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For me, colour and texture rule and most of the inspiration feeding my imagination comes from the natural world. I see knitting as art, as viable as any other, and no matter what the tool or preferred palette, in human hands, magic happens.


Phone: 902-829-3457

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Tuesday, January 21, 2014

On Higher Ground: Taos, New Mexico. Knitting, Spinning, Weaving October 5-10th, Mabel Luhan Lodge

The birth of Art Yarn


Art Knitting is an exploration




(Details still coming together. Watch this space!)

Join Jane Thornley, Faith Welsh, Monte McBride, and Debra Lambert, foremost spinners, weavers, and art to wear knitters, as we converge at Mabel Luhan Lodge for five days of cadres and workshops exploring fiber art in all its wonder. Learn how to design your own art yarn and bring it to life in a fest of color and texture. Weave yarn to life on a table or triangular loom, into a wallhanging, or a piece of wearable art. Create your own. Dive deep into all that excites you about textile art and set your own artistic spirit free with four artists who dream in fiber and color.

On Higher Ground is not a regular cadre, but an Enhanced cadre. For the first time, I've invited a few talented friends with special gifts to share, including weaving and spinning of the uncommon kind. These free-spirited adventurers are masters of design and color, plus fun and lovely human beings, too--my kind of people. We've bonded over the years, a bond that's deepened into this incredible 5-day celebration of fiber love unleashed. We're taking over the Mabel Luhan Lodge in Taos (never heard of it? Mabel was an east-coast hieress who fell in love with Chief Tony Luhan. Read A Winter in Toas and Mabel's other books for more details). In fact, the day I announced the cadre, I was leading last year's cadre in Taos. Half the people present signed up on the spot while a Facebook relay went viral and, by the end of the day, every room in the lodge had been booked with next year's participants. Don't worry though, there are plenty of neat places to stay in Taos at all price points. Maximum capacity for the event is 40 participants and 30 have already registered.

The instructors:

Jane Thornley

As a writer, inspired tour leader and art knitter, Jane is known for leading knitters to a sweet-spot of creative freedom in their knitting life. She espouses deviation as the key to creativity and challenges knitters to stop obsessing about getting it right when wrong is so much more interesting. Her designs are free-spirited, rich in color and texture, evocative, and something everyone can create for themselves.  Her designs are perfect for spinners and the independently-minded. See her pattern ‘guides’ on Ravelry or at or join her club for inspired knitters.

A 2-day workshop with Jane is offered to all registrants as part of the cadre. Classes with all other artists will be booked and charged per class.


Monte and Faith with a drop spindle



JANE THORNLEY- Letting Go. Knit without boundaries while exploring evocative knitting. This 2-day base workshop serves as a prelude to all the others while providing yet another playground within which to explore your new skills.


Faith started out as a painter who knits, a knitter who paints:  http:/  One day, inspired by dear friend and mentor, Jane Thornley, I questioned, what if I start using fiber in the same manner that I use paint?  I approach my fiber pieces using the same constructs as painting: color, value, chroma, shape, texture and how they fit together.  My work has evolved into using intarsia, short rows and couching to create both functional  freeform garments and non functional pictoral pieces in fiber.  I wanted to get away from the usual linear progression of knitting to create undulating landscape inspired passages in my work, et voila!

In addition to mixing colors as I go along, I often switch from knitting to traditional crochet, to Tunisian crochet, back and forth in a given piece.  The result tends to create a personal surface that is rich in textural interest.

Things really started taking off for me when Monte introduced me to her “poquitos”. I love using this unique, amazing core spun both for color inspiration and textural interest.  Intuitive knitting explores various ways to incorporate hand spinning into your pieces.  The results are playful, sumptuous and above all, FUN!

Also love to do my own spindling and would love to show you how to ply your handspun with any fabric you might like to use, such as the silk and Carter Smith shibori pictured here in the piece on the upper left hand side.

My work is represented at Origins in Santa Fe and my studio is open by appointment.

Are you a knitter wanting to take it to the next level or maybe a spinner who wants to discover new ways to work your lovelies into art to wear or a weaver so in love with all things fiber, you dream in textiles? Or perhaps someone who wants to learn how to spin, weave or knit creatively? Then this 5-day extravaganza is for you!



Monte began her formal art training in Los Angeles at Chouinard Art Institute in the late 1950s.  After two years and with a strong background in the basics she began to explore outside the traditional arts.  An interest in “crafts” with a longstanding fascination for textiles took shape.  For the ensuing years she was immersed in fiber arts and has continued to be involved with fiber, in one form or another, ever since.

She has been a freelance designer of handwoven fabric for interiors, a restorer of Navajo textiles, the designer/owner of IAT Design Studio, makers of specialty handwoven fashion which sold internationally both wholesale and retail and always a spinner supplying fiber artists with inspired yarns.

“I am intrigued and driven by fiber!  I think that is because I am intrigued by history.  As humans our history is intimately connected with textiles.  Our very survival and progression as a civilization depended, to a large degree, on animal skins and then spinning, weaving, knitting, etc.

Sometimes I lie in bed in the morning just contemplating the weave structure of my sheets.  Crazy, yes but that is the nature of obsession.  I know not everyone is obsessed with the world of fiber but I hope, through my work, to give the gift of awareness.”




Learn how to spin Monte's 'Popitos'



Unwind while you Twist & Wrap!
If you want your fiber projects to be spectacular then you need spectacular yarn.  Wouldn’t it be amazing to be able to design and make that yarn yourself?  After taking this class you will be spinning up a storm and the best part is you don’t need prior experience or expensive equipment.

The technique of Twist & Wrap is so simple and yet produces the gorgeous yarns that Monte has been selling to eager customers for years.

Put a spin on your creative talents.

• Easy
• Portable
• Relaxing
• Super creative


Traditional SpindlingThis  basic beginner class will teach you how to make your own yarns using a spindle (Monte & FAith)

A spindle is a wonderful traveling companion.  Take it anywhere; in the car (when you are not the driver), on a plane, to a meeting, taking a walk. You will  be amazed at how much beautiful yarn you will be producing while you go about your daily business.  You will also learn to add other components to your yarns, such as beautiful fabrics.   Bring your own spindle or buy an inexpensive one from us.  We supply the fiber.



Trianglar Frame Weaving (make a shawl!)





Weaving is a great way to show off the textures of handspun artyarn, commercial yarns, fiber pieces, and locks of fiber.
Using the knitter's loom allows you to create a one of a kind textural panel that become a scarf, table runner, pillows, and purses....
When creating your woven piece you can add anything that expresses your own creative path
I have added leather strips, spanish moss, feathers to the different yarns to make my own sculptural designs.....
I will have selections of many different yarns and other additional materials for each student to create their sculptural panel and each loom will be set up to start their weaving journey


Posted by Jane on 01/21 at 02:36 PM

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Recent Comments I've almost finished Rouge Wave and anxiously awaiting Book II. Do you have any idea when it will be available?

By Verlene Brooks on 2014 08 22
From the entry 'Rogue Wave nearing completion!'.




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