On an internet quest, I found a woman that was sort of local, contacted her, set up a time and date and me and some gal pals went to her house in South Orange, NJ.
We walked into an awesome rambling home with children, pets and a very warm and welcoming teacher with great wit greeted us named Annie Modesitt.
Because of Annie, I adore knitting. She was laid back, funny and made us realize there was nothing to stress about. No one was asking us to knit an afghan to cover the Statue of Liberty so relax. She had tea and cookies for us and we all took to this new skill with aplomb.
There were five in our group and she took time with each of us. She asked what we all wanted to make and then got us started to help the next person. What I loved was that she explained that her way of knitting was not considered "the norm". I hate the whole "right way, wrong way" crap when it is clear there are certain tasks, even math problems, that can be done in varying ways. She regaled us with tales of how she first started knitting and things she tried and people who told her she was "doing it wrong", her fibromyalgia, etc. The word "candid" should be her middle name. It was refreshing.
I think we were there for about two hours before we hustled out of there due to an impending snow storm.*
It is fun to think back on how sore my wrist would get when I first started and how long it took me to make a basic scarf. Now I can fly through a hat or knitting a neck warmer with a flower. I have knitted lace scarves and cotton washcloths. This skill is something I look forward to as Autumn arrives and I a forever grateful to her for the time she allowed to pop over at last minutes notice for a refresher.
She moved to Minnesota with her lovely family some time ago, but thankfully she has a blog.
One of the great things about Annie is her generosity. Be it her time, her infinite patience with those learning how to cast on and more. She is also very giving with some of her gorgeous patterns. On that note, I share with all of you her FREE Twisted Float Scarf Pattern. In her post, she links to a Caribou Coffee. Seems their founder, Amy Erickson, passed away from Breast Cancer back in 1995. In honor of her, if you order Amy's Blend, they donate 10% to Cancer Care. There is also a #hashtag promo (for FB and Twitter which sadly I am not a part of either) that if used, a row of a scarf is knitted (takes about 40 hashtags) and once completed it is donated to a breast cancer patient. A simple gesture that means so much to those struggling with an illness. Beautiful.
If you ever have the opportunity to meet Annie and take one of her classes, do it. You will not be disappointed.
*As for the snow storm, we left her home as it began, it got worse us we drove and for the next two days were were all snowed in at our respective homes. Where I resided at the time in urban NJ sucked when it came to the town snow plowing. Glad I am not in that area anymore.