Tuesday, November 11, 2008


Wow...Four amazing days of learning, laughing, and knitterly love. The setting was incredible, the weather balmy, the people enthusiastic and friendly. As I knit Miranda's green mittens, knitter after knitter stopped by to compliment them. On Saturday I wore my Kilcar sweater and a number of knitters asked me if it was from the latest magazine (not sure which one). They all fondled the fibre of it and said they loved it. A knitter just can't get enough of that kind of encouragement. And we all knit anytime we weren't otherwise occupied. So cool to be part of a knitterly invasion. There were knitters knitting everywhere. Maureen, my good friend and room-mate, was working on her Frankenscarf, and everyone was rightly impressed. Mo, send me a pic of that scarf so I can post it here.

Also on Saturday, I succumbed to the yarn fumes which were unusually thick, and bought Amy Swenson's book Sensual Crochet, and five skeins of lusciousness. There should be a law against that kind of enabling. Also modeled with the yarn is the zen garden I bought.

The instructors for the retreat were awe-inspiring: the Yarn Harlot, Cookie A, Nancy Bush, Stefanie Japel, and Amy Singer. We all wished we could squeeze in a workshop with all of them. As it was, we got one all-day workshop on Friday and two half-day workshops on Saturday. I was in Cookie A.'s sock design workshop on Friday. When I complete my sock that I designed, I'll post pics. Hopefully, that won't be in 2020. Saturday morning I was with the Yarn Harlot where she answered our knitting questions with great wit and wisdom. I love her philosophies and the way she plies them with feminism. In the afternoon I was in Stefanie Japel's "Converting Flat Patterns to Circular" workshop. This was a class I was highly interested in because I LOVE knitting in the round. Stefanie was an awesome and encouraging instructor and I'll be keeping my eyes peeled for a good flat sweater pattern to convert. I wish all patterns were in the round. I thoroughly enjoyed all my classes and learned sooooo much. You really leave these classes with information overload.

Saturday night we had a pajama party in a large room at the back of a fairly posh, and extremely busy restaurant. It was a little intimidating walking through there in flannel pajama pants. I got some random shots of the instructors. In the first picture is Amy Singer of Knitty.com and No Sheep for You. Beside her is Amy Swenson in the pink tiger-striped pjs, owner of Make 1 Yarns in Calgary and the woman who put on the whole shin-dig. Stephanie Pearl McPhee is next chatting with a knitter in pink pj's. The next pic is of Stefanie Japel. She brought her little baby daughter, who smiled almost continuously.

In this next shot, Nancy Bush is sitting with Cookie A.

I completed Miranda's green mitts at the pajama party, and then I got some advice and assistance from the lovely and talented Jennifer, who finished her pair of Vogue Knitting Yellow Harvest mittens. I've been trying to knit the same mittens, but was stymied by the first chart. The girl to her right was her room-mate Alysa, who besides being an accomplished knitter, had some really cool tatoos and piercings. Miranda will be soooo jealous. Not until you're 18 young lady!

Miranda's mitts are made with a novelty yarn for the cuffs and then the rest of the mitt is Estelle Alpaca Cashmere Tweed. Dreamy soft, and since I double stranded the mitten part, they should be super warm. Miranda has asked for an idiot string, so I'll crochet that for her today. Like her mother, if her head wasn't screwed on, she'd lose it.

Jennifer made her mitts with leftover Cascade from her Tilted Duster sweater which was so pretty.

On Sunday morning, a few of us were chatting with Nancy Bush and she mentioned she'd like to go for a walk. Mo was sleeping in, and we had planned on doing this walk sometime that morning, so I asked Nancy if she'd wait while I ran upstairs to my room to fetch my coat. She was happy to have a hiking partner so I bolted up to our room, praying all the way that Mo was up. I burst through the door and into the room where, thank God, Mo was awake and dressed. Mo was in Nancy's Estonian Lace workshop and really enjoyed it.

"OMG! Thank God you're awake! I'm going for a walk with Nancy Bush---Get your coat on, quick!"

So, we both went for a hike with Nancy Bush. Soooo cool. Here's a few shots from our walk. First, there's Nancy admiring the majesty of it all.

And there was lots to admire. It was such a lovely day!

The only down side to this trip was that our other ya-ya sisters weren't there sharing it with us. Start saving Sistas! We're not doing this without you next year.


River Glorious said...

What's an "idiot string" please? :)

Mo said...

Yup - it was an amazing weekend with a great friend. I'm still reeling!
I'll get a pic to you of that scarf as soon as I can dig some stuff out.

Anonymous said...

I hope to be there next year by hell or high water.Thanks for the pictures.


Knitting Alchemist said...

Hi River Glorious:

Nice to meet a knitter from Puerto Rico! An idiot string is a long crocheted chain that you attach to the cuffs of a pair of mittens. Here in the Great White North, small children usually have idiot strings on their mitts to keep them from losing them. Each mitten goes through each sleeve as an arm would. The string crosses the child's back and out the other sleeve. When the child removes their hand from the mitt, it just hangs there. I believe the term "idiot string" was first coined by Bill Cosby.

I hope that helps :)


River Glorious said...

Thanks for the explanation... Oh my... I wish I had idiot strings for a lot of things! :D I don't knit much, it's too painful. I crochet and loom knit, mostly (when I can find my hooks). Again, thank you for explaining that. :D

Knitting Alchemist said...

No problem. I figured you wouldn't have any need for mittens in Puerto Rico, so you wouldn't have ever seen idiot strings. Do you write a blog?

River Glorious said...

Yes, I have a blog, two in fact:


and the one which is similar, but it's a sort of playground:



And, yes, no need for mittens in a tropical island. We do like hats, though, and decorative scarves and wear sweaters when the temp. goes all the way down to 75ºF :D

Anonymous said...

Excellent topic

Anonymous said...

It ?is impossible.