Another stitch in the wall
Time keeps ticking away in this crazy July. It is in the 50s outside and raining almost everyday. Today I had to put on a sweatshirt!
I continue to gain strength, and am so blessed that I have been able to knit all week. I have been working on a series of mittens for an Interweave ebook. The mittens are due in a month, and I have the hardest one yet to complete: 12 sts to the inch in multiple colors. It will be beautiful, but it is a lot of exacting work.
I also had a heartbreaking series of email interchange with a lady in the far north of Norway who took serious offense at my work. It weighs me down to be thought ill of, but I understand it is a frequent event when working with the Sámi, especially since I am working at such a distance. Their personal and collective history is so filled with attacks and robbery from outsiders that a defensive position is the often the first assumed stance.
My answer is good motives, good communication and full disclosure. In all my work, I seek to give back to the communities from which I have learned so much. I know full well from living in other countries that intercultural communication can be fraught with difficulties and, as a result, takes time and commitment. So, I keep working to get there... In the in-between, weeks highlight the gracious Sámi I have worked with. They are such a joy to my heart! I truly rejoice in the beautiful artists and their artistry, which I see daily in colorful mittens, dazzling jewelry and stunning carving work.
In other news, I have had some great conversations with people in Minnesota about coming out to teach. One group is at North House Folk School in Grand Marais. They are built on a Danish model of Folk Schools, stressing the building of community among the students and artisans. North House has been around since 1997, and starting about five years ago they began a more concentrated Fiber weekend in February. Next February, I'll journey out and join them for a long weekend. I'm really looking forward to it!