Friday, April 24, 2009

The Shawl Queen

Another wonderful day with Kay. Today we spent all day at the vendor market at Stitches South. Oh, my. Sensory overload. By the end of the day I was tired and a bit unfocused, but Kay was extremely patient with me as I dithered over my final purchase.

We had visited the Skaska Designs booth earlier in the day and I had overheard that Galina (you don't mind if I call you by your first name, do you?) would be returning soon.

Well, I really wanted to see and meet her!

I've been reading about (and frankly obsessing over) Galina Khmeleva and her gossamer shawls since I first read of her in a 1995 "Piecework" magazine**. Neither that issue, with it's article "Cobwebs From the Steppes - Russian Lace Knitted Shawls" nor a later 2000 one is still available, but her two books are available through Interweave Press and last year's LACE issue is still available and has her pattern for a Russian lace scarf. I saw this very piece and dozens of others on display. The finest, truly gossamer pieces you can imagine! In Person! Can you tell it made my day? And what a gracious woman she is.

The other highlight for me was meeting an artist that I had never heard of before - Neal Howard - a weaver from the Smoky Mountains. Her dyed yarn was beautiful, but her woven kimono-type jackets were wearable ART. Such talent. It appears that her website, linked above, is perhaps still being constructed so, sadly, you don't see any of her amazing weaving. If you ever do see her name listed in a show or market, do seek her out.

So, time to put up my tired feet, brew some strong coffee, and paw through the handouts and freebies.

**By the way, RUN don't walk right out and get the May/June issue of "Piecework" the very moment it hits the newstands. It's is the LACE issue and has a new pattern and article by Galina!


Mary said...

What a treat and a treasure to meet your knitting idol! And yarn? Did any yarn follow you home?

kaylace said...

It was a wonderful day...
Sonja and I had a great time. Sonja is my knitting mentor, she is way beyond anything I hope to be in the way of knitting.... the girl was cross eyed by lunch time... She knew who all these people were, the yarn and many of the vendors she follows in podcasts etc... I was just following in her spell. There was yarn from animals that I didn't know people could catch let alone "shave" them :) Yak, Musk Ox were just a few... but silk kept calling my name, every time I picked up a yarn to fondle it... sure enough it was silk... I have nice taste. A good time was had by all...
Thank you for a wonderful day Sonja... I am inspired and blessed.