Sunday, June 07, 2009

The Sisterhood of the Traveling Stitchers

Friday was our field trip, and it was a nice break from sitting in the classroom all day. In the morning we visited Wool and Willow, a needlepoint shop, and Fine Points, a yarn shop, both in Shaker Heights, Ohio. The ladies at Wool and Willow were charming, and talked with us about owning a small business and working in the needle arts business. We then walked down the street to Fine Points, which is absolutely jam-packed and overflowing with yarn. We spent a while exploring the shop, and since we haven't gotten to knitting yet in our classes, most of the students were kind of wandering around in a daze. The visit had the desired effect, though - by the time we left, everyone was eager to learn how to knit.

After that, we headed over to Kent State, where the embroidery exhibit was just beautiful. Several of the pieces dated back to the 1700's, and the most recent piece was a wedding dress from 2006 covered in computerized machine embroidery of the bride's feelings for the groom. It was written in Swedish, so we couldn't read it, but it looked beautiful. My favorite exhibit, though, was of the Kokoon Arts Club, a Cleveland artists' group that, for the first half of the 20th century, explored "new art", traveled, and produced shows, lectures, and classes for its members. It was possibly best known for its annual "bal masque", an elaborate costume ball where would-be attendees were turned away at the door if their costumes were not creative or elaborate enough.

Finally we headed back to Akron to visit Stan Hywet Hall, a ginormous Tudor revival house built in 1915 for the founder of the Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company. The main house is 64,500 square feet and featured, among other things, an indoor pool and gymnasium. We didn't actually get to see much of the house; for that we'd have to go back and pay for an actual tour, which I probably won't get a chance to do before I leave. What we did see was amazing, though, and I did get a nice group picture in front of the manor house. Aren't we cute?

The one thing I didn't get a picture of, that I wish I had, was of when we were actually on the bus - almost all of us were working on some kind of needlework. How often do you see that on a bus?!?


At 10:44 PM, Blogger thespinninghand said...

We are so cute!!!


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