Monday, October 4, 2010

Woven Art: Retreat at Macatawa Lake

I am just back from working the weekend at the Woven Art Retreat in Holland, Michigan.  Aside from presently being sick, I am riding high on the energy and passion that is exuded by 24 other passionate knitters.

I had such a wonderful time getting to know my knitting community better.  Friday night Sarah Peasley taught a workshop on gauge. I know, I know, GAUGE. But it is the basis on EVERYTHING that we do.  Gauge is critical, and too many knitters turn a blind eye to their best chance to making a project successful.

I got to hand out the goodie bags Friday night, and it did indeed feel like an Oprah moment.  For one, the bags are stinkin' cute!  But they were stuffed with wonderful things.  A copy of EZ's Knitters Almanac, a set of straight Kollage square needles, a ball of Kollage Fantastic yarn (yum!), a ball of Punta Merisoft, a wonderful felted notions bag from Frabjous Fibers, and a sample of Soak wool wash.

Saturday morning Sarah led a workshop on double knitting, a technique that I really have wanted to pick up.  I learned a super simple way (once you get the rhythm down) to do a tubular cast on, and then I knit a little phone cozy in the round with only two double pointed needles!  There was a bad moment when I bound the double knitting closed, but with a dropped stitch and some dexterity, I was able to fix my own mistake.

Retreat House at Macatawa Lake, Holland, Michigan
The rest of Saturday was nearly a blur for me. I know that at one point I led a teaching session on Elizabeth Zimmermann's mitered mittens, and got to show the afterthought thumb that involves cutting a stitch in your knitting. (I could hear the gasps and whimpers all around me as I snipped that stitch!)  I missed both of Jill Bigelow-Suttell's workshops on converting from flat to round, and on knitting shapes.

After that the day kinda blurred on by as I was in the kitchen, answering questions, and teaching magic loop.  Dinner was on the other side of the lake, and I had a lovely Pasta Primavera that way heavy on the vegetables and light on the pasta.  It was perfect.  Especially with a glass of white wine.

Sarah Peasley and Erica Owens, Saturday
Sunday morning dawned bright and beautiful.  The lake was like glass, and I enjoyed my breakfast on the three season porch.

Breakfast in Retreat House
I was really wishing I had brought my yoga mat with me so I could have done some sun salutations on the dock that morning.  Ah well, next year!

Nancy led the last workshop of the retreat on Elizabeth Zimmermann's Ganomey hat.  Knitters were working on any of the projects from the previous sessions, and last minute questions were flying right up until the moment people were leaving. I think I was even asked some questions in the parking lot!

Mist rising on Lake Macatawa
It was a fantastic weekend.  Truly lovely.  As Nancy and I drove back to East Lansing (and left the sun behind - what is it with mid-Michigan, anyway - I feel like I would see more sun in the Pacific Northwest!)  we began to brainstorm about next year's retreat.  

Suffice it to say it will be even better than this year's retreat.  I can hardly wait!

1 comment:

  1. man, looks like a perfect spot for a knitting retreat. how fun!