Sometime in September I needed the cargo van we use for Lost City Knits and went about clearing out things we just leave in the van between shows. The last time we touched hardware for the booth was in February at STITCHES West in California. Cleaning out the van provided a moment of reflection on changes this year required.
Shows provide a nice revenue, an opportunity to put our offerings out before an audience, a chance for Denise to teach enthusiastic students, and the ability to see you and what you’ve been working on.
Like everyone, we had to adjust what we expected from the year, because other than that STITCHES there weren’t any shows. We did other things. Earlier in the year we did a short video of some of our offerings. Denise released two patterns, the Killabrew Vest and the Milo & Maize Pullover. We thought and wrote here about what this break from normal meant. We knew that selling yarn wasn’t the most important thing we needed to do. People wanted community.
You, our customers and friends, came through with enthusiasm over the patterns, and our online yarn sales were steady throughout a trying time. Thank you. Many of you checked in, not necessarily to buy anything, but just to reach out. We appreciate it.
Rather than going to events we spent time here on the farm and focusing on work here has been welcome. The farm we live on has always played a role in Lost City Knits. Longtime customers will recall Oak Barn Merino, High Country DK, and Twin Canyon Merino Silk as past yarn lines. Those were all named for places here on the farm.
Denise continued a series of photo posts named after a talk she gives called Landscape of Inspiration. As she often does in her design and color work, she finds inspiration and then puts together a pallet to represent what she sees. This year these have been exclusively from our farm here in Oklahoma.
Speaking of the farm, I have buried the lead, as journalists say. The biggest story of our 2020 is that people can now stay here on the farm in a private farmhouse. All of this time at home has permitted us to finish some work on the old farmhouse here, and we have quietly placed it on AirBnB. It’s available and people have stayed in it, but we haven’t said much about it yet because the last thing that needs to fall into place for it to be ready for prime time is beyond our control.
What holds us back is that there is currently no internet at the farmhouse. It has been perfectly lovely for all of its existence without internet, but to be marketable it needs connectivity. Our own internet at our house a few hundred feet away is satellite, and, while we are glad to have it, Denise has turned down Zoom teaching events because of spotty internet reliability.
However, our local electric cooperative is in the middle of a massive project bringing fiber optic internet to our part of the woods. Their cables are mounted on the outside of both houses here, but as yet there is no service inside. It’s all brand new infrastructure, so the crews just need time to work.
When service is connected the farmhouse will be an ideal place to stay. The property has fields and forests, creek and critters. Two flint bluffs line parts of the creek and provide swimming holes. The woods are wonderful to explore in the winter. Someone could be perfectly content never to go inside, and with thousands of books, a shaded porch and a deck with a view, one could also never leave the farmyard and be perfectly content.
It’s a nice place to knit, to say the least. And we have plans for more than that.
Denise is working on some private classes for those who would like to spend time here and learn more about the art. While this is Lost City Knits HQ, we don’t have a store here, just a storage building that isn’t open to the public. Should you want to visit, however, we can put out an assortment of yarns for you and fill an order if you like.
We will make an official announcement about the Farmhouse on Clear Creek later, but it certainly needs to be mentioned in a year-end email about what we’ve been doing, and if you’ve read this far you deserve to know about it.
There is plenty of knitting happening, too. We will soon write about Denise finishing her Mary Tudor cardigan from Alice Starmore, as well as her progress on the Autumn Color Fair Isle by Betts Lampers from the book Sweaters from Camp. Betts attends Knitting Camp, and each year she bowls Denise over with the colorwork she brings.
We will see you on down the road. Now, though, you might start to think about coming to see us.