Mr, Cupcake at Craters of the Moon

Mr, Cupcake at Craters of the Moon
Mr. Cupcake at Craters of the Moon

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

 So here it is. The story of the retreat with Cookie A, presented by Knits by the Sea, held at Long Beach Lodge. Above pictured is a big pile of Sweet Georgia yarn. Each of the retreat's participants received a skein of this yarn. Can you imagine how difficult it is to choose from dozens of colours? Solids or varigated? light or dark? I hemmed and hawed for about fifteen minutes over which one I wanted. I ended up with something called Dark Olive or Deep Olive or something like that. It's a pretty safe gift-sock-giving colour.
Here is the room we had the retreat in, this is just before the first morning before we really got going (read: before coffee kicked in).

 I sat near the front, of course. Just here Cookie had plopped down a whole bunch of the socks she has knit to use as examples. There were really a lot.
 Here she is telling us how lines can flow smootly in from ribbing to a pattern.

 She gave us (lent, really) a stitch dictionary to pick a pattern from and then design a rib to flow into it. Our choices were either Japanese or German (there may have been one or two English books but I didn't see them). Let me tell you how what a challenge it is to read stitch patterns in a foreign language. It takes a bit of finagling.

Here is another diagram of the lines she was talking about. Apparently how the knitted line sits depends on which side of the knit stitch the purl stitch falls. 

 O look! It's Ellie. And other gals!


Another view of the attendees. 
 A German stitch dictionary. This is not the pattern I went with but I may give it a go someday.
 This was cool! I was going through my Knit. Sock. Love. book and saw that several of the socks in the book were right there in front of me! Now I don't want to get in trouble for reproducing any copyrighted pictures so I'll just stick up a couple (and if I do get in trouble, I'll gladly take them down). It was just SO COOL. 


The evening of the first day of the retreat, participants were invited to the Wine & Cheese in the Great Room at Long Beach Lodge. We started with wine and cheese. 

But there was also bread and crackers. What I didn't get photos of were there rest of the platters that seemed to keep on coming. The three pizzas. The chips and dip. The mussels and clams. More cheese. We weren't able to put a dent in the later dishes because there was SO MUCH FOOD.


Here is Ellie, our illustrious hostess, thanking us all for coming.

Morning of day 2, this is what showed up in our retreat room.

Here are all our socks on display. We started these all on the Saturday and were given homework: knit 1-3 inches before Sunday morning. (This was loosely assigned; for some of us there was no way that much knitting was going to happen). After we'd gotten into socks we designed ourselves (with the help of the stitch dictionaries) we gathered to talk about them. But really what happened was Cookie told us about them. Boy o boy can she ever read a sock. 
Quite a few of the participants had Cookie pose for a photo holding their sock.

So I'm realizing this isn't a great retelling of what happened. Here is more detail:

Dan dropped me off and I headed straignt for the coffee. I was really hoping Long Beach Lodge would have good coffee. I sure needed good coffee. See, the night before I went to stitch night at the yarn shop. Normally Knits by the Sea's stitch night is on Wednesday but Ellie moved it to the Friday night before the retreat. It was quite a lively stitch night. I even had wine. Two glasses in fact. What the heck, said I, I wasn't driving. It sure was fun. But the next day, having had two glasses of wine that probably had sulfites in them, I remembered that I am on antibiotics and that mixing cloxacillin with alcohol is a BAD idea. I started feeling really ill about an hour into the lesson.

I excused myself from the table and went off to one of the comfy chairs along the side of the room. I was shaking and nauseous; I was worried that I was going to pass out. (I have a history of passing out.) Ellie, ever the gracious hostess, made me some peppermint tea. Someone went to their hotel room and grabbed me some Gravol for the nausea.

I persisted with our knitting activity because dammit, I paid my money and I was determined to have a good time, illness be damned. We all figured that lunch would help me to feel better. It did. I had the salad and the burger. The salad was great. The burger was disappointing. But I felt much better for having eaten.

Then when we were in our afternoon session, the Gravol kicked in. Here I started feeling really dumb because now, even though I was not nauseous, I had a hard time staying awake. Turns out that after that heavy lunch, I was not the only one. (Most of the other particpants had fish & chips).

After our first day we all felt a bit pelted with information, but pelted in a good way. We all had lots to think about. But we sashayed ourselves over to the Great Room for the neverending stream of food that was the Wine and Cheese event. Cookie A signed all our books, there were photos, conversations, knitting, and a bright setting sun shining into everyone's eyes through the massive picture window at Long Beach Lodge.

Ellie had Faye looking after the shop while we were at the retreat, so when the shop closed, Faye joined us. After Wine and Cheese, we had no idea how we would fit in dinner. We joked that we four of us (me, Ellie, Faye, Cookie A) could share a salad. We headed off to Shelter where we met with Stellar Coffee gals.

With respect to those at the table, I'll simply say our conversation was under the rose. It was riotous good fun and the food good. I just has a Caesar salad, I couldn't even finish that.

That was the end of a long but good first day.

The second day we worked on our socks some more, had some more treats, shared contact information, took lots of group photos. The poor hotel gal - we called her in to take our group photo and she had a line of something like eight cameras and two iPhones to take photos with. I opted to get photos from others, and Ellie has posted them on the Knits by the Sea Facebook page. 

Cookie had to rush off and catch a ferry (she had flown to Seattle earlier in the week, taught there, then rented a car and drove up. It took about eight hours from Seattle), so we dispersed quickly when it was time to say goodbye.

When I got home, I was absolutely at loose ends (no pun intended) about what knitting project to work on next. I have something like seven sock projects now that are 20-50% done.

O well. It was a good weekend and we were already talking about who to get next year. Alana Dakos? Spilly Jane?

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