One off the list

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.

sweaterhotel 2018-02-27

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?

sweaterhome 2018-02-27

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?

rainbowportludlow 2017-11-23

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.  ( 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?

knitinpublic 2017-06-16

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?

22 thoughts on “One off the list

  1. Elliot’s sweater looks great — and it looks like it will fit an actual human! I’m surprised you didn’t finish the cowl, as it looks nearly done. No, knitting a third cowl is not unreasonable. You need one in each color. Then, there’s Sam, and Meg, and…!

  2. A 3rd cowl? Why not?

    Ahh,, the retreat does sound so nice and inviting.
    Perhaps one day, I’ll be able to get out to one again! and I agree. Cannot wait to see Elliot in his sweater! 🙂

  3. Remember when you did an Olympic knit challenge? I think Elliot’s sweater was YOUR Olympic challenge. I take one up for every Olympics – you inspired me. But I’m not a knitter so I’ve done embroidery usually and this year, intense coloring. Sounds easier, doesn’t it? But boring becomes a problem much like Elliot’s sweater. We watched Curling too – Hubs is a fan but no one understands the scoring. Sorry.

    • Only team scores in each end. The rock closest to the centre, and all others of that colour that are closer than the opponent’s rocks score. So if there are five red rocks, and only one yellow rock, and two rocks are in the centre red circle and the yellow rock is in the next circle, with the other three red rocks in the outer circle, then red scores two. If the yellow rock is closest to the centre, the yellow team scores one, and the red team scores nothing. So for the team with the last rock in each end, things get very interesting.

      • You are my hero! This makes total sense. I have tried to understand the scoring for ages now, but everyone who has explained it to me gets into such crazy detail that I get lost. (I actually think my eyes glaze over.)

        Yes, I’m Canadian, I should have known this by my age, but there you have it – I just love to watch it and have curled “for fun” a few times. Perhaps if and when I retire I’ll take it up more seriously. It is that magic combination of skill, luck and teamwork which makes it so appealing to me.
        Chris S in Canada

        Ha – touch the lock – this info is now locked in my memory!

  4. That sweater reminds me of the monkey sock puppets my husband’s grandmother adored making for her grandchildren. It charms the socks off me.

    I so wish I could attend that retreat.

  5. The way your camping buddy Jen was eyeballing your first bonfire cowl, I’m thinking you’re going to HAVE TO KNIT YET ANOTHER. Birthday, Christmas, of those works..whichever shows up after that third cowl is done.

  6. For the Ottawa trips, if you can get your hands on the audiobooks of the Bloody Jack series, YA stories about the adventures of an amazing and fierce girl, it might help the drive pass. The narrater, Katherine Kellgren is brilliant. Safe travels.

  7. Welcome home. Just to comment about a third cowl:

    (a) Whyever not? and
    (b) Don’t you sometimes auction something to raise funds for the bike rally or Doctors Without Borders? I would think a Bonfire would be a great draw.

  8. I have a question on the retreat. I’d like to go Next Year. I see the cost for the retreat, can you give me an estimate on the hotel cost? I need to work on my ninja budgeting skills…

  9. Any option to take the train to Ottawa and rent a car on arrival?
    That would provide 10 hours of knitting time (without even counting the usual delays).
    You deserve Via 1.

  10. Ahem. OF COURSE we knew you weren’t here – nary a blog-posting in several days! 😉

    LOVE Elliot’s new sweater!

    YES YOU CAN knit as MANY COWLS AS YOU WISH!!! (How many pair of socks have you knitted, after all??)

    I’ve knitted THREE Kaeleigh (sp?) pullovers in linen – probably need another, as well…!

    Keeping you and yours in my thoughts…Ottawa is just inconveniently too far from Toronto…

  11. I just saw a kids sweater pattern called “Chuck” on Ravelry and thought of Elliot right away. It’s so cute. If I had a kid that size to knit for I’d be casting on this morning…

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