Saturday was the annual meeting of the Board for the Northeast Handspinners Association, in Brattleboro, Vermont. While I am not a board member, I went because I edit the newsletter. The organization has a couple of things that it does, and it does them well. They have a directory of the members, which is a kind of who's who of northeasterntypes who are involved in the making of handmade yarn -- shepherds, fiber artists, dyers, festival organizers -- a whole kit and caboodle of them. It is a resource like few others (blogs being the only rival I can think of) and the hundreds of men and women in there have knit and spun their whole lives and never once cracked the Web to ask anyone about it. Fascinating, really. Such a thing is still possible, to know something and know it well without once having to log on to ask Marcy or June or Abby about what twist means to the final sock.
That's Karen and Jan and Trisha and Ellen and Lynda and Shirley (eating an orange): just a small example of the smarts in the room.
The other thing NHA does and does well is they have a fiber retreat once a year, and every other year (which happens to be this one) it's a doozy: nationally known and renowned spinners and fiber types teaching intensive skills in hotel conference rooms, giddiness over the wool, vendors in the ballroom, and spinning wheels a-flying in the lobby. Sounds a little familiar? Gathering (as it is called) is one of those retreats that lights your fiber soul from within like a lantern: like SOAR, but more local; like Spa, but with classes; like Rhinebeck, but less crazy. And you can only get in if you are a member. (hint hint)
And you can only join by sending a check in the mail. No paypal. No on-line shopping cart that takes your credit card. I know! Crazy, huh? (check the website to find the address and the fee) This is old school, chums.
So I am a member. And the newsletter editor. And last Saturday, a fly on the wall at the board meeting. From my vantage point I had the very best position from which I could admire all the handknits. See all the handknits? It's a good kind of meeting where you can look around and admire the handknits. And I could also take a picture of Kelly's newest pair of Chucks.
And get some knitting done.
If ever there was a meeting where knitting is utterly copasetic -- if not de rigueur -- it would be a board meeting for a hand spinner's association.