|Notre Dame Spiritual Center, Alfred, Maine|
If you wonder what I have been up to and where I've been, sit tight and I will try to capture the joy, warmth, and inspiration that pervaded the atmosphere of our knitting retreat just over a week ago. It was my second retreat and one I will never forget.
My knitting and blogging bestie, Julie, (aka Inky077 , author of Urban Mouse to Country House) and I made the trip north to Alfred, Maine for the Knitting Pipeline retreat. We were nervous and anxious, despite knowing the fact that knitters are very kind people.We had packed plenty of warm clothes, fiber, patterns, needles, and project bags. Being a tad nervous to be in the company of "famous" knitters, podcasters and women of uber knitting magical skills, little did we realize that each and everyone of those women would be smiling, encouraging, innovative and inspiring. Silly girls that we are, we should have had nary a worry.
|Knit Wit, 247 Congress Street, Portland, Maine|
The shop was pretty full of us knitters, and many an icebreaker moment happened there. Susan had the shop open for us to gather as we arrived from the airport or in cars. I met Mel of the podcast, SingleHandedKnits there. I gave her a big hug, wondering at the ability of the internet to provide us with a means to make virtual friends, and how tiny she was in real life. Also, there was Julia, a friend I had made via Twitter that very morning... I know, how can I explain the phenomenon of following someone who messages back and we start a friendship by Tweeting our location as we approached the destination of Portland and a four day stint of knitting, learning and networking? Amazing. I get a fiber high from being in certain yarn shops so you can imagine my delirium as I was rubbing elbows with all of these people that I admire from afar.
After a yummy dinner at Becky's Diner on the waterfront, (click to listen to oceanfront sounds), we headed to Alfred. We were two of the final three arrivals, but we were warmly welcomed and ushered up to our room. As we unpacked and tried to work up the nerve to join the many tables already full of knitters, Mel popped in and said, "Oh! Come on down, Paula wants to just welcome everyone and she wants to meet you". Imagine??? So our evening of meeting, knitting and marveling at the WIPs began. We were to become a family of sorts in the next few days, little did we know of the connections and friendships that were waiting to be built.
Monday was a day of learning, sharing and cake making. No, not the edible kind. Wait, you'll see.
|The collection of fingering weight yarns.|
|One collection of colors.|
|Another beautiful grouping.|
|Here's the cake!|
|Paula's own Magic Cake Ruffled Shawl|
Yarn: assorted lengths of fingering weight yarn on size 3 needle.
|The start of my Magic Cake Shawl.|
I want to save the day trip shenanigans for another post, but I did knit on the shawl throughout the day and in the evening. As I was chatting with Barb and Mel, they admired my work, but exchanged knowing glances that had me repeating...."What? What? WHAT?" The magic cake I had selected earlier that day was the result of much hunting, gathering, measuring and weighing on the parts of Mel and Barb. The fibers had been selected from their stash with the intent of creating a memory to wear.
Can you imagine my confusion, embarrassment, guilt and remorse? They were not mad, they insisted I keep it, but I just felt bad. I frogged my work, and with Julie's help, returned it to cake form again. I attempted to return it to Barb, but she and Mel both insisted it was mine to keep. So, I suggested it become like the Traveling Pants, a shawl to share. Solution accepted! I felt better and have been knitting away on the cake, marveling at each new color as it unwinds.
I am going to wrap this post up and stop here. I have so many other tales to tell of people met, projects admired, techniques learned and books to review. Come see me again and live vicariously through the retelling of four days of restorative hilarity and knitting.
Also, leave a comment with your thoughts on Magic Cake and using scraps to make your version of Paula's pattern.