Weekend of Workshops in North Georgia, part 1

Throwback Thursday!

Last Fall I had the privilege of teaching to an amazing bunch of knitters in the Atlanta area. The North Georgia Knitting Guild invited me to come teach Mosaic knitting, Intarsia, indigo dyeing and the techniques used to knit the Charleston Indigo Scarf.

It was an intense weekend of teaching, punctuated with great food at local restaurants and some very special times with friends. 

Here are some scenes from the Mosaic and Scarf classes...

Look at all that intense concentration!

Look at all that intense concentration!

Amy shows off her Mosaic panel. And her Bulldog scarf... #gameday

Amy shows off her Mosaic panel. And her Bulldog scarf... #gameday

The  Burgeon Mosaic Bag  in progress.

The Burgeon Mosaic Bag in progress.

Sandy shows off not only her Mosaic, but also her Indigo-dyed blouse from the workshop the day before. #talented

Sandy shows off not only her Mosaic, but also her Indigo-dyed blouse from the workshop the day before. #talented

For the  Charleston Indigo Scarf  class, we first knit a swatch to master the techniques.

For the Charleston Indigo Scarf class, we first knit a swatch to master the techniques.

I admit I'm partial to mother/daughter knitting teams. Cindy and Amanda are so sweet, and if you ever need any fabulous stitch markers, Amanda's got you covered:  Manda's Markers

I admit I'm partial to mother/daughter knitting teams. Cindy and Amanda are so sweet, and if you ever need any fabulous stitch markers, Amanda's got you covered: Manda's Markers

A completed  Reversible Cable Wrap , begun at the 2016 Knit Inn. Love it!

A completed Reversible Cable Wrap, begun at the 2016 Knit Inn. Love it!

Carole shows off the striped look in the Reversible Cable. Great idea!

Carole shows off the striped look in the Reversible Cable. Great idea!

Love the tonal qualities of this one. The lighter color really makes the cable pattern pop, too!

Love the tonal qualities of this one. The lighter color really makes the cable pattern pop, too!

Stay tuned for part 2 of this weekend--the Indigo Dyeing and Intarsia classes!

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Around here lately...

Since it's been quiet here on the website, I thought I'd update you on what's been going on at KnitOasis HQ. 

Plans have been mulled for workshops and retreats, socks have been finished, swatches for new projects have been knit and re-knit. The hubby and I took a couple of lovely days off for our anniversary and went to watch sunsets at a lake.

Another year of homeschooling finished for one kid brought the realization that he only has two more years of this before I will retire my title of Homeschool Mom. When that happens I will have performed that job with varying measures of success for 18 years, and leave that position with no severance and no future prospects for a job in the same field. This may be the point where some would think of forming a union...

With the help of an awesome friend I conducted a very fun indigo dyeing demo at the Georgetown County Museum, during which I dyed, among other things, a hank of wool a gorgeous blue to use at a later date (neck warmer? hat?).

I had some minor surgery which kept me from doing much besides knitting for a couple of weeks. Well, that and watching a lot of movies and TV programs based on Victorian literature.

Then, just as I was returning to normal, it rained a lot at our house and the storm drains backed up and our house flooded again. It was not as bad as last time, but it was a pretty sad thing to watch your pretty, 6-month old flooring get removed and thrown out because it was ruined by floodwater. We didn't lose walls or contents, only floors and baseboards, so despite the mess and inconvenience we are able to live in our home while we wait for new floors and some storm drain maintenance.

In the meantime...classes, events (Charleston Knit in Public Day!) and knitting will continue. We picked out some lovely floors that will, we hope, get installed before the summer is over and last for many, many years to come.

Stay tuned for pics of restoration and new fun knitting patterns, since it seems need to do both simultaneously. Again.

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Connecting with indigo

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There is something about the colors that come out of an indigo vat. 

What starts out a green that is sometimes shockingly bright then transitions as the dye oxidizes to blues.  Depending on the fiber, the vat strength, the length of time (and probably the air temperature), the blues vary from a murky, muddy puddle sort of faded blue jeans shade, to rich, dark, strong blues--not quite navy.  No, in my opinion, the darker shades are never really navy.  They are always, always indigo.  Dark indigo, sure, but indigo.  Indigo at its core.

Indigo dyeing has been around so long and used by so many in so many different places (Egypt, Israel, Africa, Palestine, Chile, Peru, China, Japan, Mali, India, Europe, and America) that it is impossible for me to pull a hank of yarn out of a dye vat and not feel connected.

Indigo dyeing connects me to the past as well as to the present and future, both here and in other parts of the world. I think about people living lives that bear little resemblance to my own, but who also dye with indigo thousands of miles from my backyard. As I stand here in my yard, where once thrived a Colonial indigo plantation, I also think about the people who grew and processed the indigo crop in the 1700's for the family who owned the land. What would they have thought about me putting my thoughts about indigo on a blog, on a website, on the internet, that would then get read by people all over the world, on their phones? Crazy, when you think about it.


Last week I fired up the indigo vats for the first dyeing of 2015, accompanied by other seekers of indigo blue. We are all from different parts of the world, in different seasons of life, with different daily lives, different motivations, different past experiences, and different expectations for our indigo journeys.

Indigo was the common point of connection for us that morning. We shared the vats as well as the excitement and awe of the colors that came out of the vats. We shared the appreciation for the story of Eliza Lucas Pinckney and her successful indigo production here in the Charleston area. We shared the desire to try just one more technique in the vats, creating fabrics that glowed with the fire of natural indigo. 

Like knitting, indigo can bring people together across cultures and eras and connect them in ways that bring beauty to a world that can always use just a little more beauty. 

If you or someone you know would benefit from adding the beauty of indigo to life, be sure to check out my Indigo page.

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