Sunday, March 29, 2009

WINTER WOOLY WEEKEND RETREAT

Oh my did I ever have sooooo much fun last weekend. It was just the best time I have had in a very long time. Just imagine a weekend of endless knitting, yarn petting, being around friends, having wonderful meals served, and not having to cook the meals and clean up after, no phones to answer, no Avon to worry about and no deadlines with a list of must get done chores/items. Yes it has taken me a weekend to get this written. Sorry about that. BUT coming back and resettling in, it is that Avon you know, and the winter storm with heavy duty shoveling I cheated doing; time just passed by. I did, however, upload my photos and now I can report on the great time I had.

I was picked up on Friday around dinner time. Solara and I waited patiently for Deb to come and get me.
The retreat was held at Delta Marsh a little more than an hour from my home. Here is where you can find some information about Delta Marsh http://www.umanitoba.ca/faculties/science/delta_marsh/index.html

If you click here Facilities you will get a drawing of the area and different buildings. My room was in the Mallard Lodge.

Wikipedia has this to day about Delta Marsh http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Delta_Marsh and you can find lots more information when you "google" Delta Marsh.

When we arrived we checked in which took place in the dining room and we signed our rights away meaning we were granting permission to take photos of us and post them. OH help me please!!!!! HEE HEE We had to give our next of kin. Was that in case we were killed by DPNs or a pointy stick or suffocated in a pile of yarn and fluffy rovings? We received a goodie bag and a name tag to fill out and wear. I brought my own name tag. In the goodie bag which was a reusable bag everyone received two skeins of Just Bamboo by Sidar. Mine was a dusty blue BUT Shelagh traded with me as she received a dusty PINK.

I also found a hand knitted dishcloth with a snowflake and the pattern for the dishcloth, pen, pencil, notepad, candy and one of the round rubber doohickeys you use to open jar lids with. I certainly didn't expect to get a goodie bag and such a nice one also.

I shared a room with my friend Shelagh in Mallard Lodge.
Mallard Lodge over looked the lake and a few weeks earlier students were there and built igloos on the ice. Then they slept in them. The colder it is outside when they spend the night the better their bragging rights are. It is very difficult to take photos of igloos being they are white ice on white snow on a frozen lake but I did try.Here are some photos surrounding Mallard Lodge. In these first two you can also see the lake.



In the great room of Mallard Lodge there was a very long table with lots of fiber and yarn to pet and purchase. AND what you could find by digging deep into the bottom of those piles of yarn.
This is at the end of the retreat on Sunday afternoon and you can see how tired Dorian (Mona's son) is. He worked so hard and he played hard also. Now he was going to have to help pack and clean it all up so he too could go home.

Off the main room was a porch where vendors had items for sale. So there really was a lot that could be purchased. Some of the items sold by the vendors included items from these spinners. I met one of the gals (the one in the doorway) when I was on my Alpaca tour this past fall. The mystery yarn I bought from her, I knit into my Dead Before Dark project, the Love Bites Scarf.
Dorian taught a FREE drop spindle course which I initially had planned to take but instead took Tunisian Crochet. I did end up learning to use the drop spindle a bit from the spinners and then at knit night this past Tuesday I was shown how to get started. Here is Dorian using his drop spindle Dorian wasn't the only MALE who attended the retreat. A young high school boy named Bret did also. Here he is concentrating on his Estonia Lace after the class. He joins us most Tuesdays to knit at Mona's and he has become quite an accomplished knitter having knit a hat, mitts and now is working on socks.
There were lots of FREE classes. I took one on Tunisian Crochet and here we are with our great big hooks.

In the end I chose to use a small afghan hook I had with me to work on a scarf using Noro Kureyon. There are two skeins of yarn as it is two sided (both sides are right sides). It is very interesting and when I got home my girlfriend who is a crocheter and NOT a knitter didn't know about it. I got to teach it to her.

Dorian taught a class on knitting a mobieus. I don't have a photo of what I am knitting but I am using the beautiful yarn I received in my first ravelry color swap. I only hope I put on enough stitches.

Another FREE class I took was felting soap. I know how to but since there is always more information to learn I figured I could learn something new and I did. I also think depending on the fluff you use determines how easy it is to felt. This was the easiest soap I have felted so far. It was way tooo much fun

Here is my felted soap.
Another class I took was on Estonia Lace. The cost was all of $10.00. It was taught very professionally with a slide show presentation and a break in the middle to do exercises which I was way too stiff to do.


Here is our teacher Helen on the right teaching Deb on the left the finer points of lace knitting. Deb is also the wonderful gal who picked me up and drove me to the retreat and drove me back home.

I learned I don't have to put big nups in my Estonia Lace. WHOO HOO

We didn't just KNIT and/or CROCHET we also ate. We were fed very well.

These two photos were taken on Saturday morning. We had sausages and French toast, fruit, yogurt, drink mix, coffee and tea.

Sunday morning we had ham and pancakes with two kinds of yogurt, fruit, drink mix, coffee and tea. Lunch on Saturday was home made veggie soup and fresh baked rolls with chicken, egg salad, ham, beets, lettuce and tomatoes, drink mix, coffee and tea. Sunday lunch was home made tomato rice soup, grilled cheese sandwiches and salad with choice of two dressings. Saturday dinner was lasagna, garlic toast and ceasar salad, drink mix, coffee and tea. All meals ended with a dessert from cookies to cobblers and snacks were provided for us in between meals. Meal time was 8A, Noon and 5:30P. On Friday when we arrived there was a ton of snacks to nibble on such as a fruit tray, veggie tray, crackers, dips, cookies, chips, muffins, peanut brittle and I made some rice pudding and magic bar. There was plenty left over to nosh on Saturday evening. There was also lots of wine being imbibed over the weekend. BUT we didn't just KNIT, CROCHET and EAT. You could also book a massage appt. I didn't bring enough cash for that and then I would have needed to find a time slot that wasn't already taken in my very booked schedule.

Mona was shocked when she was presented with a present for all the work she had done. It was given to her by Letty who helped with this wonderful retreat we were given the opportunity to partake in.

Here is Shelagh being silly.
There was a fabulous auction table set up in the great room in Mallard Lodge opposite the yarn table.
This is the end of the retreat on Sunday afternoon while we were waiting for the auction tickets to be drawn. I didn't win anything but I did put a large Avon gift basket in and Mona added some yarn and a candle pack to it.

Here are some participants waiting to see if they had a winnng ticket.

We had 33 people attend and I can pretty much guarentee it will be a sell out for our second retreat this fall called "COLORS". It is being held Friday September 25 - Sunday September 27. I so want to attend again. Now all I need to do is finish up my income taxes and send them in, wait for my refund and purchase my washing machine and then I can save for the next retreat.

While I was at the retreat I met some very fine yarns. AND I take a few of those new friends home with me.

Here is what I purchased at the retreat.

This first yarn is from a Cherry Hill Tree Indie Dyer. This particular yarn is 80% super merino and 20% nylon. It is naturally dyed with botanical and insect based dyes. Then in hand writing this is added to the label: lac, cochineal, osage orange, madder, sandalwood.

Is this NOT absolutely beautiful yarn?



I also found this hat pattern attached to a few different skeins of Fleece Artist yarn.
I checked the table until I found a color yarn I loved and here is what I chose. It is Wooly Silk 3 Ply. It is 65%wool and 35% silk
I found a cup on the table and it had a sign on it that said 50% off. There wasn't much in the cup but on the bottom I found these earrings which I got for $5.00.
At the end of the retreat I ended up also buying a spindle. One day I would like to be able to spin the yarn before I turn into knitted socks. I know that will take me a while. What I have spun so far is still thick, the spindle drops and the fluff into yarn breaks but I am getting better. It is a very slow process. Maybe in six months or even three and who knows maybe next month I will be much improved. AND eventually I want to get a spinning wheel, carders (hand and eventually a drum carder). Maybe the carders will come first due to the cost of a spinning wheel.

I loved being away and gladly would have loved the retreat to last longer but it is always good to get back home.

Solara survived while I was gone. She didn't stop chatting at me until we went to sleep that night.

When I got home Sunday afternoon after putting all my stuff away, I was playing with my spindle and she discovered the small container that was holding some colored fluff and thought it would be a swell place to sit.

She soon left that to play in the rovings. She went to sleep in it. She also loved to pull at it with her teeth and knead it.

When I returned home I found a card from the postman that he tried to deliver a package to me earlier on Sunday but b/c it needed a signature he took it to the postal outlet for me to sign for before I got it.
Then on Monday another package was delivered to me. Talk about exitement.
The rest of the week there was only mail delivered on one day Tuesday. Very strange if you ask me.
Today I received a package from the postman.
That will be in my next post.

7 comments:

kadezmom said...

Wow.

first of all, I could just roll in all that yarn. It looks like everyone had a blast and lots was learned (and more fun was had).

I can't wait to see the package photos!

Aunt Kathy said...

Oh boy, I long to go to a knitting retreat someday. How fun, and look at all that pink yarn, you are so lucky, lol.

Can I be your next of kin so if anything happens to you I can take care of that pink yarn for you?

Did I really type that out loud?

Jane said...

Oh, I am so jealous! I'm glad you were able to trade for the PINK banboo!
What a wonderful time - you deserve it!

Monica said...

Ooh I am so jealous of your knitting retreat! Was it in Winnipeg? I should come visit Winnipeg next time this is on!!! Love the haul, and Solara!

gaspe knitting gal said...

you seemed have a good time, every thing looked nice and some nice courses too

Bonnie said...

I just loved reading about your retreat weekend. You did such a good job describing everythign, I felt like I was there and wish I had been! You have a beautiful cat, she must have been so happy to see you when you got home.
Thanks for sharing!

noricum said...

I wish I could have been there too!

Letting Solara play with the roving will probably make it harder for you to spin.