthen skills, to encourage the mutual exchange and appreciation of fellow fiber artists, while savoring the value of both old and new friendships.

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