Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Go West Young Man!

I was in Seattle last week for the Men's Fall Knitting Retreat and had an opportunity to spend a few days on my own in the city. It's a great city, alive with culture and energy in a way that speaks to this city-kid's sensibilities. The weather was surprisingly accommodating and for most of the trip I was in shorts and t-shirts which was a bonus I did not expect. I saw all of the typical tourist sights. I got up early and trekked down to Pikes Market and was overwhelmed by the crafty goodness that is offered up on a daily basis. Fish were tossed, I went to the top of the Space Needle and enjoyed the afternoon at the Seattle Art Museum. Brian, thanks a ton for the tour of the city. I could never have covered so much ground on my own.

For a guy with a fear of heights, The Space Needle is an imposing sight from the ground.

It's equally scary from the top but totally worth it. I could see a glimpse of an outline of Mt. Rainier but not one that would photograph. This vantage point will have to do.

All over town, the city was alive with talented musicians and flowers on every street lamp.

Behind that post is a blurred flash that is actually a giant fish hurling through space towards the guy on the left. And he actually caught it!

I visited a local yarn shop in Kent, WA for a signing of Franklin Habit's book, It Itches and was able to connect with new and old online friends. If you have a chance to take Franklin's photography class, do it without a second thought! While I was there, I purchased some amazing Blue Sky Suri Merino in a burnt red colorway that will make a spectacularly soft hat for my niece using the Hermione Cable Hat pattern seen in the recent Harry Potter movie.

From the hustle of the city I headed out to Dumas Bay with Keith and Stephen (of hizknits fame). Thanks again for the ride Keith!

At the retreat I made amazing progress on the teddy bear and will probably have the individual pieces off to the finisher by next weekend. It's been a tough knit using worsted weight yarn on a size 5 needle but the end result should be worth the pain. I'm still a bit apprehensive regarding the Fair Isle sweater but I'm working diligently on my Continental knitting skills that should produce the sweater in fine fashion.

Simply put, the highlight of these retreats are the men who attend. Their talent is truly overwhelming and seeing their finished pieces really charges my knitting batteries. I also had the opportunity to meet Cat Bordhi and won her Moebius Scarf book which she graciously signed for me...BONUS! To meet a knitting icon in the flesh was a real treat and she's as kooky, talented and inspiring as expected. The one road trip I attended was to Skacel, the Addi Turbo folks and apparently a huge yarn distributor, who knew? I bought a pair of lace needles and we'll see what that produces in the next few months.

I didn't really take any photos at the retreat nor did I take a ton of classes. I just enjoyed the company. I spent my time with the guys and knit like the wind (I love that tag from Brenda Dayne's podcast. Indulge me, it's my blog). I wish I lived in closer proximity to some of the guys so meet-ups and the like could take place on a regular basis. For now, I'll look forward to the next trip and being in their company again. Those of you with built-in knitting communities where you live have no idea how much these events can mean to isolated knitters in traditionally non-knitting locales!

I'll leave you with this shot from Dumas Bay. It's really an idyllic setting for a creative and social exploration.

Thank you Michael and Brian for an amazingly organized event and one I will remember long into the future.


Melanie said...

Sounds like an amazing trip. Thanks for sharing your travelogue. I've always wanted to see the guys who throw the fish in person!

Joe said...

It was great seeing you in Seattle...it was especially nice to kick back and be just a participant at one of these events, because, like you noted, it's the guys that make these events amazing...you being tops among them!

WonderMike said...

You are most welcome, Good Sir!!!

esqueue said...

Glad you had such a wonderful time in our fair city. I'm jealous that you got to meet Franklin. Love Renaissance Yarns! How're you progressing with the Legare? One more month and mine arrives. Gary the Gearhart will be so jealous. Let me know if you're still looking for sock yarn.