♦ Welcome back everyone! We hope your summer was wonderful. Now that “winter is coming”, we can look forward to planning and learning new crafts for the indoor season. Knitting was a theme this year, with Donna Druchunas visiting at the AGM and showing us how to make traditional Lithuanian wristlets (riešinės). It is a craft that Donna has delved into deeply, and has several books on the topic. We will post a list soon, and are also adding a new section on knitting, which we invite you to visit. Send us your thoughts and any areas of further interest as well!
♦ Camp Neringa in Brattleboro, Vermont, has its 50th anniversary this year, and many interesting events were organized to celebrate. Some of you may have attended the reunion in September. There was also a mushrooming weekend, which was unfortunately somewhat far for Torontonians, but closer for Montrealers and of course Lithuanians from New York, Boston, communities in Connecticut and other Eastern seaboard areas. However LTFAI president Diana Wiese and secretary Ramune Jonaitis did make it to Neringa for an event at the end of August, called Culture Days. Our goal was to present our organization as an important North American cultural institution. Diana spoke about its goals and future plans, and we were happy to promote LTFAI, and even have some new members as a result. Attendance at the Cultural Days was not huge, as various people came and went at various points during the program (August 21-25), but the group was warm and receptive. There were interesting talks on architecture, on the history of Neringa, a book presentation, a writing workshop, a play reading, a demonstration of wool processing and other sessions we were sorry to miss because of time constraints. We hope we can continue to reach out to our American friends and widen our network of Lithuanian folk artists and aficionados. On our way back we also managed to visit Donna Druchunas at her home in Vermont, and found her dyeing wool! We were happy to hear that she is learning Lithuanian and is as dynamic as ever. For knitting news and ideas, do visit her website https://sheeptoshawl.com.
♦ We encourage everyone to begin thinking about Christmas crafts and shows you might want to organize. Straw ornaments (šiaudinukai) are fun to make and can easily involve children. Although plastic straws are a no-no environmentally, this is certainly an earth-friendly and creative way to use them. For the crafty, there is also still time to consider paper-cut art for cards and, of course, knitted wristlets, socks and hats. Other gift ideas: small-frame weavings, upcycled Lithuanian tablecloth mats, bookmarks or jam-jar toppers and upcycled amber jewellery. Watch for new articles with ideas and instructions!
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