My sister bought a Spining Wheel from Susan's Spinning Bunny last year (awesome customer service--SUsan's husabnd actually dropped the wheel off at my sisters door because he would be nearby)
So then my sister received an e-mail about a Knitting/Spinning retreat for this summer.
She sent me the link months and months ago--didn't say a thing, just sent the link.
I have never been to a Knitting retreat. I've never taken a Knitting class. I've never done anything Knitterly related (except buy, knit, read etc)--so I was excited.
There was the financial hurdle to overcome--so I started a Fiber Club.
THe customers who purchased my Club bought my way to the retreat!! (Thanks ladies)
Hubby's work is busy, usually with weekend plans and activities for his "other job".
He did have an event to attend, however because of the awesome Spouse of his co-worker, he took the kids with him and they were well cared for.
The only hurdle left was how to get myself there: If I drove the car, Hubby couldn't do his work event, If my sister met me at the border we'd miss most of the first day.
All the details with work, the car, my son's summer school etc etc all worked out beautifully so that this past Friday we met Michelle at the Syracuse mall for a pick up/drop off.
Some bad directions and construction put us a bit behind, but after some luggage/wheel switch and some hugs good bye and we were off in the pouring raing on our way to Ithaca NY for an awesome weekend (we didn't know yet how awesome, but we were so excited)
We had some, um, trouble navigating the route to the highway in Syracuse (I seriously believe the roads are like a small intestine)--we kept following the signs, which would lead us to nowhere, we'd turn around and find the sign pointing to another direction.
It was stressful
Due to a strange warp in the time/space contiuum, we were only a little bit late (we missed intros and nametag making)--but caught up quickly.
About an hour in we realized that no only were we amongst "our people' (Knitters with a Captial K) and that our brains might explode with awesome sweater design.
The whole theme of the weekend was that we would purchase yarn (from Susan or on our own) or spin yarn to make a custom fitted raglan sweater.
We knew we needed to think about design elements (cardigan, pullover, cables/lace etc) but that was all we knew.
Once we got started measuring (necks, arms, etc etc) we were told that this sweater pattern could customize to fit our specific measurements (no back gaping because you needed to fit the front, no to tight arms or gaping sleeves or seaming!!)...we loved it.
Our hotel room was beautiful,
with the best pillows ever (we seriously contemplated buying them from the hotel and taking them home in our suitcase)
There was an awesome Swag Bag
with awesome stuff in it-- (click on the picture to go to Flicker to see the notes)
Originally uploaded by thechickswithsticks.
Originally uploaded by thechickswithsticks.
Friday night was awesome food at the Moosewood .
I had big plans for swimming/hot tubbing, spinning and Knitting --but like a true tired Mommy, I fell asleep sitting up in bed with Knitting in my hand.
Saturday we received our custom fitted patterns from Cathy Chesnut (a Knitter, Knitting Teacher, Pattern designer extrordinaire).
That's TeAntae, she's a very excited Knitter
MIchelle and I were so excited we had written a song that we sang for Cathy (we actually wrote it Friday afternoon but since we were still in the "get to know you stages" of the weekend we didn't sing it until Saturday)
If you want to hear it, you can click on the mp3 link in this blog post (Thanks Louise!!!)
So, just before noon we cast on for our sweaters---
Susan and Cathy were there to help with the pattern and make some suggestions (ie: how to knit a firm button band so that it doesn't sag and pull when you button it up--amazing)
a great lunch and we were off to Susan's house/store to shop and knit away the afternoon.
I bought some awesome Merino/Bamboo, some Merino/Cashmere and some Superwash Merino for socks (her prices were amazing and her hand-dyed, you guessed it--amazing :) )
We sat and knit,
The rest of us went out for some seafood (I had crab stuffed shrimp wtih rice and lobstser sauce..mmmm) and we all decided to knit at the table
(MIchelle is wearing her "Hey Teach" that she just finished!)
Delia's face is saying "I think I knit too far on my sock"--so what's a Knitter to do??/div>
Try your sock on at the table.
Sigh...What a great weekend
We laughed, we ate, we knit, we ate, we talked, we ate--amazing
So, for a first year doing the retreat--it was a smashing success
I thought it was well organized, Susan and Cathy are great teachers who compliment each other beautifully.
My sweater progress on the way home:
Michelle is camping this week at WA, and I took a picture of her trying on her sweater-yeah! It totally fits! (of course it fits--we have an awesome pattern)
So that's my big old blog post about the amazing weekend.
Can't wait to do it again next year (right hubby? right Michelle??)