All Knitting, All the Time!
I've been home for a day and a half, and I'm still having a hard time putting the words together to describe my experience at Knitting Camp. I can't believe how much information my brain was able to absorb! I have so many ideas swirling through my head, I don't even know where to begin. Well, I *should* begin by writing all of these ideas down before I forget them!
I got in to Marshfield, WI about 12:30 on Thursday. When I pulled into the parking lot of the Holiday Inn (the nicest one I've ever seen, btw), this was the first thing I saw:
I knew I was in the right place when I saw the license plate. Yep, it's a *purple* Saab with "Knit On" license plates, and it belongs to none other than Amy Detjen.
Amy possesses an unequivocal love of knitting, and she is not afraid to share her knowledge and enthusiasm with anybody who is smart enough to take the time to listen!
I checked into my room, and I wandered around the hotel for a bit. I walked over to the Pick 'N Save across the street and loaded up on junk food for the weekend. Nothing started until 6:00...this was the only time in the entire weekend that I was bored. At 6:00, everybody gathered in the conference rooms for dinner, and then it was on to the knitting room!! Everything that Schoolhouse Press sells was there...and nearly every sweater that has ever been in a Wool Gathering or a Elizabeth/Meg/Joyce book was there! Talk about systems overload!!
The people at Schoolhouse Press are absolutely amazing - I've never met anyone like them!
Friday morning I went to breakfast the The Kitchen Table, a wonderful restaurant in Marshfield that is owned by Meg's sister, Lloie. Great food, fast service, and I had the most wonderful waitress! I ate there every morning, (except Sunday, when they're closed... and I ate at the Country Kitchen - blech), and when I went in Monday morning, the waitress actually asked me "do you want the usual?" Of course, not very many people ask for horseradish for their fried eggs... And then it was on to class...
Meg taught at a table in the front (I had a front seat!!) and had a video camera over her shoulder that transmitted to televisions all around the room.
Here she is showing us how to "explode" a bun of unspun icelandic:
Class ended at 3:00, and the room stayed open until the last person went to bed (the last person to leave was supposed to lock the door). As a result, there were knitters everywhere until all hours of the night! I never made it past 11:00, though...
Saturday was Joyce Williams' birthday, so we had a cake. Joyce is an astounding knitter, and a very intriguing person! I've never known anybody who has visited every single continent! Her book, Latvian Dreams, is an absolute work of art. In fact, she had every sweater from the book there, and you could try them on anytime you wanted!
In fact, here's the sweater that I'm going to make from her book:
The pattern is absolutely beautiful, and the astounding thing, to me, is that this was not knit in the round, but was done as a knit back back (in colorwork!!) instead of purling. I will be making mine in the round, however... :-)
Ths picture on the right is Joyce modeling her lily sweater...which is 2-color knitting, not intarsia!! The entire sweater is done with 2 strands and trapping, which allowed little peeks of the contrasting color to show through. It is beyond stunning.
Note the garter stitch pattern running under the sleeve!
Each day ended with Show and Tell (I had to go first!! Yikes!) Nearly everybody brought items that they have knit to show to the group - talk about a humbling experience!! Beautiful shawls and sweaters abounded:
Sweaters were everywhere! The air conditioning system seemed to be set on "Arctic" for part of each day, and we were allowed to grab a sweater and wear it when we got cold! I wore Meg's "Pools in the River" sweater quite often - it is one of my favorite cardigan patterns. I also tried on several sweaters, such as my next sweater project, which is from the current Wool Gathering. I'm going to make mine in natural on the bottom and forest brown in the top.
I also tried on the ORIGINAL Hand to Hand sweater, knit by Elizabeth! I will never look at mine the same way again!
For a better picture of this sweater,(and on a much better model!) see Caryn's blog at Fuzzy Noodle Knits.
The knitters who attended camp were amazing. I've never seen so many creative, talented people in one place.
Meg is a lovely, lovely person, and she is not afraid to share her knowledge and insight! She helped me work through several ideas for my own hand to hand sweater, which has now morphed itself into a cardigan instead of a coat, and I'm pretty sure I know how I'm going to finish it now.
Unfortunately, knitting camp had to end - much too quickly, although I was absolutely exhausted from the long days (I averaged 4 hours of sleep per night, but I didn't feel it until I got home!) When I got to the airport, this is what greeted me in the terminal:As it turns out, several of the campers were on my flight to O'Hare, so we had our own mini-camp right there in the airport! Terry was flying out of the same gate that I was (a few hours later - she was going to California, and I was going to Cleveland), so I had somebody to talk knitting with while I waited! My flights were all on time (both ways), and I got into Hopkins at about 9:20. Kevin and the boys were waiting for me in baggage claim.
I've decided that all of my test-knitting money is now going into a Knitting Camp fund for next year! Hats off to Meg, Amy, Joyce, Christie, Eleanor, Tammy and Michelle for making this an extraordinary experience!! I can't wait for Camp 2006!!!