An enthusiast’s view of America’s Original Seaside Resort… by Meghan Kunz
I always meet the most interesting people in Cape May, and Vanessa Ewing is a prime example. I frequented the Fiber Arts Yarn Shop after I became infatuated with knitting. She patiently tried to teach me to knit on double-pointed needles in order to make alpaca socks (no small feat!). Admittedly, I never finished the project, but I remember her fondly.
Vanessa travelled from Cape May Court House to the Fiber Arts Shop initially. Once she started school in Philadelphia at the Moore College of Art and Design, she battled traffic for two hours every weekend to the shop. Since she has moved to Lansdale, PA (and now has a newborn son!) it has been increasingly more difficult to commute, not to mention her new gig working as a designer for the Plymouth Yarn Company.
Cape May has influenced Vanessa’s creativity in countless ways. In her own words, she reflects on how she “loved going down to the beach and watching the colors of the sun reflect on the ocean… how the ripples in the receding sand, colors of seashells, and the Victorian-themed colors were all very inspirational.” Vanessa finds that Cape May has so many layers that need to be experienced that one should definitely give the off-season a try – shorter lines, trolley rides, walking tours, and daily restaurant specials, to name a few strong points. Mostly, her favorite activity is taking her dog to the beach for a run. The morning sky does provide a palette of endless colors and hues that inspire artistic endeavors.
You can find Vanessa’s own pattern designs at Fiber Arts Yarn Shop, including a seashell-style knitted necklace, a lacey butterfly-inspired cardigan, Victorian-style steampunk spats, Lady of Shalott-inspired ruffled purse, ruffled scarves, and a couple of fun legwarmer designs. If you’re feeling that you need some direction in your knitted projects, Vanessa plans on teaching some workshops or classes on the weekend. Also, there’s the annual knitting retreat which is held in March/April and offers Vanessa’s expertise in everything from a knit pattern drafting class to a fimo clay button class.
Learning how to create handmade items has become increasing popular, cost-efficient and environmentally-friendly. Vanessa finds that she enjoys a balance of both designing and creating the actual items. There is the challenge of the technical aspect of a design and then the rewarding delight of creating a project by hand.
You can visit the Fiber Arts Yarn Shop at 315 Ocean Avenue, in Washington Commons, or at www.etsy.com/shop/vanessaewing, where you can find both patterns and handmade knit goods. Until next week…