If you cannot read this email, please click here for an online version!
Need me, baby?
Tweet me, baby!  (Twitter Link)
Read me, baby!  (Blog)
 Feed me, baby!
 (RSS Blog Feed)
Annie Face In This Issue

Fall is just starting to arrive in here in Minnesota. The leaves are edging themselves with gold and red, and the air is crips and clear. This means winter is coming, which is beautiful here but lasts about a month too long.

And then there's the end of Winter, not quite Spring period which is most clearly defined by the potholes that pop up on the streets and roads. The potholes are caused by water which seeps into cracks in the road, freezes into the ground, does the work of a mini-glacier and then melts away leaving a trap for car and bike (and sometimes pedestrian.)

The road crews descend, tar and macadam are poured into the holes and when a road gets really bad the entire thing is ripped up, re-graded and repoured.  But why this lesson in highway maintenance? I'm dealing with my own non-seasonal depressions.

Metaphorical Potholes
As I ponder my list of things-I-must-do, niggling reasons why I can't get X, Y or Z done begin popping up.

For instance:

Why am I piling up these stumbling blocks? It's not really like me.  But nothing's been really like me for about 2 years now.

Maybe that's one of the secrets of life: We change - no behavior pattern can define us forever.

In truth, though, I think I'm not dealing with stumbling blocks as much as with potholes. I fall into them on a daily basis, and sometimes I find it very hard to crawl out. These potholes weren't created by a Minnesota Winter, but by several years of living on the harsh emotional edge of loss, with a 50% chance of greater loss (in the metro area...)

It's as if my soul's been through a bad Winter. My creative self went into hibernation, half waking on warm days, but mostly just rolling over and going back to sleep. It's amazing how well one can run on empty.

During the dark days my emotional climate was busy creating potholes, large and small, over any surface that I'd spent the past few years paving with my professional aspirations. And now that I'm waking up and heading back into my creative world, I have to deal with these new traps.

Going Forward
I'm trying to train myself to NOT fall into the pothole, but to walk around them.

I think one of the ways I've unconsciously done this was to cut drastically down on my teaching - there are SO MANY potholes there just waiting to trip me up - and only do 2 or 3 very long trips instead of 10 shorter trips in a year.

When I do find myself flat on my face from a stumble, I think a good course of action might be to get up, assess any damage, then take some time to fill in the pothole that tripped me up.

La Dolce Knit, Sept 2010

Few things sound as amazing as knitting in the Roman countryside, arranged by Tactile Travel.

We meet at Rome Fiumicino airport for the short ride into the hills above the Eternal City. Leisurely days are filled with sightseeing, knitting, and classes.

In addition to my classes, guests will also receive a collection of yarns inspired by the Castelli Romani to use in your swatches and creations during the week. We will enjoy these fibers and skills in all kinds of settings: in local vineyards, exploring the Landiana garden, sitting at the top of the Tuscolo ampitheater or relaxing in Castel Gandolfo.

Just south of Rome, the Castelli Romani (Roman Castles) have been a favorite of the Romans and Popes. The hillsides are dotted with Papal villas dating from medieval to modern times. Views of Rome with sunsets sparkling off the sea beyond are the perfect way to end each day in the Castelli Romani.

September is a time of grape harvest and the bounty of late summer fruits and vegetables. We will enjoy classic Roman cooking and taste creative twists on the tradition.

For more information, or to book this amazing vacation, go to www.tactiletravel.com

Firming October

I've set up a lovely Google calendar of all my teaching dates which you can access by clicking here.  (Note: You can change the view to Agenda for a list of my classes, I think it's a bit easier to read than the calendar grid.)

After a several years break, I'm returning to Rhinebeck for a BUNCH of unique classes I'm not offering anywhere else this October (I'm afraid some are already sold out - move fast!)

I'll also be teaching at several yarn shops and guilds in the area, it should be wonderful to be back on my old 'turf' again!

In addition to Rhinebeck I'll be at Knitter's Knitche on Long Island, the Fairfield CT Machine Knitters Guild, Webs in MA and Stitch DC.

In our current "iffy" economy, many of these venues won't hold a class if it's not selling, so please sign up sooner rather than later to save your space (and make sure the class runs!)


Newsflash!  I may - just MAY - have all the hats I need! 

The final decision on which hats are included and which are winning hats is up to the publisher, Rockport Press.

Winners of the top 3 prizes and 7 runners up will be announced on Oct 1.  Visit 1,000 Fabulous Knit Hats for winners names after that date.  Thank you to EVERYONE who submitted a hat, you will be notified by mid-Oct of your hat's acceptance. 

I will note that VERY FEW hats have not been accepted, and that is entirely due to low photo resolution.  The hat submissions have been unifomly quite excellent!
History Today!

Black Prince Hood

The first pattern from HoTN (History on Two Needles) is available for sale!

This great unisex pattern, it can be fun for folks who like to dress in period reenactment garb, or folks who don't know a broadsword from a dagger.

Readers of my newsletter get a 25% discount when you order.  Use the code "newsletter" and you'll be all set!

Click here for a Flickr Slideshow
of our adventures!
On a personal note, Gerry and I had SUCH a stellar time recently in the UK, and it was in large part due to the wonderful reception we received from everyone we met!  

Starting with Louise & Trudi at Woolfish, Di Gilpen and her wonderful staff and family & Edinburgh friend Ysolda (with birthday cupcakes!) we were introduced to Scottish Hospitality at it's finest!  

Moving on to Jeni Brown of Fyberspates & Andy Robinson of Laughing Hens, I was made to feel like a member of the family!  

The classes at Get Knitted couldn't have gone better, and Gerard at iKnit put together one of the best knit festivals I've ever attended!  

I can't mention all the students I met and hugged and laughed with - to try would be to slight someone - so I'll just give a general THANK YOU to all who were kind enough to come out and listen to me ramble on about princes and grandma's and other insane stuff!

I hope to see some of you next year while I'm traveling again around your beautiful country!

Next Year in Stirling

We had SUCH a good time that we're considering bringing the whole family back over next year when I teach at Stirling for Knit Camp UK Aug 9 - 13

I'd love to set up some more classes, and I'd be happy to hear from any groups, guilds or shops that might want to have me teach! 

Also, if anyone has a familiarity with a house-swap scheme or organization we'd love to hear about it.  Our home is in Minnesota, not top on the list of most tourists to the US, but it's an amazing location and a wonderful place.  We'd be happy to find a nice swap situation just about anywhere in the UK, but we're leaning toward the North of England or Scotland.

Annie's Teaching Calendar
Click on the tabs to change the layout