Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Back from Paradise

Last weekend was spent in Greenwich, NY at Easton Mountain where the 2009 Men's Spring Knitting Retreat was held. Our hosts, Joe and Ted, couldn't have done a better job at organizing the event.

I decided to attend this retreat to restore my desire to knit. My passion for this amazing art was never lost but the desire had waned. As readers of my blog know, I don't post about knitting nearly as much as I should. In California, I knit every day. I think to a certain extent as an escape from my day to day life. I went to Rhinebeck last October hoping to catch the fever but it served as a social outlet and an opportunity to meet Ravelers. Don't get me wrong, I loved it but it was definitely the prelude to the kiss.

In the most simple terms, attending this retreat was awesome. I had few expectations. I was quiet, an observer and learner. And I learned a lot -- to cable, crochet, crochet border, drop-spin and finish. Plus, I visited an alpaca farm and came home with some super stash! Check out the alpaca and the most amazing hand-dyed reds from Briar Rose Farms. Their website is a must see!

What surprised me the most were the men and the comaraderie that prevailed over the entire event -- they were smart, TALENTED, interesting, fun, free spirited and did I say TALENTED. I was amazed by lace, double knitting, intricate sweaters, even crocheted ones and a mathematical marvel that translated into really cool hats!

My afghan square was brought together with the others and will make one unique blanket when its completed. As QueerJoe said in my comments (come on, I had to say it). It's not often that knitting legends comment on blogs like mine. His was the first knitting blog I ever read and I consider it a sublime pleasure to have made his acquaintance. He's an amazing knitter and a great guy. Check out his Niebling lace and drool!

I took a deep breath as I stepped into the car to leave, taking in a sense memory I will look for as the long, hot Summer begins. The only difference is I'll be cranking the central air and letting nothing stand in the way of my knitting pleasure.

This shot of Kyle, Peter & Chuck is from the alpaca farm and was a communal moment as we sat in the grass waiting for the alpacas to introduce themselves.

It was a pleasure meeting all of you and thanks for a great weekend.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

I celebrated my 45th birthday since my last post and made a glorious long weekend of it. I dined with the folks, went out with the wild friends and spent a day recuperating on my own. I enjoyed a massage, a swim, some sun and a bit of knitting. I'm not exactly having a mid-life, but instead a bit of a makeover. I give you exhibit A, my new glasses. In addition, I'm sporting contacts for the first time in 2 decades. I love my new glasses but I'm enjoying me sans specs even more! It's remarkably liberating.

The current knitting is for the community afghan project and although I toiled over the gauge, I love the result. The right side is fun and has an interesting movement to it and the wrong side is remarkably all sorts of fun.

Hope you're having a great weekend! J.