Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Unabridged Retreat: Round One

After about an 80 minute drive with my friend, anticipating a weekend of all fiber and no responsibility, we arrived at the Hankerd Inn. This was going to be a chance to get to know my fellow Black Sheep members better, and a great excuse to talk about knitting 24/7 with people who don’t think that there would be anything wrong with that. The conversational focus matched the quantity of unattainable knitting goals that were in my bags. (A habit that is probably the reason that I laughed so hard while reading Stephanie Pearl-McPhee’s newest book. Hmmm, imagine, she, too, has difficulty limiting the projects that travel with her.) In fact, the hardest part of packing was the fiber. Planning to spin or not to spin, a simple sock, a new project, needles for the mystery knit along, so many choices! It was tough!

I was going to be spending the weekend with friends that are relatively new to me, and it had me wondering how the weekend would go. As a kid, I did not have a group of girlfriends or spend much time at slumber parties and that sort of thing. Outside of a couple of good friends, I spent time learning to knit and crochet, needlepoint, sew, cross stitch and macramé from my mom and the help of the library "how-to" section. I loved working with fiber and that interest has obviously not gone away. In fact, it seems to have slowly come to full blown obsession. Working in a class was the closest that I came to working in a group. Even as an adult, the fiber thing has been somewhat solitary.

So, spending the weekend with 19 women and their wool is a newer sort of phenomenon, one that I have been developing for the past couple of years through fiber trips with smaller groups and guild members. I have always thought of myself as a shy person. Lately, though, I have been realizing that maybe this attribute may be evolving a bit. (I say this, since everyone that I mention my shyness to has laughed.)

Once we had all arrived, we were ready for food. The dining room was set with a large table and a few smaller tables, it was perfect sitting with different women and mixing it up. What a great way to get to know each other better, sharing food! Some food and a little rest and we were ready for a little ice-breaker. This was planned around our keen knowledge of the knitters who keep us inspired and get us in trouble for logging onto the internet during work hours, a few too many times.

Although I am generally not a fan of the ice-breaker sort of activities myself, it was great fun trying to determine which famed knitter’s name was on my back by asking ‘yes’ and ‘no’ questions about me. (I turned out to be the famed Nancy Bush! How exciting).

Since it was the beginning of the weekend, it was important that we got our mystery knit along kit; we just might need something to do all evening! The kits were a mystery right from the start…each was hidden in different colored bags and contained yarn in seven different colors plus the main color and the 4 sealed clue envelopes to get us through each stage of the project. We made a few swaps to liken our colors to our personal favorites and we were happy. Pictures will be coming soon, I don't want to spoil anything for the other mystery knitters!

Then came what seemed to be the equivalent to Oprah’s favorite things. Our “Knitting Goodie Bags” were distributed with bits of everything fiber in them. The Black Sheep leadership team went all out for us. (All I can say is "Namaste" and I mean that!) Even the dyeing supplies for Saturday’s workshop were included. The thrill filled the room and continued through the rest of the weekend!

Arriving Friday evening made for a long day after work. But it did not take long for us to get our second wind. Soon, we were enjoying our fiber, our friends and, of course, a bit of chocolate.

To be continued……

1 comment:

Littknits said...

This is like reliving the retreat! I'm relaxed all over again just reading your entry.