By Eileen Majors
Meeting this artist can be done in her own yarn shop, The Woolroom, in historic downtown Quincy, California.
Medrith Glover welcomes students and friends who enjoy sitting and knitting in this relaxing spot. A built-in window seat faces a row of comfortable chairs, making room for plenty to join in the daily ritual.
“Medrith is a remarkable teacher,” said Kathy Felker, as she knitted. She was taught by Medrith. “Tell her about your teaching method,” she urged her teacher and now friend.
“For ‘newbies.’ Medrith explained, “I call it the drift format. First, I work with the student for an initial three-hour session; then as they work to finish their first project, they can drift in and out as they need help.” She charges $25 for the instruction time, which can vary, as each student chooses their own first project. Others, who are already involved in a project, can always come in for help… “Custom Help for Knitters – $2.00 a Treatment” says the little brown sign on the shelf.
On a walk through the shop, she pointed out several different wools and other fine yarns, including many natural fibers. The shop draws needleworkers from across the region. Medrith is skilled in knitting, crocheting and spinning, and teaches all three. Knitting is her passion. Her favorite work is structural 3-D knitting, meaning there are no seams. She also likes to help her knitters to make every garment a “custom job”, tailored to the specific needs of the wearer.
We made our way to the back of the store to see what I had heard so much about prior to my visit. Medrith’s own signature patterns are stacked in cubbies, printed on colored paper complete with diagrams. There are many at her shop. After meeting the publisher of Knitter’s Magazine at Knitting Camp in Wisconsin, she became involved in the magazine’s early editions. Her work was featured in Knitter’s Magazine over a dozen times. She has also been a contributor to a number of recent hardcover books. Her beautiful work is displayed in the store and shows off her unique techniques, like using heavier weight yarns on needles normally used for lighter weight yarns, which produces very thick and luxurious, tightly knit sweaters. She seems to know every trick out there and has invented her own methods when nothing else served her needs. Medrith invented a buttonhole for corrugated rib, done in two-color work, common on Fair Isle Shetland wool sweaters, and has invented her own “mathematical random, a way of governing color changes separately from the charts used in stranded color-work patterns.”
She attended knitting camp in Wisconsin during the summer for many years, she explains, as we view her work featured in Sweaters From Camp, published in 2002. Medrith was inspired by these camps put on by Elizabeth Zimmermann and Meg Swansen, the guru’s of the craft, and held her own Knitter’s Retreats in the Quincy area for twenty years, enjoying the hospitality of Gold Lake Lodge, the Feather River Inn, and Greenhorn Creek Guest Ranch. For the last 8 years, she has held 4-day Knitter’s Retreat Reunions each fall at the Woolroom in Quincy.