Just another day in the office…oh wait, the boss is back from her daughter’s wedding in India and has already opened the store this morning – on time. We talk about pictures, emotions, family, henna, food, and flights of her trip; and discuss the receipts, mail, inventory, customers, and lessons I learned while running a business with a different ethnic majority. She shows me some purses she got from Advitya (a non-profit in India) and watches as I ooh and awe at them and then tells me to pick one. She had seen the bag I had and kept an eye out for similar styles (over the shoulder). The bag is great – reversible, colorful, shiny, handmade, and a gift!
Sonal goes home to rest at noon and my dad comes in to watch the store at 4:30 pm so that I can stop by Saba’s (best flaming baklava ever!) for two falafel pitas – one for me and one for Caroline. I pick her up from her desk at work and drive us to the First United Methodist Church of Mesa for the Telarana Weavers and Spinners Guild meeting. We are getting there early to help Christine (also a Phoenix guild member) set up tables and chairs; and to eat my pita that I deemed to messy (and dangerous) to eat while driving – especially after a recent accident.
From 6:30 – 7:00 we got introduced to nalbinding (single-needle knitting technique) by Bill who prefers to keep his hands and mind busy by finding new methods and creative ways to make things. He showed us some socks, gloves, and a bag he had made; and without planning to do so sold three of his handmade (by him) wooden nalbinding needles – two to visitors of the guild (Me and Nicole) and one to Caroline (a fiber junkie). Starting the double-loop is the hardest part, but Caroline was able to grasp that concept. I will be looking up YouTube videos later.
At 7:00 it was time for felting (and snacks). One of the guild members has an alpaca farm to supply her woolly needs and sell what she doesn’t need. She shows us pictures and shares some history with us. She was also able to answer all the questions from the crowd – a good audience. Now that we knew where the wool came from it was Sue’s turn to show us one way we could use it – felting. We all got a block of foam, a felt patch, some yarn, an anti-prick stick (used to hold down work space and keep fingers from sharp tool), and a fish-hooked felting needle.
She showed us bags, shoes, bracelets, and a pin on her sweater – all including felted wool then gave us permission to cut and stab (if we happened to hurt ourself or others there was a volunteer band-aid nurse nearby). It’s a peace inducing process and there are so many creative possibilities that we (30 or so women and a couple men) spent at least an hour and a half working our creations between raffles, announcements, and show-and-tell.
The meeting may be over, but the excitement is not. I’m working on a pair of socks and once I have that lesson complete I can attempt a pair of nalbinded socks with some of the gray wool that Caroline gifted me from the raffle she won at our prior guild meeting together. I may be the youngest one participating at these meetings, but I know this kind of fun isn’t just for boy scouts and grandmas – and I don’t want to miss out on the fun and creative process that is the fiber arts.