On Friday, the kids were out of school (for some silly reason - like "building accomplishments day" - don't ask me what it is - I have no idea - and yes, it is absolutely ridiculous!)
So, Bree and I and her friend, Lexi and her Mom went to Esther's Place out in Big Rock (about 1/2 hour from us). Link here: http://www.esthersplacefibers.com/ (I have to link it this way as for some reason the hyperlink function does not work for me)
One (of many) unique things about Esther's Place is that it is a Co-op of Illinois Fiber producers - or friends of Illinois - there are a group of sheep, alpaca, angora rabbit, mohair and pygora goat farmers that joined together to educate folks about fibers here in Illinois as well as take advantage of group milling, advertising and they have a wonderful retail home (think old farm style house- but updated) that they sell their wares.
They offer spinning, weaving, felting, knitting and all the learning you can absorb about so many different breeds of sheep, various fibers and the like. Two officers of the co-op who also founded it are a Mother-Daughter team (Donna and Natasha) are the nicest, warmest, friendliest, most helpful fiber folks around!
Bree selected a dry needle felted project, Lexi a 'wet' felted scarf project, Kathy a 'wet' felted table runner and I selected a knitted (I know -surprise, surprise) Thrummed Mitten project.
We all gathered our materials and Natasha led the way in assisting in the teaching all the processes. Bree did 2 flowers
And had seen what she had named "Quackers" the duck around the shop and decided she wanted to make one as well. Time ran out while there so we purchased supplies for her to make at home - and she did. Quackers no 2 is darling (even though Bree thinks it is an ugly duckling) and she did this from 'remembering' what the original Quackers looked like - no instructions or pattern or such - just a visual in that artistic, creative mind of hers.. I think he (or she) is awesome!
My Mittens are in progress - they are kind of cumbersome to do as they are made using pieces of roving (thing washed, brushed sheep wool - in my case from a Romney Sheepie) and knit along with your yarn every now and again - so it is like putting your hand into a big bag of sheep's wool and will be OH SO WARM! The 'dots' you see on the knitted part of the mitten are actually roving bits from the big ball of roving also in the picture.
I am still waiting for Kathy to send me pics of Lexi and her projects (as neither of us brought a camera with).
During our project work, Donna supplied us with Hot Cocoa, Tea, Coffee and made absolutely delicious Chocolate Chip Scones which the girls just loved!
The girls (and Kathy) had never been to Esther's before and were so overwhelmed by the kindness and the selection of projects that we are making plans to go again in February!
It was such a fun Day! I wish they were all like that!