Tuesday, May 8, 2007

River Knits Retreat Recap!

Twenty-nine knitters from around Indiana, and even one from out of state, enjoyed the weekend at Camp Tecumseh for the 2nd River Knits Retreat! We had time to mingle, time to relax,

time to play games, time to laugh,
and time to learn! We had plenty of good food, including decadent cakes & chocolate shots from the talented Lisa.

We started Saturday morning off right with Knitters' Excersices led by our very own Iron Woman, Sheryl Krohne.

I was really surprised by my own lack of flexibility when trying to place the back side of my hands on the table. This seems like an important one for me to work on!

Then we made beaded stitch markers with Amanda.

Plenty of people were heard saying, "Just what I need--another hobby. But this is FUN!" Amanda taught us how to make several types of simple stitch markers and even a more complex row counter for keeping track of pattern rows. I think this is something I could do again...

Next JoLene Treace showed us some of her impressive sample garments knit in Black Water Abbey Yarns, before telling us about the history of knitted counterpanes and guiding us through the creation of our own counterpane square. Mine is knit in Reynolds Saucy Sport, although traditional counterpanes would have been knit in much finer yarn or threads. I really love the color of blue and found that it looks really fabulous in my bedroom. I wonder if I could really make enough of these to make a bedspread?

Saturday evening Jamisyn won a challenging round of "Name that Yarn" and received a Louet Dyeing Kit as her prize. Who says there aren't perks for knowing how to distinguish yarn by brand and type?!

Later several night owls entertained ourselves with games like "Three lies & a Truth" and composing a "Shatner Letter" to crocheters where each person added one word to the "letter." We amused ourselves very well, wrapping up the evening with a sheepy tale from Wallace & Grommit.

The evening also raised over $500 for Youth Underground, a youth community center that is part of the Community and Family Resource Center! Everyone brought auction items and the generous knitters tried to see who could outbid whom in a silent (and sometimes not so silent) auction. People left with yarn, books, magazines, even finished projects. I nabbed two super handy cotton washcloths and a little cap I'll donate to charity. So that is a charitable gift that gives twice!

The BEST part of the night was the carrot cake & chocolate shots from Lisa! Anyone who was there will back me up on that one. I sure hope I think of many more opportunities to engage her services. Her treats are FABULOUS.

Sunday morning we got an introduction to Kumihimo from Brian Doggett. Kumihimo is an ancient form of Japanese braiding that was used to hold the samurai armor together. Now it is used to make beautiful and useful cords for bags, closures & decorations of all types. This is the one thing I learned this weekend that I have actually felt energetic enough to do so far this week. It is both easy to learn and fun to see the progress as the cord emerges through the disk. I hope to try other colors and fibers too. My sample is in simple cotton floss.

One of my daughters enjoyed trying this with me when I got home. I have heard a lot of other attendees saying they have already taught others already too!

Amanda even finished a gorgeous top at the retreat. It is made of Super 10 Butterfly Cotton, one of my favorite cotton yarns.

After a fun weekend, I managed to fit the remaining items from the onsite "store" into my little "Ravi ShanCar"--fortunately the knitters liked being able to shop at the retreat!

Like all good retreats, it was great to be away from the normal routine. And like all good trips away, it was great to get back home!


Heather said...

What a stunning picture of me. :)

It was definitely a great weekend.

Jamisyn said...

What fun it was!! I was so glad to be able to help you out and carry all those "heavy" boxes of yarn ;-). I can't wait to try out my dying kit, guess it does pay to know all those yarns--by look, feel, and, yes, even smell!!

Elizabeth said...

I love it when a box of Bearfoot arrives. I love to smell the vinegar smell that they use to set the dye.

Jamisyn said...


Elizabeth said...

Yes, there was new Bearfoot at the retreat. New Weaver's Wool Quarters too. It's all at River Knits now. :-)