Pictures and lots of them. If I update the blog during the week, it's usually late in the evening and it's really a major hassle to get the camera, download to the laptop, upload to Blogger, "unpublish" all the pictures, then incorporate them into the actual post. For some reason, Hello publishes one picture at a time. I'd prefer to publish multiple pictures in a single draft post, then modify it. Oh, well...
Anyway, this was the view from Kirkridge:
Kirkridge is located near Pen Argyl in northeastern Pennsylvania, not too far from Delaware Water Gap. It's very secluded and is the perfect location for a retreat, secular or otherwise. The Appalachian Trail runs through the property, giving knitters the opportunity to exercise a different set of muscles, should they so choose. However, the trail tends to be steep in places and quite rocky, so hiking boots are highly recommended.
Here are some of the intrepid knitters:
All are quite happy because they just figured out what was wrong with sample they were working on.
Gina knit this at the beginning of the retreat:
Can you guess what it is? A Willy Warmer, destined for a lucky co-worker who was giving her no end of grief for going to a knitting workshop. If you would like to knit one up for that special man in your life, you can get the pattern here.
As I mentioned in a previous post, we learned a lot of techniques that were new to me: backwards knitting, intarsia, entrelac, domino and modular knitting, and Fair Isle. I doubt that I'd be able to learn the majority of these techniques from a book, unless the book was heavily illustrated. Having instructors who can watch what you're doing, analyze it, and correct it if necessary are worth their weight in gold. And Susan and Jill are excellent instructors...they manage to keep a class that has novices as well as experienced knitters running smoothly.
Here are the samples that I knit:
Clockwise, from the left:
--Mitred corner with bands
--Intarsia square joined by a three-needle bind-off to two mitred squares
Given the newness of the techniques and the fact that I haven't been knitting for that long, I'm pretty happy with the way the pieces turned out. The tension is fairly even and there aren't too many mistakes, except in the Fair Isle sample. For some reason, I kept reading the chart backwards, going from right to left when I should have been going from left to right, and vice versa.
One very nice feature at the retreat was that Susan brought the travelling version of her yarn shop. As the week progressed, the yarn stock depleted. I thought I was going to get away without doing to much damage, but then I got "inspired" and bought this:
It's hand-painted pima cotton yarn, color Elizabeth Blackwell. It's destined to become this, most likely as a Christmas gift for someone (unless I decide I just can't bear to part with it!)
And then I got inspired some more and got these:
The Suede is destined to become a poncho for a Christmas gift; the soy silk and Malizia will become a shawl for me, and the Rio will be my first design attempt. It told me that it wanted to be a sleeveless shell when it grew up. I've got the design sketched out and have started a swatch to get the gauge and the stitch pattern worked out. Next step is to do the math and write the pattern. Much easier said than done. Look for the completed garment in the next couple of years.
And speaking of completed garments, check this out!
The socks are complete! And the best part? They match, mostly. The part where the striping got a little off will not be noticed by most people. I mean, really? How many people are going to inspect the toes of your socks to see if the stripes match? And no, knitters are not "most people."