HAPPY BIRTHDAY PHYLLIS! (MIL) Someone else wanted to say Happy Birthday too!
Yup- that's the Yarn Harlot spreading some birthday cheer! (She was a great sport to help pass along the greetings.)
Alrighty... I'm going to split these posts up only because this would be the longest blog post ever if I didn't... Day 1 at the Make 1 Knitting Retreat was pretty freakin' awesome.
92 knitters attended this year. 92 people who spoke the language of knitting. 92 people who cared about things like DPN's, row counters, gauge swatches and yarn, yarn, yarn. 92 people who would randomly pet one another because the sweater they were wearing was made out of yarn that needed to be touched. 92 people could name a pattern on sight- instead of just complimenting the sweater. 92 people I had one thing in common with: an obsession with knitting.
I went to knitting camp alone this year- and I'll admit I was a little apprehensive about who I was going to meet and worried if I'd make friends. But lo and behold- friends were made before I even got there!
Meet Jane... San Francisco knitter who braved the cold in Kanaskis for the chance to hace a little knitting fun. Jane and I bonded on the bus ride on the way up-- and throughout the weekend we checked in on how much fun the other was having! Jane had the most beautiful Kid Silk Haze shawl I've ever seen. I've always feared the scratchy side of mohair, but Jane's shawl proved that mohair has a soft and gorgeous side too.
After we'd checked in- we hit the dining room to enjoy a yummy buffet and meet more knitters. I knew I was among my people when everyone was at the table knitting when they were eating. Dinner is so much better when accompanied by knitting! In fact all our meals were like this- sitting down, knitting, eating and followed up by more knitting. It's hard to argue with a meal plan like that!
When I finally dragged my exhausted butt back to my room- I finally met my roomate for the weekend - Alysa. Alysa had come up from Seattle and we quickly got to the "getting to know" you part of things as well as the "show and tell" portion, which comes up in any knitting related conversation. She's currently making a top down raglan, from her own design- I always marvel at how anyone can just make up a pattern on the spot like she was! Alysa was a great roomate- and I think we got along swimmingly!
Alysa is in the blue sweater on the right, sitting next to my sock class buddies, and mommies extrodinare Sandy (left) and Jen (middle). (These were taken at the PJ party on Sunday night- and not what people traditionally wore during the day!)
After an early lights out- I got up bright and early to get a good seat at Cookie A's sock design class. OH MY GAWD- Cookie is so smart it makes my head hurt just thinking about her smart-ness. We dug into the class right away, and a few Japanese stitch pattern books later, (WANT SO BAD!), she had helped us all set up and begin designing our socks. Cookie's book comes out in April- and I'm thinking about pre-ordering now, only because it sounds like it's going to be A-W-E-S-O-M-E! (WANT AGAIN!) Of course, I needed to be photographed with greatness...
(She's probably designing three incredibly complex patterns in her head right now, just as she snaps this photo with a hopeless fan girl!)
Also exciting was Cookie's sample table- she brought samples of many of her designs, and many of the projects were familiar friends as they're pictures are all featured along with their patterns. To behold the first Monkey sock knit is pretty thrilling. (Hmmm- can you tell I'm a Cookie fan?)
After a full day of listening to Cookie spout her genius to us-- my brain was getting a little tired. I had knit the cuff nearly to end, before we decided together that the sock I had designed was goingt to need more stitches. I frogged and started that damn sock 3 more times over the weekend-- and still haven't had much luck with it. Here's hoping we'll see some progress in the near future. I full intention to knit these socks- so let's hope I can get past the cuff to see some real progress!
After another tasty supper, and bonding with more knitters, and an impromptu book signing for the authors, (YAY for Harlot autographs!), we all made our way to the lobby and it's comfy couches and fire places.
I don't think the hotel staff or guests knew quite what to make of an overflowing lobby (pictured above is only one of TWO circles), full of people happily knitting. Everyone worked on their own projects and complimented the objects of those around them. It was a very "zen" moment in a way- being a part of a group of people all working together on something with their hands.
Day 1 of knitting camp was super awesome in ways I can't even begin to adequately express. Look for Day 2's recap coming tomorrow!
**I woke up Friday morning with a cold trying to win dominance over my body. I had a sore throat, painful sinuses and I did not want to knit. In fact, had I been at work, I would have called in sick. And yet- I powered through, (with the help of Cold FX) and that may possibly be why my brain was so crappy in Cookie's class. None the less- by the end of the day I felt better- and I had knit so much- that my hands were actually sore! (And I knit a LOT everyday.... so that says how much knitting we were doing!!)