Last year, I wrote a post about how much I love A Craftsman’s Legacy. Season 3 of the show started last week and I have loved the first two episodes. Episode 2 of Season 3 features Maple Smith (Ravelry) of North Star Alpacas (Etsy) in Ithaca, Michigan. Maple gave host Eric Gorges dyeing, spinning, and knitting lessons!
I very much enjoy every episode of this show but this episode is my favorite so far, not just because it features crafts I do, but also because Maple is so incredibly charming. In addition, host Eric Gorges is always out of his element in the fibery episodes (The Weaver with Juanita Hofstrom in Episode 6 of Season 2 and The Quilter with Theadra Fleming in Episode 10 of Season 2). In most episodes, he may not be familiar with the particular craft, but he is familiar with many of the tools. This is not the case when he works with fiber, and we see him struggle to learn as a raw beginner. Watching Eric learn is always one of my favorite parts of the show because it’s rare to watch someone take their first wobbling steps in a new skill. His uncertainty, curiosity, and unwillingness to be deterred by his mistakes really make the show; it makes me feel like I might be able to do that craft too. In this case, where I have some mastery of the skills, I was reminded of how far I’ve come in the last few years and my determination to continue learning new skills was renewed.
My only criticism of this particular episode is that it seemed like a little too much to cram into one episode. These episodes are only about 22 minutes long. While we see Maple instruct Eric on dyeing and spinning, the part where she instructs him on knitting was cut. We see him for only a couple minutes at the end of the episode, on the second or third row of a swatch, looking at the stitches and not actually knitting.
The ending of the episode is part of what makes it my favorite so far. In every episode, the featured craftsman gives Eric a gift. Often, it’s the project that they’ve worked on in the episode. Almost always, the gift includes the show’s logo. However, that is not the case in this episode. Maple knit Eric a hat. A very particular hat, instantly recognizable by all fans of space westerns everywhere, because she heard he is a huge fan of that particular TV show. He looks as excited as a kid on Christmas morning!