Last weekend I took two classes with Shirley Paden, I have been trying to get into the design class for over a year. Then I heard how wonderful her finishing class was and I had to have that too! Classes were held at Crazy for Ewe in Leonardtown. A four hour round trip. I treated myself and stayed overnight. It was a good thing, too because the Friday class didn't end until 7 and then we went out to dinner. My friend Annece decided to stay as well. We shared a room and it was like our own pajama party!
Ellen,who owns Crazy for Ewe has written about the weekend here: It was the first time I'd visited this shop and while I won't go often, I'll go back. It's a wonderful shop, lots of yarn at all price points, a wonderful welcoming staff and Ellen. If it's true that shops reflect the personality of their owners, Ellen is someone I'd want for a friend. The only downside is that it's so far away!
But back to Shirley. Everything everyone has ever written about her is true. She is a wonderful teacher. There are some people who know how and what to do, but can't tell others how to do it. No so with Shirley. Her designs have appeared in all the major knitting publications, she runs a successful hand knitting business, and she teaches all over the world. She's warm, funny and has no ego. When went to dinner after class on Friday and she was just another one of the girls.
For me, the best thing about her classes was the handouts. The older I get the more I need handouts. There's so much information, that I can't retain it all. Most teachers don't because they're afraid of others duplicating or using their info to teach or publish (or so I've been told). Shirley's handouts are extensive and detailed. They reflect her years of experience and will be great help as I work through the exercises in her book or as I finish both hand and machine knit garments. Her handouts are detailed and are indicative of her level of commitment to her students. If you ever get a chance to take a class with her, jump at it. You won't be disappointed. The only advice I'd give is to be well rested. She packs a lot of information into each class.
I'm still cleaning, putting away and throwing away. I've come to a conclusion. I have enough. Enough of everything. I've taken classes, bought materials, machines and software. But I'm not finishing things. Yes, I have needlework ADD, but it's time to get busy. I won't be making things just to use up stuff, but things I'd like to own and give. All the books and information and notes I have are just that until I use them. It's time to go back to setting goals and working towards them. First, I'll pick some low hanging fruit. This next week, I'll finish the doll and African Scrap tops. Just the tops. I'd also like to get started on the valance for my window. I'll keep you updated!