A couple of Sundays ago I boarded a ferry bright and early to go teach at Altman's Needlearts in Mattituck, NY. I was happy. Any gig that includes ferry travel turns out fabulously, in my experience.
The shop is delightful. It's full of great yarn, interesting materials for other maker/needlarty pursuits, fun displays, tools, patterns and handmade gifts and cards. (Really great cards, among other snobbery, I am a card snob)..... Kate Altman fills her shop well.
She invited my co-author Kirsten Kapur and I to teach, and booksign Drop Dead Easy Knits. The only thing missing was Mary Lou Egan our third partner, who lives way off in Minnesota. (we wave, sadly).
Kirsten taught the Glama Wrap project. I caught part of the class and wish I could have sat through it all. Kirsten brought swatches showing ways to think about modifying the pattern, how it would look in different yarns.....seriously, I have been living with this pattern since we started the book three years ago, you'd think I'd know all this, yet I still saw it in new ways. I love how she teaches.
I taught a 10 Tips for Photographing Your Knits class. This is Rachel, who works at the shop, sitting in as a gorgeous model for us when we did a little shooting. We did the class on our smartphones, allowing me to crunch in some iphone-ography editing tips as well. Totally fun! My only regret (cringing to admit this)--I forgot to turn on the bluetooth in my phone, so my selfie-stick missed the group class shots. Rookie error!
This was my first trip to Mattituck, on the western edge of the North Fork of Long Island. It is so worth a trip to this shop and charming little village--the block with Altmans also has a winetasting room for a vineyard, a cheese shop, a chocolate shop and a really good sandwich and salad deli. There was coffee too. Like...couldn't you just live there? The beach isn't far away so..let's see, yarn, coffee, wine swimming..yeah. I'm good.
Then I noticed these stunning crocheted blankets in the shop.They remind me a bit of the gazillion pieces I've pinned by French artist Sophie Digard..,,but these were different and wholly original. Kate pulled out more and more. They're the work of Evy Leonard, a crochet artist in Brooklyn who really has brilliant color & design instincts and a lot of fingering weight yarn. Let me blow your mind with a few more, OK?
I mean...even if you had a pattern that showed you the motifs for the squares, and suggested the yarns, you still couldn't replicate the blending mixtures of solid, hand dyed, variegated and speckled yarns and scraps she uses to make these. Did I mention they are fingering weight?
I almost overlooked this one, which is more neutrals and duller shades. It might be my favorite.
All of them are a good argument for never throwing away a scrap. And also for buying someone else's handmade brilliance when you find it. (contact Kate at Altman's if you feel the same way).
Sailing home. A brilliant day. My theory about ferry travel gigs held up.