Saturday, 1 May 2010

Knitting Retreat

Our knitting guild went on its first knitting retreat last week. It was decided to start small by only going for one night thus being able to determine the suitability of the venue (a Christian retreat centre) and whether we should plan future retreats that would be for two nights and on a weekend. Sharion and Marion did all the advance work - driving up to check out the venue, planning the agenda, arranging things with the retreat centre, etc.  and I would venture to say that our first foray of this kind was a success. I have lots of feedback for Sharion for when the event is reviewed.

The weather was gorgeous for us. We were fortunate that the weather was cool enough that we weren't plagued by mosquitoes or black flies. Although, the wind was brisk and the temperatures were 'crispy' at night, it was lovely and sunny, making the walk to the dining hall a very pleasant experience. I would like to have done more walking around the camp but I was pretty busy teaching a couple of classes, yakking and trying to get some of my own knitting done. Wednesday evening, we worked on kitchener stitch basics, actually grafting a couple of little swatches together. Thursday morning, after Sharion's grand finale of her Mystery knitting project, I worked with 8 of the ladies while we learned how to set up (two-colour cast-on) and execute Latvian Braid. Everyone had a chance to do at least two complete rounds of braids and some got three done. I was too busy to get pictures of my enthusiastic students but I believe most of them were pleased to learn a new knitting technique.

We had clean, plain accommodations that were very comfortable and had good lighting.We were divided into two groups as each building only held a maximum of 8 people and there were 13 of us. The dining for all three meals was buffet-style in the dining hall.
Because there was only our group and another group there, we got to sit right by the windows and look out at the deep indigo waters of Pigeon Lake.
Here we are with full tummies after dinner getting ready to make the walk (or drive) back to our lodgings for yet more knitting.

Once back at our 'apartment', we were very surprised to see this fellow out the window, just a couple of metres from the porch.
M. le Renard was wary when we all came out onto the porch to see him but didn't run away nor seem particularly afraid of us. He didn't look very vicious or rabid and actually came closer to see if we had some food for him. Mary tossed him part of a cookie and he came right up to within a metre of her and gobbled it down, then looked beseechingly at us as if to say "Please, may I have more?". Here he is showing us his teeth.
I had never been so close to a red fox before. He looked in good shape - as well groomed as most peoples' dogs one sees being walked on a residential street.

On our way home, we stopped in at the enormous Mennonite Antique Barn on Hwy #1 just east of Fowlers Corners, about 45km directly north of Port Hope. I was quite impressed that it was so organized and didn't look like a flea market.

On the knitting front, the second sleeve that I knit for the St. Moritz sweater was too short, so I decided to use the first sleeve after all and just eliminate 6 rows of black stocking stitch between the pattern and the top of the sleeve. I won't have enough of the red yarn to knit the 5 rows of reverse stocking stitch for the facing so will be putting in my order for that. While I wait for the yarn to arrive, I'll get the matching sleeve done and do more reading up and watching online videos of how I will go about steeking the body tube in order to attach the sleeves. I'm still putting the thought of cutting into my knitting out of my mind until I actually have to do it. I have been blessed with the ability to put thoughts out of my mind rather than worrying about them. It is a skill that I learned somewhere along the way of coping with some of my life's challenges and it is certainly a skill that has served me well. I regard worrying about stuff as a complete waste of my time as worrying about something that will happen in the future never changes the ultimate outcome.

I was going to go to an Alpaca Festival up in Uxbridge today but I really needed to hit the gym after the last few days of sloth and the forecast for this afternoon was rain. As predicted, it rained briefly early this afternoon. Hopefully Skip and Scooter didn't get too wet on the golf course.

Our neighbour behind us chose this morning at 8am to fire up his chain saw and begin cutting down the four  20-foot-high cedars at his back fence line. They had become excessively spindly on the bottom half and many of the boughs were dead and, I'm sure, quite unsightly on his side of the fence. However, now we don't have anything blocking our view of the back of his house or activities on his deck or back yard. What I'm most upset about though,  is all the bird habitat and nesting places that are now gone. There are some other big, old maples in our next door neighbour's yard. Hopefully the cardinals, house finches, chickadees and other birds will be able to make nests there.

1 comment:

  1. I forgot about your knitting retreat at Elim Lodge. It looks like so much fun Geri and that red fox. Did you manage to tear off some of his fur to spin haha!!
    Your sweater is looking great :)