It’s all over and the word has had a way of making the it feel like the Knitters Review Retreat was a year ago, not last weekend. It just wasn’t long enough!
*** WARNING: Long and picture-heavy post ahead!***
I’ve been thinking a lot about this post, and how to organize it. There’s too much to say. So I’ll sum it up: For me, the Knitters Review Retreat feels like coming home. The people, the shared love of what we do, the people, the yarn, the people …
This year, we were joined by what I can only call the glitterati of the knitterati. Ann Budd, Melanie Falick and Anne Hanson spent the weekend with us. They didn’t just drop in to teach a class – they came and stayed and became part of our weekend. At this rate, every book in my library will be inscribed … but more importantly, they share their wisdom and time – and I hope, get to enjoy being part of our special gathering.
This year, we each received the Swag Bag that rivals the Oscars: hardcover books like Vintage Baby Knits and Custom Knits; a skein of Sundara Worsted Merino; beautiful bags from Rowan, yarn from Berroco and Valley Yarns (Webs) and others, samples of quiviut wrapped around TootsiePops, Soak samples, point protectors, Knitters Review notecards, Interweave magazines and more. It’s appropriate that someone wears a tiara!
Which brings us to the place where I get sniffle-y. My cyber-sister, Luann, brought me these little sheepy socks for Darling Bebe. Sure, you say. Cute socks. There’s always more to the story. About 7 years ago, I spent about 36 hours on Martha’s Vineyard. Driving around, we saw a sign that said, “Yarn” and turned into Allen Farm. I found some beautiful local aran-weight wool that is still in my stash. Back to the picture (which WordPress will NOT let me rotate): the socks are from the same Allen Farm. Only Luann would have (unknowingly) found the connection. And also brought 2 full bags of angora that had my name on them!
And then there’s Lou. HappyStasher is just that: she is someone who is always enthusiastic – I swear, she never has a bad day. She has a habit of spotting owls for me, which then have a way of finding their way chez Owl. Shortly after her arrival, she presented me with this lovely little bag – perfect for my now-preferred small projects. If you look to the left, there’s even a nutmeg owl in the pattern. I was very close to tears.
These are my people. My generous and kind friends.
You never know when a cone of cashmere is going to show up in the Stash Lounge, just waiting for a new home. You expect people to come up and touch your clothing. You see other people’s work and want to do just as well. You sit at any table for meals – even if you don’t know the people already seated. After all, you’re just minutes away from becoming friends. You share what you know.
It took all of 4 minutes of our promised “private lesson” to teach Sandy magic loop. May she knit in the round much faster in the years ahead! Other things were more challenging: “What pattern for this yarn? What gauge? What would you do with it?” all weekend long.
The actual knitting – ummm – well, let’s say that the overstimulation turned me into an idiot. How so? I figured I would spend my knitting time swatching for some new projects, since I needed something mindless. Not once, but TWICE, I had too many stitches per inch. What did I do? Go DOWN a needle size to get even MORE stitches – instead of going up where I belonged. Duhhhhh. I’m blaming the fiber fumes.
Plenty of those, to be sure — we have our own marketplace, our own select fiber festival with String Theory, Foxfire Fiber, Spirit Trail Fiberworks and new this year: Briar Rose. Yes, there is a line to get in. We try not to knock each other down. I brought home 2 sk of String Theory Caper Sock in Winterberry. Karen is a genius when it comes to rich reds.
From Briar Rose, a 500-yard sk of Glory Days, DK-weight BFL. I could loll in a bathtub full of this, and it’s enough for several projects. I also picked up Anne Hanson’s Ivy Vines and Leafprints patterns, as my YotA (Year of the Accessory) continues.
Speaking of which, I did finally cry, “UNCLE” on Elm Row about 8 knitting hours shy of where I wanted to finish it. The time-space continuum failed me. Will post finished pix soon, but in the meantime, Bullwinkle snapped this (scroll down a bit – flash washed out the color a little). I couldn’t believe Anne said she had seen it on ravelry already. I didn’t expect that.
Because this is YotA, I did find some nice single skeins in the Stash Lounge for more small projects, as befit my knitting time and brain space. And for my New Beginnings project, I cast-on for something I’ve never made before: a beret. Never made a hat for myself, and I think Narragansett in DyeDreams Celestial fits the bill. Having passed through the hands of the knitterati as well as my friends, it has to have good karma attached. And I might just manage to finish a NB project for the first time since I started attending KRR.
I don’t know how she does it, but Clara Parkes is an alchemist who manages a secret recipe of right people, right stuff, right place, right time that makes the magic. For this, I am deeply grateful.
With a Sunday work meeting looming, we packed up and headed out with the calendar marked for 2010. Already counting the days …