I’ve mentioned that Southern California is a pretty amazing place where great stuff happens, right? Well here’s another reason why you wish you lived here!
Twice a year, in a little church in downtown Monrovia (just north and east of downtown LA), something amazing happens.
People drive in from all over Southern California because they know that Griffin Dyeworks is throwing a frolic. They come lugging spinning wheels and bags of wool, their knitting and all their toys… and then they hang out in this little church ALL DAY LONG and do things like learn to spin worsted yarn. Or maybe they learn to do a long draw and spin woolen or possibly they learn to knit on tiny wooden needles. Maybe even to use a drop spindle. Some of ’em show up to learn how to dye fiber using stuff you can find in your backyard.
Y’all, they learn how to dye wool using bugs. The outside is full of bugs. Bugs which can one day contribute to sweaters. Who knew?
There are alpaca pushers. With batts.
Batts made out of alpaca.
Did I mention, that these alpaca pushers, they are pushing alpaca at poor defenseless spinners? I didn’t get any pictures of this happening because I was too busy whipping out my wallet and buying alpaca.
That is not alpaca. Those are spindle whorls. Seriously, I’m not showing you the alpaca. It’s mine. All mine. ALL THE ALPACA.
There’s laughing and talking. Old friends meet old friends, strangers become new friends and we all make plans to meet up again in six months. Or next week down at the coffeeshop.
People are happy to lend you their orifice hooks, spare bobbins or a spindle. If your wheel is having problems, there are people falling over themselves to help you figure out how to fix it. They’re happy to teach you the stuff they know, because they want you to know it too. Just for the joy of it.
Twice a year, this little church in downtown Monrovia becomes a host to something that is a whole ‘nother kind of sacred – other than its daily purpose of being God’s house, I mean. It becomes a place where knowledge of history, love of craft and skillsets are shared freely, happily, and sought after just as enthusiastically.
Because, it is there.
And, because string is fun.
This is Good.
Griffin Dyeworks and Fiber Arts