Sunday, November 09, 2008

My Fantasy Weekend

Get out of the gutter people, not that kind of fantasy. I went to the knitter equivalent of baseball fantasy camp. All the heavy hitters were there: Stephanie Pearl-McPhee, Amy Singer, Nancy Bush, Cookle A., Stefanie Japel, Amy Swenson... a veritable who's who of knitting.

Here they are signing books.

The instruction was excellent. The classes were smaller so we had ample opportunity to ask questions and get feedback. I feel inspired and my mind is full of ideas and new horizons.

Stefanie Japel taught me all the basics to customise patterns and even design my own sweaters based on my measurements. I felt like a kid at Christmas. She is my idol... she is also warm, endlessly patient, easy to talk to and has the very cutest baby around!

In "Stump Steph", Stephanie Pearl-McPhee told me knitting a pattern left handed "is like reading forwards but writing backwards". AuntyTink has been telling me that for ages and I've been plugging my ears and singing "lalala I can't hear you" ... needless to say she gave me an "I told you so look". I also learned tons in "Stump Steph" to tweak and improve my knitting. I took pages of notes and laughed lots too.

In "Plug 'n Play Shawl Design", Amy Singer helped me to design my own shawl. I am making it in Sanguine Gryphon's "An American in China" fingering weight. I ripped out what I had started (wine and lace don't mix). I can't wait to start it again. Not only that, but her lesson taught me everything I need to design my own basic shawls.

We were limited to taking three classes so I didn't get a chance to take any classes with Cookie A or Nancy Bush. There were women who had traveled from New York and California just to take classes with Nancy Bush... what does that say?

Most of what I did on the weekend was swatching and experimenting. The only project I made real headway on was my Noro sock. It was awe inspiring to see what other people had on the needles and what they were wearing. Fabulous shawls... perfectly fitted sweaters... lace... entrelac... Penguin PJ's (Ok that was just at the PJ party Saturday night... 92 knitters high on wine and wool fumes).

The weekend went by so quickly. Great food (I ate way too much), swimming and sitting outside in the hot tub, walking in the fresh mountain air, yoga classes (I am not the most flexible person in the world but I still enjoyed them). Anyone who knows me knows... I do better in small groups... large numbers of people freak me out. Still it was absolutely wonderful meeting knitters from other parts of North America. The whole weekend was absolutely wonderful. I'm exhausted... but in a good way.

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Tuesday, November 04, 2008

It Snuck up on me...

The Retreat that is. I am so excited. An ALL DAY class with Stephanie Japel... y'all know how I feel about her. And I'm taking the fun bus out to Kananaskis. I need to pack. Warm things of course, layers, t-shirts, hoodies and a sweater or two :-).

Do I pack things I've made by the various designers teaching? My room mate this year was at retreat last year as well, she was wearing SJ's simple knitted bodice and it was just gorgeous! I hope she packs it this year.

What classes should I take on Saturday? We don't get to pick those ahead of time. The choices are so darn inspirational. So much awesome knitting talent in one place. Fitting your Knits with Stephanie Japel, Socks with Cookie A, Stump Stef with the Yarn Harlot, Shawls with Nancy Bush, Non Wool Fibers or Shawls with Amy Singer. And lets not forget, the hostesses with the mostest, Amy "Green Jeans" Swenson (it makes her sound like a sports celebrity don't you think?) and the lovely Sandra, two of my favorite people in the whole world.

Then there's the Stash and WIPs, I need to bring stuff for the various classes. What do I bring? My almost done SKB and Green Jeans, possibly, toques (like the one above that I made for one of my sisters... one down three more to go) and mitts (the plan is each sister gets a toque and matching mitts) and socks, probably, they are easy drinking knitting. My Ribbon Lace Scarf for the "Stump Stef class", it's been on time out ever since I realized I made a mistake and would have to rip a way's back.

I'm packing my swim suit, yoga gear and a couple of bottles of wine... Wishing Tree Shiraz... my favorite. I love K. Country so I will also be packing some sturdy walking shoes in case there's a chance for some light hiking.

Oh, I'm all a twitter!!!

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