Monday, November 18, 2013

What is it about Port Ludlow knitters?

It's the last day of the retreat and there are things I need to do today, and they have to do with people. You see, I'm not the most gregarious person in the room, certainly not the center of attention.. That's fine with me, because I love to observe and listen. Hailing from New Orleans, people watching is a favorite hobby. New Orleanians are great fun to watch and hear.  So uninhibited and naturally funny.  But here, I need to curb my natural instinct and actually interact with these knitters!  There are soul mates out there.  I've found this at knitting events consistently, but for some reason, here even more so.  Maybe it's because we are all here for the same reasons. Or that we all are on the same level of some nebulous plane. I'm not sure. But these knitters, including of course the teachers, are awesome.

Of course I'm not the first to notice this. Why do you think folks come back year after year, to meet up with best friends they only see once a year, and to meet new ones?  If today I can solidify some of the connections I feel here, I will be a lucky knitter.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

In a Spin

[Note to Self:
When traveling, kind of the point of Road Yarns, if you are going to use your camera, you're sure as heck gonna need a computer.  Those durned iPads don't take camera cards. So, Self, either use iPad camera; or phone camera, which can upload to Dropbox; or bring computer.]

Now - yesterday. What happened was what I was afraid would happen. I kind of fell in lust with spinning.  I don't need a new crush.  My stash is too big for competition. Handspun?  I'd need a new room. And my stash would be jealous.  But spinning?  Oh so frustrating. I'm a genuine fiber mangler. The fur flew in my corner yesterday. But I'm going back this morning before class for more 'cos I am compelled, I tell you.  Must spin.

Of course I blame it on Judith MacKenzie, who could spin granulated sugar into a yarn fit for a queen or sand into a fiber strong enough to hold up a bridge if she wanted to. Judith makes it look Easy. Graceful, beautiful. Between her skill and her lovely manner and her ability to explain absolutely everything eloquently, I'm converted and would love to spend time with her just for the person she is. No wonder people in spinning circles go around spouting, "Judith says......"  I did it yesterday. I'll insert the spinning photos here when I get back to my computer later in the week.

Saturday, November 16, 2013

I'm baaack

Hello fellow Fiber Fiends, it's good to be back. I took some time off to re-evaluate the purpose of Road Yarns. (Actually, I was doing other fun things.) If I only write when I'm on the road, there's a lot of down time. To say the least. And I don't like that. I want to have an ongoing discussion of all things knitterly, not just the traveling kind. But, importantly, traveling to fiber events and places is still the goal, hence the moniker Road Yarns. So, away we go!  I'll keep you abreast of knitting tips both needle and otherwise (Karbonz are up next), books (stay tuned for my take on the Yarn Whisperer), and much more.

But first!!!  I'm in Port Ludlow, Washington for a three day retreat with Stephanie Pearl-Mcphee,  Nancy Bush, and Judith MacKenzie.  I was fortunate to get in and I've been wanting to attend one of these retreats for quite a while. The intimacy of small classes with a group of other knitters is, well, I mean, what's better?  Ok, maybe one or two things, but not many.

So I have been working on this sweater for what seems like weeks to wear (read, show-off) here, going to be the best thing ever, so stunning, what a design, brilliant, you know.... And of course I'm not finished. It's a variegated hand dyed wool from String Theory in Maine.  I love it but by God, it's dark. Takes really good light to work on. So, do I start a sock, or plod on through thick or thin?  Plod on, I think.

Finally, today I have an all day spinning class, lace spinning, to be specific, with Judith MacKenzie. I'm excited and intimidated, as I may be the only non-spinner in the class. I've been told by several knitters that Judith is the best and I do feel lucky to have this opportunity. I've always thought about learning but haven't known how I'd find the time. So this is an opportunity to get my toes wet. I'll let you know how it goes. Off we go