If We Stay Here…

The last night was bittersweet.  After dinner we had a combination Q & A session and a little show and tell.  We learned about thigh spinning as an alternative method of depilation, we saw some truly breathtaking projects, and we made grand plans to keep in touch.  We laughed and hugged and one or two people may have cried just a bit, for we knew it was almost time to go home.  Stephanie put it best when she explained "if we stay here...we'll die.  You can't do this forever." And she's right of course (she usually is).  We couldn't do [...]

July 30, 2010|

The Three Rs, Part Three

So day one was rowdy, and day two was reverent.  Day three can perhaps best be called raucous.  It was knitting with Stephanie Pearl-McPhee, it was the final day, and we were all more than a bit slap happy. Things started out well enough.  There was learning, there was sharing, there was swatching.  We got to try out all the yarns we had dyed on the first day and several more as well.  The wisdom of my decision to buy piles and piles of Silkie Sock was confirmed.  My resistance to sweater knitting was substantially undermined.  (Ya see that silvery [...]

July 25, 2010|

The Three Rs, Part Two

So if day one was rowdy, day two would have to be described as reverent.  The second day was spent spinning with Judith MacKenzie.  Now you all know that spinning was the thing I was most concerned about. Just days before the class was announced, I had declared that I was done with spinning.  It's only due to an entirely uncharacteristic delay in getting rid of stuff that I hadn't chucked all my spinning fiber the week before the class went public.  I had put it all in a pile to go away, but just never got around to finding [...]

July 22, 2010|

Later that Night

After a full day of dyeing, you might think we'd have had enough fun.  Nope.  There was more to come that night. We started by dyeing (or perhaps painting is a more accurate word) silk scarves with Dye-Na-Flow paints.  The process was unreasonably entertaining.  It felt sort of like craft day at summer camp.  We each made two and it was amazing how different they all were.  You can see both of mine in the picture on the left.  The first is the purple one in the middle on the bottom row, the second is the orange one running perpendicular [...]

July 18, 2010|

The Three Rs, Part One

The word that comes to mind for day one has to be rowdy. I mean it in the nicest possible way, but there's just no way around it. The students at the retreat were divided up into 3 groups and each group rotated through the three instructors in a different order.  All of the groups seemed to develop their own personalities.  Mine was obviously the coolest. Our first day's activity was dyeing with Tina Newton, the mastermind behind Blue Moon Fiber Arts.  We started with a discussion of color, silk, and dye.  Within a few minutes, we were wielding squirt [...]

July 17, 2010|

Quite Alright, Thank You

One of the most enjoyable things about the retreat was that everyone staying at the Inn was there for the same thing.  It was unexpectedly liberating.  You knew that no one would think it odd that you were carrying around a spinning wheel or sitting on the porch knitting or carefully photographing a ball of brightly colored fluff.  If you noticed someone peering intently at your work you could be sure that they would ask about the yarn or the technique or the colorway, not ask 'don't you know you can buy socks at the store?'  Even the staff had [...]

July 15, 2010|


I know how to pack a suitcase.  I really do.  I have lots of experience with it.  I've packed delicate easter eggs, I've packed antique distaffs, I've packed 12 bottles of booze in 2 tiny suitcases.  I have never had anything break.  Not one thing.  Not jam jars, not plates, not tiny bits of carved wood.  Not even when these breakable things were accompanied by big rocks (one of the other things I tend to cart home, they make great bookends).  Nothing. Until yesterday.  Yesterday the baggage handler gods decided to smite me.  While I was in Washington I picked [...]

July 14, 2010|

Nothing to See Here

I took advantage of getting in a day early to go exploring yesterday.  I more or less managed to conduct myself like a grown up.  I got where I was going without getting remarkably lost, I kept myself fed and hydrated, I did not come to the attention of the local constabulary, and I saw pretty things. Alas, there was one small problem. As I was wandering around the beach, I decided it would be an excellent spot to take some pretty pictures of the most recent finished socks.  Water, rocks, sand, the occasional hunk of driftwood, what more could [...]

July 10, 2010|

A Wee Excursion

I'm packing (the suitcase sort of packing, not the illicit weaponry sort).  It's not just regular trip packing.  I'm actually pretty darn good at that.  It's knitting trip packing.  Somehow this is ever so much more complicated.  Especially in this case, as there is dyeing and spinning paraphanallia in addition to the standard knitting supplies.  You see, I leave on Thursday for the Yarn Harlot's Silk Retreat. It is a bit indulgent, but I'm heading out a day early.  I feel a tiny twinge of guilt, but not much.  One of my few regrets from Sock Summit was not having [...]

July 6, 2010|
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