Weekend Report

The little retreat is over here at Port Ludlow, and it was simply wonderful.  The only thing I could have wished for was better weather, since it has been rainy and windy, enough so that the wind kept some knitters up at night, so fierce was the noise. It’s also fierce enough that Tina and I have waged a constant war with the wind to keep it from throwing our deck chairs into the sea, and they’re heavy metal chairs, not the plastic ones that are just toys to the wind. It’s windy enough that it stopped some ferries and closed or badly slowed bridges (adding an element of excitement to travel plans for many knitters.) and stormy enough that almost the entire community had no power day before yesterday. (That passed pretty quickly.) On the upside,  the grey windy rain also created a cozy atmosphere, hard to beat for a lot of fibre people, as we all gathered together in the warm hotel, knitting, spinning and dyeing.

This whole hotel was booked out by knitters, and I think we were a source of non-stop entertainment to the staff, who have responded in a way I’d never dreamed of. Since the last time we filled the place full, most of the staff has taken up knitting. (In fact, of the four desk clerks, one showed us her scarf in progress when we arrived, another bought a spinning wheel from Morgaine on Saturday, the third already knew how to knit, and Tina and I have a date with the fourth tonight – already a crocheter, to complete the set. If you’re checking into Port Ludlow, there’s a knitter there to greet you.)

(Morgaine holds court.)
Tina taught a little dyeing and a lot of colour, I taught a lot of history, tools, books and lever knitting, and further to our belief that all knitters should have at least a working knowledge of spinning to help them really understand yarn – we (with a lot of help from Morgaine) taught spinning all over the place. 

(That’s my class – right before they inexplicably all went to the bar and brought back drinks. Wonder what that means?)

(Steve shows off his socks at show and tell)
I’m always surprised at these things how much knitting there is around without there being much knitting being done by me.  There’s very little knitting while teaching – or rather, there’s a lot but it’s all swatches and such… and in the evenings we’re talking and organizing, and then there’s nothing left of a day except to fall over and sleep.  Still, even puttering away a little at a time I finished these pretty socks. 

STR mediumweight  in Blue Lagoon (a colour that’s not up yet but will be soon, or so Tina tells me.  I’m not the boss of her yarn, just the thief who steals yarn from her desk before its time.)

Pattern is Holidazed, by Anne Hanson, a pattern I really love.  It’s easy to memorize, unisex, and since it’s knit with mediumweight (seems to me like a light dk weight) on 2.5mm needles the socks in size small are only 48 stitches around.  They fly.

It was a grand time, I have new socks,  and I can’t wait to do it again.  The students were a blast, the staff was a blast, and even the fact that another impending storm (a big one) is going to pin me down and delay my travel home until Saturday can’t take the happy off me.  I’m going to cozy up by the fire in a new pair of socks, watch the big storm come over the sea (maybe lash the chairs down with some yarn) and hunker down with a good porter (rather fond of the local Deschutes) until it lets up.  

I think I’ll knit.

97 thoughts on “Weekend Report

  1. Sigh. . . sounds like a completely lovely time!! The weather is gorgeous here in Northern New York, and I have been knitting this afternoon after meeting my first semester students who are a trial–wonderful and interesting, kind of like having temporary teenagers for a semester’s time–and the knitting keeps me sane. Maybe one day I can join you. After I retire. If I ever can. . .

  2. Glad you all had such a great time! I’m keeping my fingers crossed that I get in next time the opportunity presents itself. Looooove those socks!!!

  3. Hah! I caught a quick glimpse of the dyeing photo and I thought this was going to be a post about someone (no names mentioned) spilling red wine on his or her knitting.
    P.S. I’ve done it. It’s not fun.

  4. Love the socks!
    And from the eternal sunshine of Los Angeles, a good blustery storm sounds like the perfect accompaniment to knitting. Wish I were there!

  5. Of course you finished your lovely socks quickly. After all, you do use the lever method. I’m now using it too, thank you very much, though in that klutzy, why won’t my fingers do what my brain tells them to do, slow kind of way. I’ll be counting the days till I have it nailed.
    Thank you, thank you, thank you for a fabulous, unforgettable weekend.

  6. Love the socks, glad you have a great weekend, and hope you get to steal more fabulous yarn in addition to your yarny beer 🙂

  7. How terrible to be stuck in such a place with nothing to do but knit! I feel your joy, um, I mean pain. (heeheehee)
    Looks like you guys had a blast! Maybe one of these days I will get to go.
    In the meantime, I’d better go knit some more so I can get good enough to be considered a real knitter.
    Prayers for a safe journey home!

  8. Welcome to Washington in November. We haven’t even had our “big” storm of the year, yet.
    Depression is a lifestyle here, and you have to embrace it. In addition to your yarn and booze, I suggest audiobooks. It’s the only way to make it through the (year) rainy season.

  9. Sounds like perfect knitting conditions to me.Maybe being grounded there will make up(a tiny bit) for having to cut your SOAR trip short?!?

  10. Glad you all had a blast. Seems the weather is too. happy knitting,love the color and the socks. You and Tina are a force to be reckoned with. Thanks for sharing your adventures with us.

  11. Just found Anne Hanson’s blog & I want that sock pattern – interesting w/o being fussy! What is the lever method?? I’m slow even w/continental…

  12. As a participant I can attest to the fantastic weekend atmosphere, the amazing staff, all the wonderful teachers, and the yarn – oh the yarn! I’ve been in Knot Hysteria withdrawal since returning home.
    Thanks for my early Christmas…

  13. Are you referring to Deschutes Brewery Black Butte Porter? I’m not a beer drinker, but that’s my town! I work only 5 minutes or so from the brewery. 🙂

  14. That sounds like my definition of a perfect time. Thanks for letting us live vicariously (now if only I had some of that porter with me while reading this post, it would be perfect!). Travel safely when you can.

  15. A raging storm, a fire and some wool sound dreamy … throw in a Black Butte and I’d call that perfect. Enjoy.

  16. i prefer the deschutes pale ale…
    i’ve never been much of a porter fan.
    maybe if there is nothing else to drink.
    looking forward to the official release of the blue lagoon.
    you could try telling tina that you are doing color market research for her.

  17. i <3 that deschutes porter; they have it on tap at my university’s pub, which is excellent/dangerous. enjoy your well-earned relaxation!
    i’ll keep an eye out for that blue lagoon; i’m a sucker for blue/green/purple, especially when they’re all together.

  18. Mmmmmmmm. Black Butte and knitting are great ways to enjoy November in the pacific northwest. If you haven’t had it, you should hunt down the reserve series version called Black Butte XXI (or Black Butte XX last year). It is brewed with local coffee beans and cocoa nibs and is sinfully delicious. You can get it at a good bar if you are lucky, or a beer store. I just found some at a Fred Meyers on sale, and you might see it at a whole foods or QFC too.

  19. Many thanks to you and Tina for another wonderful knitting event. I’m working on the posture since I want to be knitting well into my golden years 🙂 Oh, and I’m making an appointment with Morgaine to test drive wheels as soon as she’s back in town!

  20. DESCHUTES PORTER! sigh…. love! Can I say that I would just die with happiness to sit and have a beer and chat with you? I mean, there are beer drinkers, and then there are dark beer drinkers…and then there are dark beer drinkers who knit.
    Port Ludlow looks like a ball – and not one of those 18th century dances, but more like the super-bouncy-balls in some swirly neon colors. FUN!

  21. Yes, this is the third storm in four days. Hunker down. FYI: Deschutes porter is made by my former school principal’s husband. You should have seen our staff party. Its nice to know you enjoy this little corner of the US. We do have good beer (and wine)!

  22. ‘Fraid I got ya beat down here in California. Went out to play golf and it was a little cloudy. The last hole we played, (didn’t even finish 9) we were guessing which way to hit the ball because of the clouds, fog and ice. Came home, built a fire, and getting ready to settle down with a knitting book as there is just not enough light for sock knitting. Wish I had some porter though……sigh…….

  23. Beautiful socks. I especially love the photo of them with the fireplace glowing in the background.

  24. Thank you again Stephanie for a lovely weekend! I am going to time myself this evening with my lever knitting. I know that I am faster with only a few days practice than I am with my slowpoke throwing.
    The weather back east has been cloudy and rainy too so you aren’t missing too much. At least you have the element of excitement with the wind.
    Have safe travels when you head back east.

  25. At first I thought you were pouring good wine over… some kind of food, nut then came to my senses and remembered whose blog I was visiting. What fun, I wish I were there.

  26. Isn’t Morgaine great?! She is just such a respository of interesting information and so friendly and nice. And she always has such beautiful fibers for you to try out… Love the picture of her “holding court!” :o)

  27. I can’t wait FOR you to do it again. I missed this one by an inch (or maybe more, but I’m guessing I was close as you sent me a very lovely “sorry you’re too late” note.) If the next one’s in range I’m SO there.
    Consider Jackson Hole Wyoming for a retreat! Maybe a fall one. It’s cold as sh*t here in the winter. But stunningly beautiful any time of the year. We have a solid knitting community and I’m making more knitters here every day. Knitters would travel from Idaho and Salt Lake and Denver to be here. Oh… and did I mention my husband brews FANTASTIC beer? We moved here from Portland and the local brews just didn’t stack up, so he started making his own. As with everything he does, it is truly spectacular.

  28. Hope you’re planning such an event for back east! Know of a couple of places where it would be great to hold it! Fern Resort, Port Elgin, Montebello, to name just a few!

  29. Heartbreaking to get trapped by a storm and have to spend the down time knitting by the fire. Sorry about your luck. At least you remember to take extra yarn in case something like this happened, right? Or will you just liberate something else from Tina’s desk?

  30. Lovely socks! It sounds absolutely great. And having a whole weekend that’s rainy and stormy? Bliss. Especially given that we’re having our second heat wave in two weeks here. Makes it a little difficult to knit!

  31. It was a fantastic weekend. It was so cool to meet THE Yarn Harlot herself. Stephanie, you are amazing! Thank you so very much!

  32. Love the socks!!! If you get tired of them , you can send them to me! (yea – I know -fat chance!)

  33. If you have time, plan a short trip to Bainbridge Island and say “hi” to the mice at Churchmouse. Always pretty stuff there!

  34. What great socks! Wear them well.
    And we have great places in the NJ,PA or NY area
    that would really would be great for one of your
    events. Come see us!

  35. While I love so many things about my little children (hugs, kisses, cuddles in my lap, playing pretend, etc) I do look forward to when they are older and I can go on fabulous knitting retreats like this one. I looks so wonderful and heart healing.

  36. While I love so many things about my little children (hugs, kisses, cuddles in my lap, playing pretend, etc) I do look forward to when they are older and I can go on fabulous knitting retreats like this one. I looks so wonderful and heart healing.
    I’ll just go knit on my linen stitch scarf and watch SG-1 while nursing the baby to sleep and dreaming of knitting retreats to come.

  37. For future reference– the weather in LA is lovely from late fall until March or so. Except in January and February, there is virtually no chance of rain. You might want to keep that in mind, when planning winter events.
    You’re right to throw summer events in the Northwest, though. Think of it this way– the weather in LA in winter is just like the weather in Oregon in summer. Nice temperature, blue skies, and maybe a little rain once or twice a week.

  38. Looks wonderful. Makes we want to try dyeing, not to mention knitting some damn socks already (I know, I know; I have a mental sock block).

  39. I am so jealous of the big storm!!!! (Grew up a block from Lake Erie) Why does it look like your pouring wine on yarn?? If so…why? and, how did it look??

  40. *Sighs*
    And I must go back to the toil of my job… how can I get work in knitting? Is there an opening for someone to “teach” classes where I just wax eloquent of my love of knitting?

  41. Naw, don’t waste yarn tying down the chairs! Let ’em go if they want to go swimming so badly. Besides, if you use yarn, you’d kick yourself if you were just that much short for your project.

  42. Oh, I’m so glad (although not even a little surprised) that you had a good time! I wish I knew someone with little feet. Everyone in my family, or at least those I’m making socks for, have size 10s!

  43. Being stuck until Saturday in a beautiful place with enough yarn “can’t take the happy off me”? Woman, do you really love laundry and dirty dishes that much? Granted, I have sunshine 300 days a year, but I have dishes and laundry 365 days a year and when we build a fire during our three cold (not cold enough for snow) months it’s to keep warm, no central heat. Would you like to trade for a week or two? Which brings me to my next point, how about doing some sort of program, conference, class, etc in Portugal. Our springs, summers and falls are all fabulous. We even have a Canadian Consul here in the Algarve. (Would that we had an American one too. I have to drive to Lisbon when I need something done.) Wouldn’t you all really love to get away to some place really different? Or I could hook you up with my friends at the embassy in Ankara.
    Last, “lever method” knitting? Is that what I do, scooping up the yarn as though I were using a crochet hook so that a knit stitch sits backward on the needle? Never heard the term.
    Enjoy your fire and your drink! You’ve earned the extra time out.

  44. I agree-love the socks. They have been knit twice for the husband who likes socks with a bit of rib type action, and these fit his bill (or should I say leg). In fact Holidazed is the only pattern I have knit from back in the one year I belonged to the Club, when I was fully, not partially employed.
    But his are knit over 72 stitches and my memory is not what yours is and I carry the pattern on a little notecard and count the rows on a row counter.

  45. I love the socks. They were my favorite club pattern from last year and I think I wear them more than any other socks I own.

  46. Congratulations on your successful retreat! The socks are lovely and pattern looks much better in your pictures than on the blue moon website.

  47. I’ve never done anything like this before, but I just followed your links and ordered that sock pattern and that yarn in a different colorway. It just looks so perfect!

  48. Cheers and red wine in honour of a successful/happy weekend. I know you shouldn’t hit the red stuff while knitting, but I can’t help myself. I gleaned one fact from your post. Having always used Tina’s STR light weight and 64 stitches for socks to fit me, I can now try STR medium weight with 48 and know that they will fit too(as well as being faster). That might mean that some people whom I had crossed off my Christmas sock list might get socks after all.

  49. your book-tour visit to the indy area +/- 18 months ago wasn’t nearly long enough for your fans . . . and you saw only the OUTSIDE of our fabulous children’s museum. so please consider coming back — and bringing tina and morgaine with you.
    besides the places available in indy, rustic brown county indiana, about 60 miles from indianapolis, would be a fabulous place for a knitting retreat with harlotry, spinning and dyeing! there are at least two good potential venues (one is an episcopal conference center; the other is in the town of nashville, a place noted for interesting shops, good regional foods and proximity to both bloomington, home of indiana university, and columbus, a small city beloved of architecture buffs.

  50. Totally looks like someone is spilling her wine on the yarn in the first photo. Heehee. wish I could have gone, sounds wonderful.

  51. My head!! I see the back of my head in a Yarn Harlot post – how seriously cool. It was an amazing weekend. And could there be a better place to be stuck because of the weather?

  52. The dye photo is very lovely. You were lucky to have so much of Morgaine’s time. We love her here in California. She’s hardworking, full of information, and has sold spinning wheels to me and mine a couple of times. She’s an extremely generous person. In all ways you can thing to apply to that word.

  53. And that my friend is why we live in the NW(me specifically in Portland)! We have many, many excuses to knit all winter long and watch the storms around us.
    Glad you had a lovely time here.

  54. It sounds like you had a blast even if you didn’t get to do that much knitting. I love the new socks. I’m definitely in the market for more unisex socks to make for my husband (whose feet are ginormous and almost cube shaped).

  55. Oh, to a home sick person from Oregon reading about the storm just made me want to get on a plane.
    I love-love the socks. They actually look comfortable and cozy. I think I’ll add them to my list of possible Ravelympics knits.

  56. I dearly and sincerely hope you enjoy doing these so much that you continue on for another decade. By my estimate, the earliest I could visit one of your retreats is in five years. The later out number is ten years.
    So, please, keep having a wonderful good time.

  57. Ocean Storm, check. Pleanty of fire wood, check. Beer, check, yarn and needles, check.
    Let it blow, let it blow let it blow.

  58. Another reason I need to find a new job….I want to go to your retreat next time. I’m going to get in your lever knitting class one way or another… 😉

  59. Here I sit with yarn and chart.
    I missed the fun; it broke my heart.
    At least I skipped the wind and rain!
    Ah well, someday we’ll meet again.

  60. I like the Deschutes Black Butte Porter, but I really like the Rogue Mocha Porter (out of Newport). Oregon is so great for beer.

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