November 27, 2009

KR retreat - part 1

Stash lounge
Originally uploaded by miminh3
A week has passed since we left Williamstown but I'm still high from the wonderful (extended) weekend I spent in the company of my fellow knitters.

The excitement about the retreat started long before Thursday afternoon, as Wendy, Luann, and I were emailing back and forth about our carpool. Luann had warned us that her destash would be of gigantic proportions and indeed, I think it was probably only second to Rosi's destash. In any case, we were able to make everything fit in Wendy's Camry though we could have spared ourselves some of the trouble (at the end of the weekend, we realized that the three of us just took from each other's destash in a very nice cyclic permutation).

Being part of the Thursday extension not only allows you to take one extra class but also to relax and fully enjoy the atmosphere. There's nothing quite like arriving at the retreat, being welcomed by Martha and Kendra with our generous goodie bags (more on that later), and being hugged by fellow knitters whether you have met them in previous years or only online. You let go of anything that your mind is preoccupied with (work, family,...) and just happily chat and knit away. You giggle as you go one more time to the stash lounge ("I'm walking there purely to get some exercise"), pet other people's garments and ask them what yarn and pattern they used.

On Friday morning, I took Shelia's beginning/intermediate spinning class. It was a lot of fun to see people have a "aha moment" when doing park and draft with their spindles. Shelia lent us square spindles from Spindlewood Co. (which I had never tried before, they're beautiful and perfectly balanced) and gave us different fibers to use including roving from her own Shetland/Gotland sheep Ingamar (who now has many fans -- let's hope it won't go to his head). I reacquainted myself with my wheel and Shelia showed me how to spin long-draw. I hope to practice often enough that I'll be able to spin both short forward draw and long-draw.

On Friday afternoon, Eva and I were lucky enough to help Jen of Spirit Trail set up her booth for Saturday's marketplace (what passes as an act of altruism is really a self-serving way to fondle the yarns and "pre-shop"). Chris (Roosien, not to be confused with "the other Kris") and Anne Hanson of Knitspot made a homey Briar Rose corner by the fireplace, Kathryn Alexander showcased her colorful bundles of yarn, her books, and her sock pattern in "The Joy of Sox", Jane was setting up the book signing tables for Clara and Melanie Falick while Barb and Holly took care of the Foxfire booth (including the luscious new Cormo Alpaca that was part of my Winter Sheep Share).

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