Where are we?

Monday, March 31, 2008

My Introduction - Melissa

Hello there - My name is Melissa, and I live in Front Royal, "Gateway to Skyline Drive," "Canoe Capital of Virginia," where the two forks of the Shenandoah River converge, etc. etc. I've lived here for nine years now - I'm originally from North Carolina, and I believe my love of textiles is in my blood. I learned to sew, embroider and crochet before I could read, from my beloved great-grandmother who was an avid quilter and crocheter (of the tiny cotton yarn bedspeads and tableclothes variety). I can't remember a time in my life when I didn't have some kind of project going that involves a needle of some sort! I am also an artist in the more traditional drawing-and-painting sense, having majored in design in college (in the 80's).

My current main fiber interests are knitting (which I taught myself in middle school) and spinning (learned at a workshop in my 20's). I've rarely managed to follow a pattern without making major modifications, so for the last 15 years or so, I mostly design my own. For several years my goal was to make a sweater each year for each family member for Christmas, but as my family size increased (and I realized that I had no sweaters of my own!) I decided to give myself greater project freedom. I like knitting that looks difficult but has a simple logic behind it that makes it easy it knit (think domino squares, old shale lace, etc).

In the last three years, my life has changed dramatically due to divorce. I used to homeschool; now my children are in school and I am now a working single mother of seven! Knitting and spinning have been invaluable stress-relievers to me during this time!

My goal for this year is to expand my creative pursuits from hobby status to home business. I am working with a small-scale llama farmer to develop patterns/kits for yarns made from his animals, and I'm on the verge of stocking some of my handspun in an etsy shop. I've also promised myself that I will begin submitting some of my knitting designs for publication, and enter more contests (like Montpelier, where I received several ribbons last fall). And I've thought of combining my fiber loves with my art background to develop a line of t-shirts and notecards with fiber/yarn themes. As you can see, I've got the ideas -- the challenge is to find the time to carry through and still keep life running smooth everywhere else!

I look forward to getting to know more fellow fiber fanatics in Virginia. I am involved with a group that meets monthly in Luray (if anyone else is near enough to be interested, contact me directly), and in some online groups like EZasPi (where I met Olivia-Lee). Glad to meet you all!

- Melissa


Olivia-Lee said...

Oh Melissa! I am so glad to see you've joined. You will be such a good additon to our group. Sorry you had to give up on home schooling. How is your wee one with the heart condition doing?... (something else we had in common guys) My granddaughter Jade is still doing very well. We were up recently to her brother's birthday party and is is indeed the ruler of the roost...They will be moving closer to the university (JMU) this summer.

I hope to see you at Rustic Tarts and Old Farts if we can't arrange something in your area sooner.

Melissa said...

My little guy is doing well right now, but he will be having another open heart surgery this summer, so keep him in your prayers!

Eugenia said...

Welcome, Melissa

I, too hope to meet you at Rustic Tarts and Old Farts in June. I am often in your neck of the woods, on our way to Green Valley Book Fair. We like to stop in FR to visit the antique shops.