Laura Ricketts Designs

"She seeks wool and flax, and works with willing hands..."

Laura Ricketts Designs is a personal and business website for Laura Ricketts, hand-knitwear designer, author, teacher, crafter, mother and wife.

Last Week

Last week was fairly productive, despite the kids being home from school for 3.5 days. Winter has finally arrived in northern Indiana, and decided to arrive with all the usual baggage. We had sub-zero (Fahrenheit) temperatures, with wind chill reaching down to -30 at least one day. Snow, sleet and freezing rain -- and that was just yesterday!

I turned in three magazine proposals, finished a pair of mittens, wrote two patterns, and have been working through three more patterns with my tech editor and graphic designer -- both fabulous ladies. Today is a two hour delay for schools, again, but I've already been up, worked out, and gotten ready for the day. On today's schedule: one more magazine proposal to work on and turn in, and two patterns in the writing stage to finish the fiddly stuff on and three patterns in the editing stage to tidy up. Oh, and photography. I need to take splendid photos of at least four projects. Weather, could you please cooperate? I'd like to use natural light.

Sigh. All this technical stuff is NOT why I started writing patterns. But, I sure have learned a lot this past year! Looking forward to learning even more in 2015.

Sunday afternoon, I attended a Twelfth Night Spin in at MoonTree Studios, just opposite Ancilla College in Donaldson, Indiana. The nuns of the Poor Handmaidens of Jesus Christ have several outreaches in the community. One is a fabulous food education program called Earthworks. And, then, a few years ago, they had the MoonTree Studios built as a venue to explore creativity and spirituality. They have the incredible motto: Fearlessly Creating.

 Sister Edith and some yarn that another nun spun. We discussed what she should make with it.

Sister Edith and some yarn that another nun spun. We discussed what she should make with it.

Ancilla is way in the country, not on the way to anywhere, but a destination in itself. I can't say I've been by more than twice the past year, and I'm embarrassed to say, I have never been inside MoonTree Studios before. But, that will change. What an amazing place! It is built with sustainability in mind, is surrounded by native gardens, and inside is a lovely workshop area with a weaving studio, art studio, and open areas for creating and visiting. The wooden floors have radiant heat (lovely with sock or bare feet while treading a spinning wheel).

I got to meet and chat with several active and retired nuns who were in charge of the event, or came to participate from the retirement home and nursing home facilities across the street. I took my friend Lori Cress who is an amazing craftswoman: spinner, knitter, potter, weaver. I learn every time I'm with her! And, my crafty pal, Anna, drove over from Warsaw to share in the time as well. Super fun to get my hands spinning again in expectation of a spinning retreat I am attending in two weeks. We spun; we talked; we ate. We commandeered a crock pot and created our own stone(ware) soup. We wassailed and sang to the apple trees. We carried torches and lit things on fire: a very satisfying afternoon.

 How to make Stone(ware) soup: grasp the stoneware in your hand...

How to make Stone(ware) soup: grasp the stoneware in your hand...

 And, simply insert it amongst the vegetables. Cook and serve!

And, simply insert it amongst the vegetables. Cook and serve!

 Anna wassailing

Anna wassailing