Tuesday, September 28, 2010


My mom and I signed up a few months ago for a somewhat-local fibre retreat. We had tried to go to in 2008 but a family obligation intervened. Signing up a few months ago seemed like a really good idea ... but as the weekend approached, the reality (and guilt) of leaving my poor husband holding the bag for the entire weekend really started to weigh on me. As it stands, the two of us barely cope on a daily basis using a tag-team approach.

Don't get me wrong, I desperately needed the time away. My children have not depended on me this completely since they were toddlers. Being on a high school sports team while attending a different school will do that to a teenage boy.

Long story short, the payment for the weekend was non-refundable and I went. Of course it was completely wonderful and I was inspired and awed, as I always am when hanging around talented artistic people, and as a bonus thoroughly enjoyed the time with my mother.

My first class was in Estonian knitting with Merike Saarniit. She was a great instructor with an incredible amount of knowledge to share.

Merike demonstrates a stitch 
while Jocelyn, Lisa & Diane look on.

The stitches and techniques learned were very different from anything I have tried so far. Merike made us (well, me at least) think about knitting and the use of color and texture in an entirely new way.

My mom checks out the pile o' inspiration
Merike brought with her; each one
was more beautiful than the last

It was just the right level of challenging, so that although I was pooped after six intense hours of knitting, I felt a great sense of accomplishment. Plus I have a start on what I think will become a winter running headband. Luckily the yarn I grabbed to take with me is superwash wool so it can take some washing abuse.


My mom and I were with Merike the next day as well (we didn't plan that, but we did enjoy her teaching, so it was all good), learning about microwave dyeing.

Merike puts our efforts in to cook...

This is not a technique I use -- most everything I do is kettle-dyed -- so it was again great fun to experiment and play around, this time with color.

Lots of experiments hanging out to dry!

Yesterday needs its own blog post, and I will try to get to that tale before another week passes. Let's just say that it involved a trip to Connecticut to pick up sheep... in the pouring rain, with horrible traffic... apparently it has been so long since it rained in these parts, that everyone has forgotten how to drive in wet weather.

The upshot of all my shirking-of-mom-duties is that today was picture day for the first graders, and our son went to school dressed like this:


Yeah. Classy. I am crossing my fingers that he wasn't in the first row for the class picture, and hoping for the best.


  1. He looks very happy and cute - what are you worried about?

    I am glad you went away and had a good time!

  2. I second the pre-retreat angst, but also the 'high' derived from seeing new options, trying new things, and getting new ideas (Now for the time...). It was a GREAT weekend, diminished only a bit by fatigue. Much of the joy was the company! Thank you!

  3. Funny boy! Mine had picture day Monday too and my funny boy decided to wear solid red shirt and shorts. ??? Also I took a hour and one-half nap at the first PA rest stop. Who knew retreats could be so exhausting?

  4. The festival looks like it was a wonderful time...Your knitting looks awesome!...

  5. Hi there...I saw your comment. Will call this weekend. Hope all is well!

  6. :0)---Joshua LOVES the comment T's and is the same parent shirking path you are on, he chose to wear a quite obnoxious shirt---to Sunday School a few weeks ago...sigh. I thought we had past the "let me see what you're wearing" stage. Apparently not :0). But the knitting retreat looked like fun! I have successfully knitted a square! Imagine---I never thought I had the talent! This winter, I am planning on taking a short knitting course at a new local shop in Honesdale "The Gentle Arts". My goal is to make socks which, I am told by our mutual knitting friend, is not as hard as it looks! We'll see. If I cannot master socks, maybe I will have sleeping bags for very tall thin people to sell :0). Enjoy this fall weather! Did you get rained out?