In the afterglow of the Knitter’s Review Retreat, I sometimes find it difficult to write; never more so than this year. I’ve said that this four-day respite is my Christmas. To stretch the metaphor farther, this time I felt mostly like George Bailey, simply overwhelmed by the tidal wave of kindness that swept me through the weekend. It seemed every time I was alone for a moment, another friend sat down beside me with a thoughtful memento or hug to say that Nutmeg Owl would never really be flying alone.
From stitch markers to fancy soaps; handmade bags to mittens for Darling Bebe, you showered me until I was nearly speechless and certainly misty-eyed. It’s no wonder that wherever this group convenes, when it is together, I am home.
And, for the record, the trendy “hexi-puffs” have NOTHING on these little guys ~ who are part of a complete ju-ju kit for Owl Manor. (It would have taken me longer to sew on the eyes than to knit them ALL.)
But on to the weekend …
The teaching draw featured the best battery of instructors we have every had in tandem at KRR: Ann Budd, who always has a trick to share; Sivia Harding, patroness of lace and beading; Amy Herzog, who helped every person there see the value of the right cut for the right body, and Mary Scott Huff, who left us
laughing so hard we gasped for air and wiped away tears (and I was incapable of taking a single picture without shaking violently). Whichever teachers you had, you wished you’d had them all. And every one was generous with her time in and out of the classroom. This is not a gathering where teachers hide out at special tables away from the plebes. We are all knitters; we mix and mingle throughout the weekend.
It seemed that the 361 days since we were last together have brought sad times for so many ~ the loss of mothers, spouses and
other close family members. Perhaps that is what made for the most cohesive gathering anyone can remember. Time crept rather than sped as we reconnected, updated and helped each other through entanglement.
And helped each other treat ourselves to a bit (or more) of fiber luxury at our
on-site marketplace with Spirit Trail Fiberworks, Briar Rose, String Theory and newcomers Three Bags Full and longtime Retreat-goer turned vendor PeaceLoveYarn. The line in the hallway outside looked a lot like Black Friday at midnight ~ or whatever they are now going to call it since the holiday season must now start the day after Halloween, but I digress.
I have not even mentioned the swag bag for 2012, including one of the sweetest of children’s books, Extra Yarn, the very useful color grid (that I will use at Owl Manor more than for knitting) and yarn, stitch markers and more. I do use my KRR coffee mugs judiciously, when I want a special reminder of being with people I love who share something special.
Somehow, in the midst of her constant personal reinvention and multiple projects, Clara Parkes manages to put the right people together, sprinkle yarn-fairy dust and make magic. Never more so than in 2012. I am endlessly grateful that she and the others who help behind the scenes do so, and allow me to be a guest at the party.
I am strengthened and humbled and ready to face the next chapter, whatever it might bring.