I had a great time this weekend at Camp Knitaway. This retreat is held every year on the mainland and this was my second year. Nothing to do but relax, knit and eat! All meals are provided and the rooms are nice – four of us from Whidbey Island shared a small room and bath. This year the teacher was Chris Bylsma and she taught her Crayon Box Jacket technique. I have to admit going with a bit of a closed mind. I was just going to sit and observe – the jacket is pretty funky artsy with lots of novelty yarns –not my usual style. But I have to admit to enjoying the class very much. I did make the sample (will post a picture when it’s completely done) and liked it so much that I ordered the pattern for her poncho. Just goes to show it’s never too late to learn a new trick or two. I loved coming in from the outside and seeing the tables crowded with yarn – so colorful!
During get acquainted time one elderly lady introduced herself and said that she had been knitting for over 50 years and back in the 80’s went to a knit camp in Wisconsin. She didn’t know if we had heard of this woman – Elizabeth Zimmerman! A collective gasp went up from the crowd. I have actually taken a class from her daughter, Meg Swansen (a little shameless name-dropping here). In fact, while we’re name dropping, for living in a remote corner of the Pacific Northwest, I’ve been able to rub shoulders with a lot of famous knitters without leaving the island – Lily Chin, Eugene Bueghler, Priscilla Gibson-Roberts, Nancy Bush to name a few. The ironic thing is that as knitting has grown in popularity, the big retreats on the island have died out.
Part of the fun this weekend was a gift exchange and door prizes. I got this:
A lovely skein of Mountain Colors wool for a pair of socks (plus pattern) and this gorgeous!!! pink and blue lace yarn. Although the gift exchange was random, the lady who brought this said she thought of me when she brought it. She was right on target- both the color and medium. Also included was a pattern by Mary McCall for a shawl based on EZ’s Pi are round shawl. I think I will use it with this yarn, but with some adaptations. The pattern calls for size 9 needles and the finished product is 9 feet across (yikes!!). I know the theory is that if you use larger needles with lace you get a lacier effect, but I just don’t like the process with larger needles. So I will use about a size 3 or 4 and get a more manageable project.
And, during our free knitting time I began and finished this:
A baby surprise jacket for Izzy. I can’t believe I’ve been knitting for so long and been such an Elizabeth Zimmerman fan but have never knit one of these. What a fun knit! And it is indeed a surprise when you finish knitting this odd shaped piece and it folds nicely into a little jacket. I think I will try it next on worsted weight. This one will have little lady bug buttons if I can find them.
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Your knitting weekend was as fun as mine. And you came away with gifts and prizes too! I took Chris Bylsma’s workshop last summer, and it was indeed a treat. And what is the pattern for the baby jacket? Cute!!