I’m back. Well, the odds are good that unless you follow me on instagram, you didn’t know I was even gone, but I was. Another drive to Ottawa, another stay in a hotel, another drive back. Ottawa’s about 4.5 hours from here, if you time it right, drive like thunder and go straight through. (I do the first two, but not the last.) You’ve probably gathered from reading this blog that I don’t particularly enjoy driving, and in my everyday life, my bike and the subway make a lot more sense than tangling with traffic anyway (they’re usually faster and on the subway you can at least knit) and so as I sat in the car yesterday, I reflected that even though it’s only February, I’ve already spent more time driving this year than I did in all of last. Once again, I went to Ottawa to go to visiting at hospital – and I always imagine that’s going to be so much more knitting than it turns out being, and so I packed up what can only be described as an optimistic and unreasonable amount of yarn.
I took a whole new kit for a shawl (didn’t even start it) the Bonfire cowl, and Elliot’s little sweater, because I was starting to feel like a bad grandmother for not finishing it straightaway. When I got to the hotel I spread it all out on the table there – scads of yarn, a bunch of needles (I didn’t know what I would need for the shawl so brought a million) and then vowed to knit just Elliot’s sweater until it was finished. I think I left the other stuff out as incentive. I also carried the cowl around all day, just in case I really suddenly and unexpectedly finished the sweater.
That’s not what happened – instead I plodded along on that sweater, almost finished, realized that the sleeves were not wide enough (still) reknit the sleeves and finally (almost) crossed the finish line with it shortly after arriving home yesterday.
It still needs the ends woven in, and to be blocked, and to have the wee buttons sewn on, but Elliot’s definitely only a day away from a new sweater, and I can go back to knitting the cowl. Which (sorry Elliot) was really what I wanted to be knitting anyway. I’m hoping the desire to knit that cowl goes away when I finish this second one. It would be a little unreasonable to knit at third… right?
Last – I posted that we have a few spots left at the April Strung Along Retreat, and what always happens happened, and a bunch of you sent email asking questions, and I realized after the fact – like always, that I should have answered them up front -this blog is always like an iceberg, there’s always a bunch of you with a question only a few people have asked.
Question: What retreat? What are you on about now?
Answer: It’s the April Strung Along Retreat. We host three a year, and there’s more details if you click on the words. (Anything underlined on this blog is a link. If you click it, you go somewhere that relates to the thing you clicked on.)
Question: Where is Port Ludlow anyway?
Answer: It’s in Washington State (In the US) outside of Seattle, pretty much just south of Vancouver, Canada. To get there, you fly into Seattle, then take a shuttle, rent a car, carpool with another knitter, or (gasp) take a float plane. It’s only about an hour or two from the airport, depending on what way you choose to get there, the ferry schedule and your luck.
Question: I don’t understand how to sign up.
Answer: Just email us. (firstname.lastname@example.org) It’s not a big retreat, so Debbi and I just email you back and arrange it with you. There’s not an online form or registration or anything like that. We’re rocking it old-school.
Question: How many people will be there?
Answer: That depends. The resort at Port Ludlow isn’t huge, and so the number of knitters at a retreat is dictated by the number of rooms, and how many people will fit in them. Sometimes people come with a friend and share a room, sometimes everyone comes by themselves, so the number of knitters we have at a retreat runs between 35-45, though it’s almost always around 40. (Yup, that means that class sizes are small. About 11-15 people. It’s a great environment.)
Question: I don’t know anyone, and I’d be coming alone. Will this still be fun?
Answer: Yes. You’ll get to know people very quickly. There’s lots of people (almost all of them) who come by themselves. You won’t be lonely, or alone. Some people who came alone have ended up with new best friends, or a group of them. It’s a great thing to do by yourself. Promise.
Question: What if I don’t spin?
Answer: Well, that’s a bit of a thing. The April and November retreats are for textile artists who are both knitters and spinners. (The June one has knitting and cooking, instead of spinning.) The legendary Judith MacKenzie is our spinning teacher, and she’s great with beginners, but it’s a good idea for you to have had a few lessons before you come, even if they were just with a friend. You should know the parts of a wheel, and be able to make some lumpy, incredibly weird and uneven yarn. (That’s doable in an hour or two for most people. If you’ve got that down, you’ll be cool.)
Question: I spin, but don’t have (or want to bring) a wheel.
Answer: We can loan you one. We’ll ask you about it when you email.
Question: I know you’re telling me about April, but I clicked on that link and I want to come to June or November. What about that?
Answer: Well, here’s the thing. Technically, the June and November retreats are full, and we’re running wait lists for both of them. Usually there’s some movement on those lists, but we can’t guarantee anything. The wait list for June isn’t very long right this minute, your odds would be okay-ish. The wait list for November is longer though, and we’re really happy to put you on either one, but if you for sure want to come to a retreat this year, April is the best shot.
Did I miss one? email@example.com