A mere five days after re-entry to the real world, and the 2010 Knitter’s Review Retreat already seems like months ago. It elicits a wistful Casablanca, “We’ll always have Williamstown …” So now I commit it to writing to try to recapture some of its magic.
And it is magic. How many events do alleged adults plan four months in advance, then count down the days, weeding through stash, preparing presents and endlessly packing for? On departure, the Owl and the Pussycat (KnittingKittens) did a fair job at filling a small SUV. For 2010, we had given ourselves a special gift: the Thursday extension ~ four days and three nights unplugged and unwound.
Then, the pleasant drive over rivers and hills, through the Berkshires. KnittingKittens and I take periodic day-trips hither and yarn, so it didn’t yet feel as if we were going away. Until we reached my personal milestone, the signal that we are quite near. There’s something endlessly cosmic about it.
On arrival at the Williams Inn, well, it all started to sink in. The hugs. The smiles. The how-do-we-get-all-this-to-the-room? The goodie bags. Yes, there is swag that for knitters, rivals the old Oscar presenter presents. Inside: A Schulana pattern book; Clara’s beautiful KR notecards; a stitch marker; a skein of Blue Moon Fiber Arts Socks That Rock (which I have never knitted with before); Filatura DiCrosa Zara and Berroco Blackstone Tweed. Indie dyer Dirty Water Dye Works Julia, too.
And dear to me, as you’ll
hear later, a special commemorative button from Briar Rose Fibers. We had checked in early, then scooted to a nearby grill for a bite of lunch, not surprised at all to encounter longtime KRR friends already seated.
The BlackBerry, set to “vibrate,” began to dance. Took work call, returned to lunch.
As cars filled the lot, the presents — less important than the presence — began to appear. Notepads and sachets, stitchmarkers and project bags. Each will remind me of the giver in the months ahead.
We gathered, and under the watchful eye of Lanea, whipped the Stash Lounge into submission for all to enjoy.
Friday, the day began with an intensive, speed-dating version of Melissa Morgan-Oakes‘ Two-at-a-Time From the Toe Up class. Melissa is a very talented instructor, one who is able to communicate a concept in as many ways as it takes to help a student understand, and uses subtle tools to allow those who are behind a chance to catch up without pressure. I use her 2AAT technique all the time, and prefer socks from the toe up (in those very rare instances that I
knit contemplate knitting
socks). Even with the whole day before us, Melissa condensed a seven-hour class into five, taking us through gussets and heel turns until everyone had something to show. Of course, we were aided by these pretty little packages from Metaphor Yarns – fresh chocolate!
By the time class ended, the number of retreaters had begun to swell.
And the BlackBerry danced. And danced.
There was Bullwinkle and Rosi and our dear Sweet Jane (whose name cannot be disentangled from that utterly apt adjective); Marfa, Purlewe, HappyStasher, Ripko and NanciKnits to name a few aside from my own cyber-sister, Luann. Called together from the proverbial four corners by the woman known as The Yarn Whisperer, Clara Parkes, we assembled together for an evening of introductions. (Note: Will some designer deconstruct that store-bought cardigan, please?)
And what a crowd we were! From
Arizona to Oregon to Maine and Florida … college students to retirees … new moms and grandmas … each with enthusiasm and the desire to create something from sticks and string.
The BlackBerry was reset to “Silent.” Its red eye blinked.
Rather than the usual “who/where” introductions, we were asked to talk about our favorite fibers. I shall refrain from repeating the racy terminology that followed so as to keep the spammers at bay. Suffice it to say, it was, ummmm, tactile. There was little professed monogamy ;) If you are wondering, I extolled the virtues of BFL – my yarn BFF ~ specifically Briar Rose Fibers Glory Days, which I’ve
babbled raved displayed here before. It was ~ yarnographic. ‘Nuff said.
Read on for Pt. II