Like I am Fourteen Again

Dear blog,  I feel like I owe you an apology for how long it’s been between posts, and I didn’t even realize how long it had been until I got an email from my mother this morning.  (Truth be told I didn’t even know what day of the week it was, never mind how many posts there should have been.)  My mum emailed and pointed out that she was watching the blog to see what I was up to, but that I wasn’t posting.  She stopped just short of saying I’d be grounded if I didn’t get it done, but I could feel the vibe.  I can’t really explain what happened to the last several posts, except to say that I think that maybe a 72 hour turnaround between a book tour and hosting a retreat might have been easier on paper.

As an aside, it’s like there’s three phrases that I say that should be a tip-off that something is about to be to be a ridiculous challenge for me.

1. No – I think I can do that.  I know it looks bad, but I can handle it. 
(Lesson: this will test the limits of human endurance and caffeine consumption.)
2.  I’ve done that before.  It was okay.
(Lesson: by "okay" I mean that I escaped with my life, not that it was a good plan.)
3. It shouldn’t take that long.
(Lesson: it is going to take way, way longer than I imagine, plus some. Forget sleep.)

All of those things were true over the last week, but then the other thing happened, the thing that keeps making me do it… and that’s that it was all worth it.  Totally worth it.  The retreat was amazing, I’ve been very busy and I took a few pictures for you.

We had the dye room set up the way we always do – it was a colour retreat, but Tina’s always about colour. 

Judith MacKenzie had a beautiful spinning room, with more colours of top and roving than I could imagine

and arranged them all in the colour wheel…

And in my classroom, there was a riot of colour everywhere.

The hotel got in on the scene by trying to make even our meals colourful,

Our staff was – as always.  Colourful.

and knitters filled the inn to overflowing, and spilled out of every nook and cranny.  They gathered in the bar, in the lounge, you couldn’t swing a skein of yarn without hitting someone knitting or spinning, which is just how I like to construct my little universes.  
On Tuesday the knitters went home, and we cleaned up, and then Tina, Judith and I went for a walk.  We had the loveliest time.  Judith tried to convince me everything was edible. She thought these were:

She though these weren’t….

The best part about any walk with Judith though, is that you find out what plants are spinnable.  Fireweed, for example?

Judith showed us how to spin the fluff (that’s almost an inch of fireweed two ply)

and the bast fibers from the stalks. 

In the end, I decided that Judith would be a pretty good person to have on a desert island with you, and the whole thing is sending me back to the woods today with a baggie for the fluff, because all of a sudden a fireweed/cashmere combo seems awesome, and I don’t think there’s fireweed in Toronto.  (Is there?)
Yesterday, I reflected on my good fortune, slept, and then woke up and knit most of a baby sweater.

Now you’re caught up.  How was your week? 

(PS.  Sorry Mum.  I’ll do better.)