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Sunday, January 31, 2016

Beacon Bits -- Makers and Shakers

This year, January, known as the month of new beginnings, felt longer than usual with five weekends to explore Main Street, which was virtually untouched by snow and sunnier than the recent years past. Second Saturdays are exploding with music and art, as per Beacon Arts listings. Diners have more choices for breakfast with Homespun now serving on weekends. And hikers have continued to traverse the Fishkill Ridge and learn about the Mt. Beacon Incline Railway at the exhibit found at the Beacon Institute for Rivers and Estuaries. However, this year, it seemed more natural to begin the year with some spiritual renewal and a meditation retreat with a good read of the book, Befriending Silence; a trip to the Dia Beacon with a service-dog-in-training in tow for its natural light and sculptural creations; and the purchase of some new yarn for practical projects worth effort and time spent in knitting. So I found it curious that my propensity towards interiority won out despite the call of the mild weather to walk about town on Sunday afternoons. But to my delight, on one such outing, I came across the Hudson Valley Maker and Artisan Cooperative located in Clay, Wood, Cotton at 133 Main Street. Filled with eclectic and diverse creations, this artisan space highlights the 'maker movement', with its hands on, innovative design using raw materials and recycled artifacts to make objects that are both whimsical and functional.
I had a nice conversation with one of the makers, Chris Faroe, and was not at all surprised to learn of his Scandinavian background since many of the creations in the store that are made of wood evoke cabinetry and woodworking made by craftsmen through the ages from the north countries. Fellow makers, Keith Decent and Rob Hughes also demonstrate their innovative design and talent in lamp fixtures, tables, refinished wood pieces, and metal adornments. I look forward to arranging a custom handmade object fashioned by one of the makers that will blend with a unique mix of modern and shabby chic.

Food for thought:  It's a relief to know that our faster Internet speeds for downloads and uploads are being balanced with an eye on renewable construction from scratch materials leading to curious creations that Rube Goldberg would surely appreciate. Add the maker movement to the slow food movement and we can stand still in time. Or go back in time when the Hudson River Valley was home to the Shakers and their own movement of utilitarian furniture; 'tis truly a gift to be simple. And simple is always a great way to start the new year.

 A Simple Knitted Head Band
CO 26 sts. Knit one row across.
Repeat Pattern
R1: K4, P18, K4
R2: K3, P1, K18, P1, K3
R3: K4, P18, K4
R4: K3, P1, (C6B)x3, P1, K3
R5: K4, P18, K4
R6: K3, P1, K18, P1, K3
R7: K4, P18, K4
R8: K3, P1, K3 (C6F)x2, K3, P1, K3
C6B - Slip 3 sts onto cable needle. Hold in back. Knit 3 from left, knit 3 from cable. 
For C6F, hold 3 sts on cable in front.
Ella Rae Chunky Lace Merino, purchased on sale at Clay Wood Cotton, knitted with size 4 needles






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