On Saturday we headed over to New Hampshire to the Northeast Handspinner's Association Open House held at the Lawrence Barn Community Center in Hollis. The barn was originally located somewhere else. They numbered all of the wood, disassembled it and rebuilt it on a new location. It had a great country feel to it with high ceilings and all of the beams showing. It was a sunny day so we had no problem staying warm and enjoying the light.
The day start with Robin Hansen giving a presentation on "New England Mittens." She had lots of stories paired with mittens on her how her research developed over the years. I loved the various personalities that she described with the harsh Maine accents.
After the presentation, we broke for lunch and some shopping. I bought some copper pressed buttons, some hand painted pins with sheep and hearts on them, and some tussah silk from Cooper Designs:
I also bought 2 of Robin's books. The first was one I knew I wanted already called Ultimate Mittens: 28 Classic Patterns to Keep You Warm. There are so many great techniques in this book that I'm seriously thinking about knitting each pair throughout next year. The second book was for my son called The Ice Harbor Mittens that has a great story for kids on the magic of handmade mittens. Robin signed both books and personalized the Ice Harbor one for my son. He loved that! I didn't realize until later that she was also selling the pattern and yarn as a kit to make a pair of Compass Mittens. I placed an order for a kit in blue and white and received it already this week. It's definitely my next social knitting project to get cast on.
The afternoon presentation felt more off the cuff. Robin demonstrated string stories during her talk entitled "Witches, Whores & Knitting Women" and focused on the mythology (or lack of ) for knitting. We also discussed knitting stories that have been passed down through the generations. I found it enjoyable and knit during both sessions.
I enjoyed the day and it really made me want to go to The Gathering in Maine next year. They recently posted the classes and I'm already working on the logistics for attending. The cost of membership to the Northeast Handspinner's Association is minimal, I would recommend joining for any spinner looking to learn more about spinning and fiber arts in general.