Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Alice's Knitting Retreat, Part 2 - The People and the Knitting

Alice plans the retreat classes to provide a good understanding of the knitting techniques, so we knitted a lot of samples, including center-increase squares, center-decrease squares, left- and right-decrease triangles, pentagons, hexagons and so forth. I found the pentagons and hexagons to be the most difficult; I didn't have short circulars so I defaulted to dpns, and may I say that maneuvering 5 or 6 dpns is tricky! Working over a table really helps, since the weight of the piece can rest on the table-top. The largish piece in the upper left corner of the photo is a pentagonal motif based on a pattern in Nora Gaughan's Knitting Nature book; Alice has devised a scarf made with two long pieces joined to adjacent edges of the motif, so that the lacy motif hangs at the back of the neck. Sorry, no photo.

Since Alice supports a charity group providing clothing for kids and babies in northern British Columbia, several of her examples meant to inspire us were baby items, and these two jackets in particular caught my eye. In the left photo, large squares made with internal decreases are joined to make the body and sleeves of a jacket. In the red photo on the right, she has used rectangles, decreased from outside to the center and bound off with a 3-needle join. The red yarn in both jackets is the same, one of the many bargains Alice finds at Elann.com; I think this was a bag sale yarn

For my 'graduation' project, I chose a shawl made from triangles, called Tumbling Triangles, from Ginger Luters' book. I've only finished the first section, but I'm very pleased with how the yarns work together. The solid is Nashua Creative Focus worsted in 3317 mint, and the variegated is Lang's Mille Colori, color 697.0006 both from the Stitches shop in Ganges.

Alice had made up this pattern using a plain green wool and Colinette Jitterbug (left), and at least one of our group really wanted to take the model home, lol!

Our 'class' was quite small, just 3 full-time knitters, with Margaret, an SSI resident, and Dani, Alice's daughter, joining us for a couple of mornings. I'd never met Jamie (another Elannite!), but Lorraine was part of the class I took from Alice in 2005. Here are pictures of Dani and Alice and of Jamie (red skirt) with Lorraine in the foreground. Margaret is on the far right in the group photo, which we took as Lorraine was leaving to head back home. Um, that's me in pink - I'm always the short one.

The second 'class' was a full complement of knitters, most of them women I've 'met' only through Elann, plus they had several knitters join them for just a day or so. Uleta (my hostess in Sidney) and I drove over one day to meet the others for lunch.

I got to meet Elannites Amy (in pale green),

Les (in red/white/black),

Benne (in mocha) and

Chris, Cheryl, and Naomi (in the middle).

There were others I didn't get to meet, since we were just there for lunch, but I did get to meet a new person I hope to get to know better in person. She's asked to remain anonymous, but she lives not too far from Burbank, and I hope we'll be able to plan a meet-up sometime.


smariek said...

That sounds like the perfect knitting retreat. Great company, interesting knitting, and good food.

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Anonymous said...

Great report, CBM. Helps bring back some memories. I certainly did enjoy my week at Sunset Farm!
Knitting was fun, company was wonderful and food was nutritious, beautiful and delicious!

TracyKM said...

Still wishing I could go!
The left baby sweater is found in Debbie New's "Unexpected Knitting" if anyone is interested. It's one of the more 'traditional' patterns, LOL. I love the little shapes you made; think on a bigger scale and you'd have great baby blankets.

Yarnhog said...

I often fantasize about attending a knitting retreat. Thanks for sharing!

Anonymous said...

What nice pictures! Sounds like a wonderful, relaxing, and thoroughly enjoyable time.

Joan said...

Wow, what fun and what a charming setting!

Lisa W. said...

great post and pics...looks like wonderful food, knitting and fun for all. maybe next time i'll get to join everyone!