04/03/2019

Introduce Yourself

Introduce Yourself 1

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Hi Everyone,

So far we have about 95 members in the club and we’ll be adding more in the coming weeks. If you’d like to say hi, you can comment below and introduce yourself. By no means is this a requirement and you can be as private as you’d like.

Natural History of Knitting Online Club
67 Comments
  1. Hi, I’m Jeannine, aka Weezul, aka SleepyWeezul (gamer tags). Finally got some financial breathing room this year, only to find an art based yarn subscription I was in years ago no longer existed. Fortunately I found this one, which is even better! (And yes, I’m the one who traumatized their roommate by barging in and demanding he “pet my squishie” upon getting my first box 😂)

    • Hi, and welcome! I’m teaching all this weekend but Dom will be keeping an eye out on the discussions. And I have some tutorials pre-scheduled to come up. Sorry the other subscription was gone but glad you found this one.

    • Hello everyone! I’m Susan, from the Finger Lakes area of NY. I absolutely love the interplay of history, stories and knitting, and was just introduced to Donna’s work by a friend. I’ve been knitting since age 8, and there have been times when it’s the only thing that keeps me sane! Or at least mostly! :)

    • Welcome! So glad to have you with us. I love how crafts and making art is such a sanity saver.

  2. Hi, My name is Kathy. I’m 61. I waited to introduce myself because I was a little nervous. I’m not an experienced knitter and most everyone here is. I tried to learn as a kid and got frustrated, but now in the time of online video and youtube, I found a great teacher and learned very quickly. I needed something because my husband got cancer a year ago, and the stress was awful. He is in remission now. Knitting got me through so much. The colors, texture and the amazing feeling of creating something so beautiful. Well, I fell crazy in love with knitting. I mean CRAZY in love. I started with a chunky cowl, then I did another and another, then a bunch of hats, then finger-less mitts, now I am learning socks and about to do my first 2 at a time on circulars. I have a huge stash already, and a bunch of books because I keep running into things I don’t know how to do. This all started last November. So, I’ve been knitting 5 months. I just adore color and texture. I have chickens, and I know we are allowed to have a few sheep, but I’m taking everything a day at a time right now. I feel so wowed being among all of you wonderful experienced knitters. this is so exciting to me. Got my package last night. It is magnificent! :-) I look forward to this adventure with you all.

    • Heck, if you can do two-at-a-time circulars socks, you’re more than an intermediate knitter. Welcome. I am so glad to hear your husband is in remission now, but you still have knitting!

      • I JUST started them. NO idea if I can DO them. I usually get stuck for days to weeks till I can find answers and I am in the searching for answers point with the double socks. Thank you about my husband. I got lucky, I have him and knitting! Thank you for the club. I’m trying to figure out how to link to you on Ravelry. Not working…yet.

    • A friend gave me Cat Bordi’s book called Socks Soar on Two Circular Needles, and once she gave it to me she apologized because she said I would never knit anything but socks for a while and she sure was right. It’s out of print but if you can get a copy I bet you’d find it very helpful because I was able to learn it on my own, pre-YouTube videos. So glad you’re husband is doing better, I too have knitted a lot to reduce stress during challenging medical stuff.

      • Thank you so much, Heather! I did find the book. I ordered it and am excited to see what is in it. the tutorial I was using had 2 socks on one circular, but I am stuck…so this should be interesting!

  3. Lee Anne Coffin 04/03/2019 at 2:38 pm Reply

    Dear Donna and Dom: My First BOX arrived!!!!!!! I KNEW this was going to not only be an adventure with Sheep to Shawl, but a STELLAR one!!!!! Everything you do is FIRST CLASS. I love absolutely everything regarding its contents: the LOVELY shades of your hand dyed r yarn, the darling stitch markers, the hand painted/stenciled ditty bag, Donna, your lovely hand painted card, AND the historical booklet. WOW….. what an adventure this whole year. I hope you do this yearly. And, like Bonnie L. commented, I, too, look forward to knitting the hat. I have a whole file of knitted hat patterns to make for others, but none I wanted to knit for myself. NOW, I have one. THANKS to you both for the blessing of this adventure! n Lee Anne Coffin, Coarsegold, CA

    • Thank you so much. I’m so happy when you all are happy! And my goal is to surprise you in every package.

      I’m already working on ideas for next year. I have 3 different ideas to choose from, so I have to figure out which one I want to do.

  4. I am Sandy from Ohio and have traveled and attended retreats of/with Donna. Always beyond expectations and so much fun. Have learned so much and I am looking forward to this year. The first shipment certainly fits right into what I expected.

  5. Debbie Andretta 03/31/2019 at 4:58 pm Reply

    My name is Debbie and I live in north central Pennsylvania. I am retired and active in 2 guilds-Susquehanna Valley Spinners and Weavers and the Spins and Needles Guild. I dabble in many fiber arts, but my passion is lace knitting, especially shawls. I rescue angora rabbits, have a small dog and cat. My house is filled with heritage plants as well as my little third of an acre. Many of the guild members raise sheep and compete in sheep to shawl. My favorite road trips are fiber festivals and getting involved in classes.

    • Welcome! Your house and garden sounds wonderful. We’ll be having some lace knitting this year, for sure! Along with some other fun techniques. Cool that you’re near TWO good guilds. That’s fun. I love teaching at guilds.

  6. Sorry – second question –
    Is there really a size 19 needle to make the flower?

    • Yes, but not our size 19. A British Victorian size 19.

      Don’t try to start that yet. I’ll be posting a lesson on understanding Victorian patterns next week and I’ve also rewritten the pattern in modern knitting lingo. So read it and think about it but wait. LOL

  7. Hi. I just got my first package today – how exciting! I love reading about our “mentoress?”. It isn’t often you know and learn about a woman of talent and ability in the 17th century.
    Looking forward to making the hat.
    One question – is there a picture of the knitted flower? It looks so intriguing I may have to make it…(lol)!

    • Yay! I should have some videos about how to do the stitches for the hat ready tomorrow or the next day.

      The Victorian books have NO PICTURES! I did make some of the knitted flowers that we’ll be doing and I’ll share those photos but I wanted you to experience what it was like for knitters back then. It’s crazy, isn’t it?

  8. Hi, I’m Erin, and I got here completely through Donna’s IG feed. (; I’ve never heard of the featured artist before, but am now fascinated, and though I usually avoid yarn clubs, I think I’m going to love EVERYTHING to do with this. I live in Central Texas with my family and a small herd of small dairy goats, garden, cook, natural dye, spin, sew, and knit. So this is right up my alley and I’m so excited to participate!

    • Welcome, Erin. So happy to have you with us. Your farm and fiber crafts sound fantastic. I’m all about creating experiences, and that’s what I want this club to be.

      • Hello everyone, I’m Heather, my initials and nickname is HAL, I live in San Francisco, happily the fog is conducive for wearing many handknit things, especially socks and scarves. My Granny taught me to knit and I’m the only person in my massive office (5 floors) in the new Salesforce Tower to knit. Apparently my lunchtime knitting is causing a stir and even some senior managing directors comment, oh – you’re the one who knits… My family was very artistic and although I lack their talent I loved to paint and draw, mostly detailed flowers and plants, as both my parents were scientists as well and painted during their off hours. My mom was very skilled at scientific drawing in school and my first piece, a femur of a coyote, was deemed good by her. We spent most of our free time camping or boating, and I was managed to pack a miniature pallet of paints and a pad of watercolor paper, Drawing trees, ferns, flowers, rock formations, and bark patterns and remembering their scientific names was most of my upbringing. I feel more satisfied with my efforts with fiber though, I am my own worst critic and never feel anything is quite right. Knitting and drawing is so relaxing and I love how my interests combine so magically with this club. Thank you Donna!

  9. Peggy Newfield 03/28/2019 at 3:16 pm Reply

    Hi – My name is Peggy Newfield and I am lucky enough to live a couple of towns away from Donna, Dom and their cozy and welcoming shop. I have been a knitter off and on since i was five – my grandmother taught me. I am very excited about this club and getting acquainted with everyone – so many interesting people! I consider myself an amateur Natural History buff and was surprised when Donna announced this club because Maria Sibylla Merian is new to me, so I am grateful to be doing this. I have lived in Northern Vermont for 6 years and in the last three have started a small herb farm – I love plants and flowers, and most bugs. If I had my life to live over (which of course I don’t), I like to think that I would be a botanist.

    • Hi Peggy! Glad to have you. (I owe you email, I haven’t forgotten.) When you get your package, feel free to stop over to the shop any time we’re open to work on the projects. We have several other local members and I’m going to try to see if we can all find a common time to meet regularly to make it a real-life club, too.

      Dom wants to come to see your herb farm this summer, too.

      • Peggy Newfield 03/31/2019 at 6:01 am Reply

        Hi Donna – Thanks! It would be fun to meet in person. I’ll reply to Dom’s email about the herbs.

  10. Hello – I’m Rose… I just signed up… you had me at Maria Sibylla Merian. I recently heard about her and have been fascinated to learn more. I moved to 5 wooded acres about 2 years ago and I love the natural world. I have been knitting and spinning for about 15 years. I am also a quilter and I love embroidery as well. I love all sorts of textile arts. I’m looking forward to this new adventure. I have been to all the New England states, but Vermont. I think I need a trip to your lovely studio for a class at some point. Until now, I love the fact it gets to come to me in a box. Brilliant idea!

    • Hi Rose. Welcome. Your new home sounds wonderful. I want to have more time to work on rug hooking and some embroidery. There are always so many fabulous projects but just so many hours in the year. LOL. Plus I need a lot of sleep.

      I hope you can come to the shop some time. Or maybe to one of our retreats here in Vermont. We do one or two every year. :-D

  11. Hi everyone! My name is Krista. I live in Ashland, Kentucky, and while I dabble in many things, knitting is my true love. I used to volunteer at the local yarn store here in Ashland until it closed a few years ago. Recently, a group of us who used to gather there in the evenings to knit have started gathering again, but only once a month. I enjoy being in the presence of other knitters and have missed it so much! I work full time and go to school part time, so unfortunately, my knitting time is limited right now, but I always carry something with me and pull it out to work on whenever I get a chance, so right now I’m loving portable knits (which hubby likes because that usually translates into socks for him), but I do have several large, intricate shawls on the needles that I work on when I can give them the attention they deserve. I’m looking forward to this club. I love all things flowers, and once upon a time I was trying to learn the medicinal uses of plants, but that’s slow going when you’re teaching yourself. Not to mention that any designs of Donna’s that I’ve knitted I have enjoyed both the work and the end result. Hubby loves his Rumsiskes socks!

    • Welcome. So glad you’re here. Sounds like you are busy but we’ll be doing 1-skein projects at least. So you can likely fit them into your schedule and into your purse for portable knitting.

  12. Hello. My name is Ann Hupe. I’ve been all over the place. I’ve even raised 80-S fiber wool (extremely soft) from a small flock of sheep of many colors who also trained my border collies. I no longer have the sheep or the border collies but live in SoCal with my mother and my Maine Coon cat. I’m a beginner at knitting, hoping to get some more experience, and this club sounded so cool!

    • Hi Ann, welcome! You’ll learn a lot in this club, I guarantee it. There are going to be videos with every project so don’t be intimidated if they say “intermediate” skill level! That’s what most of my projects say but just about any knitter who has made a few projects can make them with the video tutorials.

  13. Hello, my name is Leslie. I grew up in Canandaigua, NY, currently living in DeWitt, MI. I work at MSU Libraries. I have been knitting for about 50 yrs. I have loved Donna’s books. I have gone to Stitches Midwest for years. I currently have my stash and a friend, who passed away, stash as well. And yet I still buy yarn. My library as started monthly knit-ins that I run. A colleague’s wife who passed away knit scarves for the migrant kids who were first generation college bound. She ran the program that provides assistance for the kids. I now oversee a number of us from the library that knit scarves for the kids in her memory.

    I am working on Franklin Habit’s knit along at the moment. I hope to finish it in time to start when my Natural History Club package arrives. Looking forward to working on it.

    • Hi Leslie, glad to have you here! Sorry to hear about the loss of your friend but glad her stash found a good home with you. Awesome that you’re running knit-ins at the library. What a wonderful project.

  14. Hi! My name is Carole Morin from Mancos, CO. My passions are knitting, spinning, weaving, roadwork of all kinds, and dabbling in many mediums. Not an artist as my stick figures are wonky, but love flowers and gardening and I enjoy Donna’s watercolors. Think this looks like fun and I am always ready for an adventure.

  15. Elizabeth Stauderman 03/16/2019 at 5:03 pm Reply

    Hello, I’m Elizabeth from Rochester, NY. My grandmother taught me to knit when I was in 8th grade, and I have produced a huge number of hats and scarves in the last few decades. :) I’m a huge fan of Donna, having attended one of her knitting retreats in Stowe and before that, collecting her books. I love the combination of knitting, history, tradition, and culture — “Stories in Stitches” is wonderful. I’m not (yet) retired, so I’m not sure I’ll be able to keep up with the projects, but I’m going to enjoy the lessons and our online fellowship.

    • Hello! Will I see you in Rochester when I come to teach at the guild in April? It would be great to see you again. And don’t worry about keeping up with the projects. It’s all for fun and like you said, there will be a lot to enjoy even if you save some of the projects for later.

  16. Lee Anne Coffin 03/16/2019 at 4:22 pm Reply

    Hi, everyone and welcome from Coarsegold, CA, 26 miles from Yosemite national Park. I have been an avid needle worker in all genres, but knitting is my fave. I taught knitting and crocheteing in 4-H for 8 years and still keep up with some of my girls, after 38 years! Both of our daughters were my Jr. leaders. I worked part-time in a Knit Shoppe in the Bay Area of CA before my husband and I retired to our mountains I met Donna and Dom on-line after purchasing their Stories in Stitches, and other of Donna’s stellar patterns. Such a gracious couple, and one that encourages us with the blessing and gift of the needle! I KNEW this adventure would be stellar because of the quality and caliber of Sheep to Shawl. Blessings, Lee Anne Coffin

  17. My name is Carole Lake, I live in Texas, in the Hill Country, and I’m a yarn-a-holic.

  18. Hi Everyone. My name is Mary, and I am so excited about this adventure! I first learned about Maria Merian several years ago, when a former colleague of mine, Kim Todd, wrote an amazing book about her: “Chrysalis: Maria Sibylla Merian and the Secrets of Metamorphosis.” This project will be combining my two great passions: knitting and botanicals! I can’t wait to learn and knit with all of you. Thank you to Donna and Dominic for creating this wonderful project.

    • Hi, you know Kim? I wanted to write a biography of MSM way back when, and then I saw that Kim was working on hers so I didn’t bother because I could wait and read hers. Now I get to use my research in a really fun and interesting way, and very different than writing a biography. Chrysalis is a terrific book and the only full biography of MSM in English. It’ll be recommended reading later in the year. I have two other books I’ll be recommending when you get your first package. No spoilers!

      • It is a small world! Yes, Kim and I both taught at the Erie campus of Penn State. I am still there, but Kim has gone on to great adventures. “Chrysallis” was published when she was in Erie, and I was so excited for her and honored to be working with her. The book brought my interest in botany to a whole new level, and the passion with which the book is written makes it hard to put down.

        I am so excited about this project! As I mentioned previously, you are combing my passions into this one wonderful adventure. I am so grateful and so excited to begin!

  19. Hi everyone, My name is Nancy, I was born in the small town Donna lives in Barton, VT. I now live in Syracuse, NY. Am a retired RN. I knit with 3 groups, teach beginners to knit at my church (very satisfying). Knitters are so friendly, caring for each other. My Mom taught me to knit around 8. I started making 4 needle mittens soon after. I have an issue grasping magic loop to make my mittens which I do once in a while. I am so excited to see how the club works!

    • Hi Nancy! Did you know I’m teaching at the guild in Rochester in April? We’ll be passing through Syracuse on the way! I love that you teach beginners. Making new knitters is awesome.

  20. Rae Jean McPhillips 03/16/2019 at 5:07 am Reply

    Hi – my name is Rae Jean and I live in Montana. I am a retired RN and loving it! I live on 15 acres of wooded hillside here in Montana with my husband, son, daughter-in-law and 3 beautiful grand-daughters. I love knitting and spend any free time with needles in my hands. I’m excited about this journey we are about to start together!

    • Hi Rae Jean, welcome! That sounds lovely. Is winter over there yet? We are having some warmer weather and spring thaw here in Vermont but it’s still cold at night. Good weather for maple sugaring — cold nights, warm days.

  21. Cynthia Enderlein 03/15/2019 at 10:43 pm Reply

    Hello! My name is Cynthia and I live in sunny Northern California! I learned to knit from my neighbor when I was about 8 years old. It fell by the wayside for many years when I taught myself to crochet and then later relearned knitting thanks to YouTube. I work full time as a financial applications systems analyst, but on many extended weekends you can find me and my guy traipsing through the backroads of California, looking for the beauty in our own backyard. In fact, this weekend we are in Yosemite seeing things we’ve not seen yet. We consider ourselves blessed.

    • Hi Cynthia, welcome! I’m really feeling the crochet itch lately. I started following some really cool crocheters and crochet designers on Instagram. But for some reason, knitting is my main passion. Sounds like a wonderful weekend.

  22. Good Evening, my name is grace. I am currently retired except for the fact that I volunteer as the loom house curator at a small historical village. So I have five looms and six spinning wheels to keep full. As soon as the other wheels and winders are rebuilt/refurbished I will have 10 wheels and six looms to play with, spinning yarns and then weaving or knitting with them. I started knitting when the church’s little girl group knitted bandages for the Red Cross (a million years ago) out of cotton, # 2 needles, 30 stitches, slip the first stitch, knit 29, turn and repeat. 40 years later my mother handed me a cone of cotton with 15 Inches of knitting attached. Later, when I was about 11 I taught myself to knit and shape things from the old green “How To” book. My first project was a billfold, complete with coin pocket with a flap with a pointed end and snap. That billfold held up until sometime in high school. After a refresher course in the early 80s I have never gone more than two days without knitting. Spinning and weaving just add to the fiber goodness.

    • Wow, your volunteer work sounds fascinating. I wish I could come visit the museum village. I’m afraid to learn to weave. I do spin and knit and I used to sew all of my own clothes. I am afraid if I learn to weave, I will be doing nothing ever but making all of my clothes from scratch. I’m so intrigued by the idea of spinning to weave fabric to sew garments with matching handspun sweaters!

      • I was a knitter early but mostly stopped and then started weaving in college. A number of years after that I had a chance to take a beginning spinning class with a master spinner. Sewing became less and quilting and basket making stopped. Weaving is a rabbit hole that is a life-long learning experience but so satisfying.

  23. Joyce Riedesel 03/15/2019 at 3:32 pm Reply

    Hello, my name is Joyce Riedesel. I’ve been knitting since I was 6, when my aunt thought it might help keep me quiet. Didn’t work. I have a passion for history and genealogy which I share with my husband. We go back to the village in Germany where his ancestors came from almost every year, so this year’s theme is quite exciting for both of us.

    • Hi Joyce, happy to see you here. Yes, Maria Sibylla Merian (our guide for this year) was born in Frankfurt and lived in what is now Germany for about half of her life, and then ended up in what is now the Netherlands.

  24. Hello my name is Sara and I live on a small farm, Blackberry Fields Farm, where I have a small flock of Leicester Longwool sheep that are raised for fiber. I love to knit! I also enjoy many other crafts, reading and genealogy research. I especially love learning about the countries my ancestors came from and what textile arts they did. I am looking forward to being a part of this new knitting adventure!

    • Hi. My name is Sue and I live near a small town in southern Ontario. I am a retired teacher.
      I have been knitting since I was 6 or 7 and am now in my mid 70 s. That sounds so old , but I still have a passion for knitting. The colours and textures draw me in every time.
      I have grown up children and have my 2 dogs and a cat to keep me company.
      Looking forward to this new adventure.

      • Hi Sue! I’m sort of approaching 60 and I am so ready to be a crone. Or a hag — LOL — I named my most recent design on Knitty Cailleach Beara and someone sent me a note that they were laughing because Cailleach is hag. Well, yeah, that’s me and I am proud of it! :-D

    • Welcome, Sara! Your farm sounds heavenly. The sheep and the name of the farm… Do you spin, too? I’d love to hear some stories about the textile arts your ancestors did. Where do they hail from?

      • Oh yes I do spin!
        My ancestors come from Lithuania and Norway. That is why I was so excited to buy your book on Lithuanian knitting! I took my first trip to Lithuania last summer but was consumed with genealogy research and had no time to explore textile arts and sheep. But fell in love with the beaded wristlets and beaded fingerless gloves I saw being sold. My regret is that I did not buy any Lithuanian yarn….
        Currently working on a fair isle sweater with a Norwegian motif. Just finished a lace tunic top. So very happy with my tunic since I was diagnosed with a rare neurological disease 2 years ago and could not knit at all. I came back slowly and now I am knitting again. My lace tunic is the diary of my illness with part knit before I was sick, part knit while I was trying to learn again and part when I gained my skills back. I am wearing it with pride to show how one can persevere and how the brain can has plasticity. I also did all the farm chores with the sheep myself taking a walker to the barn and switching to a wheel barrow to use as a walker to feed hay. I went from not being able to walk at all to using a wheelchair then a walker and now walk unassisted in just 18 months. My farm is in Maryland and I am at the MD sheep and wool festival yearly. I love reading wveryone’s Introductions and you all sound amazing

    • Sara, are you part of the Shave ’em to Save em? Leicester Longwools are on the list. That would be so cool if you were part of that.

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