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Goodbyes are hard, so we just don’t do them.

Change is inevitable. 

Change is a big fat fact of life. We might not like it; we might go screaming into that dark night, but it doesn’t negate it’s basic truth. Change happens every moment of everyday, some are obvious and cause us pause, some hit us over the head and leave us reeling and some happen without even us ever having a clue.

Personally I’m a huge fan of the ones that you don’t really notice until you are there and then it’s well look at that and you move on.  I am aware of the power and transformative gifts that change can bring us, nonetheless.

Curious as to where I’m going with this aren’t you?

In my life to date I’ve had the amazing good fortune to work with some pretty extraordinary people.

The most recent one of these gifts has been our man on Blue Moon, Mr.hizKNITS, Stephen Houghton.  Yes by all means let’s hear it for Stephen! Stand up and take a bow Stephen.

There is a whole lot I could say about this lovely man but I promised not to make us both cry. He is the brother that I never had, a friend, and a wonderful work companion and addition to Blue Moon.  He makes the best breakfasts and bread, has wicked IT skills, is a marketing genius and really… just fill in the blanks.

The past year working together has been quite wonderful for me and I believe the same is true for him.  We’ve gotten a lot accomplished made great plans and well… had a boat load of fun.

Because of life circumstances (thank you housing market, economy and…) beyond both of our control, and believe me we’ve tried, Stephen is going to be staying in San Francisco and as of today is starting an excititng new job .

It’s a great opportunity for him and his family that we all here are very excited about.  We really are. We are sad for us but thrilled for him.

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We are not too sad because:

Stephen will still be a part of Blue Moon and Knot Hysteria (phew) on a project based scenario, just not on a daily 9 to 5 level.

He is still helping with the website upgrade and you will most probably see him at shows and KH events.

And that my lovely knitters is why we are not grief stricken and are happy for our friend.

Stephen starts his new work adventure today, Monday, so let’s all wish him the best of luck and thank him for being his dear wonderful self.

Good luck my friend, if they give you any trouble just let us know.

Love you and mean it!

Tina, Debra, Debbi, Paula, Becky and Rosie.

A very happy place.

I just had the best two weeks any lover of colour and fiber could ever hope to have. I was telling Stephen about it yesterday and realized I sounded a bit like a school girl with a crush.

It all started with the Knot Hysteria Colour Retreat, which was just fabulous. We had wicked amounts of fun playing with colour every which way we could think of with yarn and fiber and maybe crayons and M&M’s too.

Steph and I are very lucky that this is our job. It is hard work, but it is good hard work we are both passionate about.

I love to teach dyeing, where we get to explore colourful depths in textiles and in ourselves. I love it so much that whenever I’m done with a class I feel like pinching myself just to make sure I’m not dreaming.

So, to have a whole retreat where we are on and on about colour is, well… my happy place. Add in all the wonderful knitters, the Port Ludlow staff, Chef Dan with his culinary charms, mountains, ocean and dear friends, and you have a little slice of heaven.


We revisited basic colour theory as it applied to making yarn, dyeing yarn and then knitting with, yes, you guessed it yarn. I don’t know if you’ve noticed but knitting is kind of all about the yarn.

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We collected all kinds of drum carders from friends and in the evening we made batts from all kinds of different coloured tops. It’s quite addictive. You make one and as you are adding a little green here and then maybe some brown and then maybe some blue… you think, well, if I could just make another one adding in some warmer hues. It’s a problem, a very big problem. We brought Judith’s carder here for the weekend after the retreat. As you can see from the picture below, it’s hard (impossible) to stop at just one.



I’ve been on an Emily Carr kick again (I have a small obsession that cycles around every year or so.) So my batts are all complex forest some deep dark forests some misty mountain tops.

The other thing that happened this weekend which is beyond exciting and has made me feel all wide-eyed and wonder-filled is this:


I know I don’t have the words to express or really do justice to what this means to me or how wonderful it was, but I’m going to give it a try:

About a year or so ago, I mentioned to my friend Lisa that I had this dream of weaving rugs. I’ve always been attracted to rugs, especially the Turkish ones. Was completely done in about 6 years ago when I read The Virgin’s Knot by Holly Payne a story about a Turkish rug weaver. (And, yes, I do realize those are knotted rugs.) Anyway, we got to talking and, unbeknown to me, Lisa (being Lisa) starting hatching a lovely plan.

If you know Lisa (Kobeck also known as an ST-2 or convolutedstring), you know she rescues abandoned looms. She rescues them in the same way my friend Joann rescues cats—with a open loving heart. She feels they deserve a loving, appreciative home and many more years of warp and weft. She gets a phone call or email, arranges a rendezvous (not at midnight), loads sometimes huge loom pieces into the back of her van, and takes them home where they happily live with her until she finds them their ever-after weaver-mate. When you hear Lisa spin her lovely stories about each of her rescues, you realize that she is indeed a bit of a weaver/loom matchmaker. 


There are many weavers across the Pacific Northwest that have Lisa to thanks for their looms. 

At Madrona last year, she and Judith announced that after Sock Summit they were going to descend with loom and some of Judith’s bison rug yarn that I could dye as I wanted (can’t even talk about that one), and they were going to show me how to weave rugs. The only thing that kept me from crying and dissolving into a puddle in front of a whole bunch of teachers and knitters was that it would embarrass them both and after such a generous thoughtful gesture how could I do that? It took a lot. I cry when moved happy or sad.

Ever since that day last February, we’ve been trying to find a date that worked for all of us, which with all our schedules was actually kind of funny. If I could do it, then Judith couldn’t or maybe Steph couldn’t or, worse yet, Lisa couldn’t. Finally, we agreed that the weekend following the colour retreat—Steph’s book tour was done, my show and holiday season prep was done, Lisa’s workload had died down, and Judith’s teaching schedule had loosened up. Phew! No small feat, I tell you. It really does take a village, but only if the villagers are home.


So, this past weekend we descended on my home with food, drink, fiber, yarn, a drum carder, and we put together my (I still can’t believe it’s mine) loom. It was quite the undertaking. Keep in mind that neither Steph or I have put together a loom, especially a behemoth floor loom and neither Judith or Lisa had put one of these together. There is not a lot about weaving that either one of the two of those women don’t know, between them the wealth of knowledge and know-how is actually pretty stunning.

After we fortified ourselves with a lovely meal courtesy of Steph of winter stew, bread, cheese and wine, we dove right in and lots of learning-as-you-go fun prevailed. I learn best that way, when there’s story and connection to tie all that information bits together. We had a blast and it only took one trip to the hardware store.

…and we ended up with the lovely….

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(I’m still trying to name her. It will come. You can’t rush these things.)

Thanks to Judith and Lisa and their plan, I am working on this:


It is all and so much more that I dreamed of. I have to admit to being a little afraid that after all of their kindness and hard work that I would let these wonderful women down and maybe myself too. A circle has been completed for me. It feels like when I learned to spin—like I have come home and am connected back with my people. I think I’ll put this first rug in my bedroom. It is a rich tapestry of love full of meaning, a few tears ( happy ones) and lots of laughter. It will feel good to rest my feet on every morning as I greet the day, remember and be thankful.

At the beginning of each dye class for the colour retreat, I read the following poem by Stephen Beal from his wonderful book The Very Stuff : Poems on Color, Thread, and the Habits of Women


Someday I will see the place where the colors are made,

The place of my joy.

There will be stairs leading up, wide marble stairs, 
and there will be a room,

vast and vaulted and inspiring,

and there will be music,

one hundred strings under the baton of Carmen Dragon,

and there will be dancers,

one hundred blondes gowned by Jean Louis,

whooshing between the pillars in pastel chiffon.

The place is it: huge bubbling cauldrons of color in which innocent cotton is transformed to gaudy hues,

to scarlet and fuchsia,

to purple and gold,

to greens that bite your eyes,

and blues that lead you on until you think the world will never end.

Oh, this is it, the place where all your dreams come true,

where nothing is as it was and everything develops the potential of what it can be.

Here is the stuff of change, the very stuff, and you can take it home and hold it in your hands.

No paint will do, no paint will ever come close, when you can stitch your lover a heart of ruby red, and say, “This is the color – and the texture – of my love for you.”


This is the place where the colors are made.

This is the place of joy.


Yes. If you can paint a rainbow, you can weave a dream.