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.


Lisa said...

Now I wish I was a guy so that I could have attended as well. I trust now that your mojo is back that we will see amazing projects from you! And, yes I am jealous of the Alpaca....wipes drool from the corner of her mouth now...

knitguyla said...

....but what to make with it?

Melanie said...

Awww, cute alpacas.

So great that you got your knitting mojo back. I can see why. What a wonderful retreat.

Kyle Kunnecke said...

it was great to see you at the retreat - I look forward to seeing you again soon... and the fact that we shared a plane flight part of the way home was an extra bit of fun - helped to extend the retreat feeling a few hours longer.


jc said...

Joe- What a *lovely* account of an amazing weekend! Your spirit was shining through the entire retreat. Hugs, -John

Joe said...

I love reading about how people see themselves..."I was quiet, an observer and learner."

I have to admit, in my interactions with you, I would not have characterized you as quiet...and I don't mean that in a bad way at all...I thought you were quite actively engaged and brought an amazing amount of energy to the event.

I echo what both Kyle and John wrote in comments...it was a pleasure being with you at the retreat.