Still (of course) at Yarn Expo III in Anchorage. Today I had the pleasure of meeting two people whom I’ve "known" for many years but never met before. When I was the editor of Spin-Off magazine (1987-2000), I published their work. But I’d never met them in person.
Amy Durgeloh was teaching spindle spinning classes at the Expo and Alice Scherp was a student in the lace-knitting class that Donna Druchunas taught. Amy’s on the left and Alice is on the right, wearing a qiviut lace smoke-ring (or shaped wimple) with beads. She spun the yarn, of course. You can’t see all her wonderful, subtle colors in the photo, unfortunately.
Alice knits absolutely exquisite laces, and has for years. Her work is both inventive and precise. It was in the Spring 1989 and Winter 1990 issues. A piece of hers should have been on Spin-Off’s cover, but covers are unpredictable and that didn’t end up happening during my time at the magazine.
When I walked into Amy’s classroom, I knew that the people who had signed up for her workshop in spindle spinning were in just the right hands. On each chair was a hand-sewn bag with everything they would need: spindle, fiber, and senses of playfulness and delight—also provided in person by their instructor.
Amy made all the spindles for her class. She had extra spindles, too. I bought one—it was too nice and too simple to pass up. She wrote up some of her spindle ideas for the Fall 1998 issue of Spin-Off (1998 was one of my favorite years to edit . . . a lot of fantastic ideas came together all at once). There are more of them in A Handspindle Treasury.
We’ve had rain and chilly weather—perfect knitting and spinning days—but today dawned bright and clear. I decided to spend part of the afternoon outside. The Tony Knowles Coastal Trail runs along the body of water known as Knik Arm. Downtown Bicycle Rental is a few blocks from the hotel. The guys there outfitted me with a nice Cannondale hybrid bike, gave me some tips on what gears to use to maybe actually not walk up the killer hill at the end (if I got that far), and I pedaled down near the water to the trailhead. Here’s the bike, on a woodsy part of the trail. The front fork says "Silk Road" on it, which I thought was appropriate. My bike at home says "Spinner," probably even more appropriate. (Donna, whose camera I am borrowing, says there’s a delayed timer and I could have been in the photo with the bike. That would have been fun. Oh, well.)
Here’s some of what I saw while I rode. Somebody correct me if I have the names wrong, please. The Chugach Mountains:
The clouds around Mount Foraker (left) and Denali (right) disappeared for a while (I think they’re 100 miles away, so somewhat ethereal here):
The mud flats along the edge of Knik Arm:
And three moose, whose pictures I didn’t take. It didn’t seem polite to rush through and snatch their photos. On the way out, a cow and a calf ate grass in one of the most city-like stretches of the trail. On the way back, another adult (I think a cow) was ambling toward, and about to cross, the trail when I got there.
The bike shop’s map and short descriptions were terrific. The gearing suggestions worked. My knees can tell I haven’t done that kind of ride in about forty years.
Perfect morning + perfect afternoon.
And a really good dessert at the conference dinner: a cross between chocolate mousse and tiramisu.
--Homefront, checking in
The bike ride looks like it was through amazing country. And you got a really good dessert as a reward afterward! How much better can it get?