A View from Sierra County

Small town life and politics, lots of knitting, and travels with and without my five burros

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Location: In the Sierra Nevadas, United States

I blog about rural living and social issues, and the creativity that comes from knitting, as well as post random pictures of the Sierras and my burros. "In order to be an artist, one must be deeply rooted in the society" - Simone de Beauvoir


Thursday, July 27, 2006

Nice Neighbors

I have always been an isolated fiber artist, with no pals to dye yarn, or shop the sales or travel to festivals with me. When I started blogging, I found like-minded souls, but noticed there was also a definite dearth of fiber bloggers in my northern California region. I felt a bit deprived, reading blogs and learning that those is SF, SLC and Boston actually could both read each others' blogs and meet to KIP.

Slowly, I have managed to "collect" a short list of lovely, near-neighbor bloggers (diversion - it just struck me - did the word "neighbor" derive from being close enough to hear their horses neigh?). While these blog neighbors might not be that close, I could manage to drive to meet them in less than a day, and have met one several times. Let me introduce you to some of my neighbors:

I found the first knit bloggers less than 100 miles away from me about a year and a half ago. Lynette lived in Folsom and Jenn in Quincy at the time (she has since relocated to Placerville). Both are fellow members of the California Knit Bloggers. I got to share hiking stories with Lynette last summer, since we love some of the same favorite Sierra spots, and then follow the story of her wedding, pregnancy and birth of their lovely little daughter, Karalyn, whose name is blended from hers and husband Karl's. Lynette's knitting has focused on babies recently, but she also just started a Leaf Lace Shawl and a lacy poncho.

Jenn and I both love Quincy and the beautiful Indian Valley, where Greenville is located. She has three lovely children, and her oldest daughter helps her make beaded stitch markers, some of which went to one of my secret swap buddies earlier this year. Jenn's mama happens to own a yarn shop (how lucky, most of you are saying!), Filati Fine Yarns, in Rocklin. I drove by it a few times while attending computer training down there this spring, but unfortunately started too early and finished too late to get a visit in. Jenn and I are both participating in Trek Along and the Knit Sock Kit Swap this summer. If you get a chance, drop by and give her a few words of encouragement, as she is just facing some scary health challenges.

Last fall, a local fiber blogger found me! Sara Lamb is well-known to some in the fiber world as a great teacher. She does workshops at several conferences a year, and lives in Nevada City where she is also deeply involved in the Foothill Fiber Guild. Back in November, she left a comment inviting me to the next guild meeting, where they were featuring a slide show about WARP, Weave a Real Peace, a nonprofit organization dedicated to empowering women and communities-in-need around the world through textile arts (description taken from their publications). It was a great event and I signed on as a guild member, mainly attending Spinning Saturdays, and getting to know a whole new group of spinners, weavers and knitters, almost entirely blogless, but living only about 25 miles from me!

Sara started blogging to help promote an enduring interest in weaving, and has offered such diverse and fascinating pieces as a tutorial on inkle weaving, and another (this week) on making your own hammered copper shawl pins. She also spent a huge amount of creative time on preparing for her son's recent wedding, including weaving and sewing him a vest, making all the table runners for the rehearsal dinner (and later to be used by the happy couple in entertaining at their home in Colorado), and even lovely sachets for the bridal party. Such talent! Sara will be teaching a Silk Cut Pile workshop at SOAR this fall, in Lake Tahoe (also less than 100 miles from me!) but the class is already full.... let me know if you plan to attend the public part and want to meet up.

In the past month I found two more near-neighbors, also Foothill Fiber guild members, but living on the opposite side of the Sierras - Sharon and Amy. Amy lives in Reno, where she is the head of something important (oops, I forgot and can't locate it for you) at University of Reno. You have to go and take a look at the awesome needle-felted chair she made recently, her latest post.

Sharon lives an hour north of Reno, and has Shetland sheep and a llama! She also does a lot of natural dyeing, always interesting to read about, and has some great photos of the beautiful high mountain desert where she lives. These ladies are both also members of the Carson Sierra Spinners and Weavers guild, but we will get to meet in two weeks, when we all help our guild at their booth at the Nevada County Fair.

If you are not familiar with any of these bloggers, go and pay a visit. I think you will find something you like in my neighbors. I also want to point out the button at the top - please go and sign on to support Bakerina in the Blogathon this coming weekend. She will be heroically blogging away for 24 hours straight, raising money for Heifer International one of my favorite charities, and needs our help and encouragement. I got to spend two days with Bakerina while at Estes Park last month, and was one of the recipients of her magnificent cooking, and mustering up support is my small way of saying "thank you" for all the love she poured over our group.


Blogger margene said...

Isn't it wonderful we can make friends though blogging both near and far? This is such a wonderful medium. Thank you for introducing me to many of your fabulous neighbors!

11:36 AM  
Anonymous Kristi aka Fiber Fool said...

Thanks for widening my knitblog circle today! One can never have too many friends!

11:52 AM  
Anonymous sheepshepherdess said...

Hi, I am one of those isolated fiber artists. I have been reading your blog and trying to set up one of my own for a couple months. I have a link to my old blog I had been working on. I am a spinner, knitter,crocheter, dyer, photographer, shepherd. I love your burro's I have wanted to rescue one and have not had the opportunity. I love their personality. I enjoy your blog and read it often. I live in Newcastle. What used to be a small town as this is where I was born and raised.

12:20 PM  
Blogger Jennifer said...

I read Jenn too, but the others are new to me. Thanks for the links!

1:21 PM  
Blogger Sharon said...

Nice sentiment Birdsong. As for the word, "The source of our word, the assumed West Germanic form *nāhgabūr, was a compound of the words *nēhwiz, “near,” and *būram, “dweller, especially a farmer.” And I would say that we are virtual near dwellers.

5:09 PM  
Blogger Stacie said...

I started blogging in January, as the isolation of my rural world was about to drive me mad!! I have "met" so many great gals, and I am holding my breath in anticipation for the day I find one within driving distance!!!

7:45 PM  
Blogger Jenn said...

Thanks for the kind words Birdsong, on my blog and on yours!

My Mom doesn't own Filiat's.....I wish she did. She just works there. Janice is the owner and is just as sweet as can be!

You should try and make a trip down there between Aug 11and 19th. They are having a huge sale!

Also, wanted to ask you if you have heard of, know where, Sandpot is. One of Greg's employees is from Sierra City and told us that this really small, shallow lake called Sandpot is where we should take the kids one day.

I figured if anyone knew where it was, you would!

10:21 AM  
Blogger Carrie K said...

Filati's should still be in Danville close to me! I still haven't made it up there to Rocklin to visit it in its new home.

Thanks for the links, Birdsong!

1:41 PM  

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