re view

Posted on Posted in book reviews/events, designing, projects

once again i’d like to thank kristin nicholas and tara, from sixth&spring books, for their generous participation in last week’s blog interview and book giveaway. the lucky winner of colors by kristin is: jane L!

thank you everyone for participating!

the knitter’s review retreat i attended this weekend was loads of fun and a great teaching experience. as you can see, each participant received a delicious goodie bag filled with treats from the lovely event sponsors.

immediately after breakfast on saturday morning, we kicked off the day with a huge group photo outdoors. then it was on to our respective classes. i taught my “sweater fitness” class, where participants learned how to use measurements and fabric information to choose the correct sweater size, tips and tricks on using the pattern as a knitting tool, and making pattern adjustments for better fit. our class was very full and very eager to participate, which always makes for a lively few hours together—i had a great class and i hope they did, too (i think they did!). i’d love to say i got a good photo of everyone, but the room was dark and the pictures didn’t turn out so well.

after class, we grabbed some lunch, and then it was on to the market where four of us worked the briar rose booth for a few hours amidst a buzzing crowd of avid yarn fans.

chris and i were extremely lucky to have the expert help of clara’s cousin kathy and aunt judy at the sales table, which left us available to help knitters in choosing yarn and patterns (because, well, choosing among chris’s many incredible yarns and colors can be an experience that requires help).

it was a very polite (and fun!) feeding frenzy for most of the afternoon and much of the booth stock was well depleted by the end of the day (the yarn that was left, however, will be added to the online shop this week for those at home who are waiting for more).

susan, karen, and janet from the kitchener waterloo guild in ontario found a few skeins of yarn to take home (along with some patterns). i love the photo below where susan seems to be warily taking in some serious justification by karen for her purchases

karen, you don’t need to explain to us why you “need” that yarn!
it was my good fortune to spend time with this lovely trio of women—i’ll be visiting them in june for the kitchener-waterloo adjudicated knitting show and teaching at karen’s shop, shall we knit?, while i’m there. they are a ton of fun and always smiling—i can’t wait to spend more time with them.

and—omg—looks who’s buying my pattern and some of chris’s sea pearl yarn to knit it; that’s ann budd, editor and author of several well-known knitting books, including the knitter’s handy book of patterns, an all-time favorite.

we had a few chances throughout the weekend to share a brew and a barrel of laughs with this wonderful lady and i hope there is a lot more of that in my future; she is one of the warmest, most good-humored people in the business.

speaking of warm and good-humored, there’s clara, with barbara parry of foxfire fibers, sneaking a hit of cormo fumes in a not-so-private moment—oh well, that’s an example of how wool fumes can break down one’s inhibitions and good sense.

karen grover (right), was there from maine representing her gorgeous string theory yarns. that’s jane on the left, who designed the beautiful wrap she’s wearing, which appears in clara’s book, from karen’s yarn.

i finally got to have a chat with jennifer, from spirit trail fiberworks, and discovered she is the sweetest person; as beautiful a spirit as her fibers and yarns would have you think.

and wow, has her selection of incredible wooly wonders expanded over the last few years—row upon row of drool-inducing yarns, bags of fiber, and beautiful samples filled her booth.

pam and a friend (i’m SO sorry i don’t remember your name!) from storey publishing were about all day on saturday—storey generously opened their doors that afternoon to retreat participants for a tour at their facility and treated each guest to a book. i was not able to attend because our booth was so busy, but perhaps another time.

across the way, kathryn alexander’s booth of incredible multi-colored knitting wonders was hopping busy as well—adorable hat and sock kits being snatched up for christmas gift knitting as fast as knitters could manage it.

to our left, clara signed copies of her new release, the knitter’s book of wool and entertained her fans with a constant stream of dry, witty humor (we just love clara!).

melanie falick was also on hand signing books, including the beautiful, newly-released reversible knits book, by lynne barr. melanie is a long-time dear friend and it was my great pleasure to be reunited with her during this weekend. it’s been ages since we had a chance to meet and talk and so good to have some time to do both this weekend.

once everyone was shopped out for the day, it was time to relax and enjoy and evening of socializing, knitting, dinner, and more socializing. melanie gave a presentation early in the evening about her career in book publishing and the many beautiful books she has written, edited, and is currently working on.

i worked on a larger cornrow mitten while she spoke, and got my hat all the way to the point where i need to switch to DPNs to finish. i had to put that aside til i have a moment to search for the needles (i thought i packed them, but i don’t see them on the surface of any of my bags and i’ve been too lazy to dig deeper. heh.).

the late evening was devoted to a good talk with chris over a local brew and chatting with other retreat participants. that’s connie and jayme there—i got into a conversation with them very late on saturday night that resulted in continuous cracking up over nothing; maybe just to hear connie laugh one more time (she has a great laugh, totally infectious). i think the blurriness in the photo was all on my end by that point—sorry ladies.

sunday morning, we all gathered sleepily for “new beginnings” and knitting church (well, okay, they all look chipper and busy; it was just me that was sleepy and bleary).

the reverand clara presided over the congregation—we all cast on a new project specifically just for ourselves to celebrate and were blessed accordingly.

my choice was my second holidazed sock; i even got a few inches of it completed during the service. after that, the retreat broke up, everyone going their separate ways.

chris and i headed back to albany with sheila january in the afternoon, where i met up with david back at my mom’s.

i actually got lots of knitting done over the weekend, but it’s too early in the day now to have good light to take pictures of everything. i finished my fire sock (above, working on the toe), a holidazed sock, most of the cornrows set, and got some work done on my henley, too.

we all had a good dinner and then settled in for dinner and some knitting—look at her go on that afghan.

and now she’s letting me know it’s time to stop working so we can go out. so i better get to it; i’m not even going to proofread today, so excuse me in advance for typos!

25 thoughts on “re view

  1. thank you so much for the detailed post about the retreat. It is wonderful to get a taste of the events you blog for us. Maybe some day I’ll be able to participate in something that cool!

  2. My, what a retreat! Thanks for “introducing” us to all the knitters we know by name, but perhaps not by face.

    Have a wonderful time visiting, and please wish your family a very happy Thanksgiving from me.

  3. It looks like you had a great weekend. I love the colors of the afghan your mother is knitting- and the picture of you both hard at work is wonderful!

  4. I’m too bowled over by yarn fumes, gorgeous colors, and lovely hand knits to even think about typos! Looks like a wonderful time was had by all.

  5. Looks like everyone had a wonderful time!!! Blog is great…knitting is superb as usual!!! Love your mum 🙂

  6. I met Jennifer of Spirit Trail back in the summer of ’06… or was it ’07? She was very kind to me, answered all of my questions and assured me that the 100% silk laceweight wasn’t ‘too good’ for me.

    Some day soon I must make something with it and send her pictures.

    It looks like all were had by a good time.

  7. Wow, what an event! Thank you for bringing us along. I’d love to know more about what Aunt Judy is sporting over her shoulders. Lovely. I hope the rest of your trip is as successful.

  8. All your lovely photos show conclusively that knitters are just the best! Thank you for illustrating that for us. Looks like Ann Budd was wearing the cover sweater from “Simple Style”. I’ve been thinking of knitting it and it’s nice to see it in a different colorway. Seems like you didn’t know what was better: the knitting or the laughter. Lucky you. You didn’t have to choose!

  9. Looks like you all had a fab time. Just wanted to let you know how much I appreciate your detailed recaps of all knitting/fiber events that you have attended this year. Eventhough being thousands of miles away your posts make us feel like we are not missing out of all the fun. Planning on making the big journey in a few years time to attend an event/s in the US when the boys are older.

  10. Great post-loved all of the pics and hearing all about the retreat. It sounds like a great time! Enjoy your holiday!

  11. Hi Anne, it was wonderful to take your class on Saturday and talk with you and Chris over breakfast. Great recap of the weekend too!

  12. The retreat looks like so much fun!!

    Jennifer is lovely; we got to spend some time chatting with her at Rhinebeck.

    Love the pic of you and your mom knitting together! Happy Thanksgiving to you and David and the whole family.

  13. Hi Anne – I was lucky enough to be in your class at the retreat. I’ll have to admit, I doubted that I would learn much before hand but was delightfully surprised to find that I learned an incredible amount! My sweaters will forever fit better thanks to you. You are a genius – and a very nice person to meet – and I can’t wait to make the sweater you were wearing.


  14. Thank you for all the lovely photos and the recap of the retreat—sounds like everyone had a terrific time. All that gorgeous yarn! It’s enough to make a girl swoon! I have to admit, though, my favorite photo is the one of you and your mother knitting.

  15. Hi Anne,

    Thank you so much for the lovely visual and written recap of this truly amazing weekend. It was my first time at the Knitters’ Review Retreat and, all life events permitting, will be annual one for me. I am truly thankful for the privilege of being able to attend such an event filled with kind, encouraging and inspiring participants.

    I do, however, have one minor correction to the photo messages specific to your “over the nose/glasses” shot. I am known as the ENABLER in “these here parts” of Ontario and, therefore, the message should read: “Karen, now really, how can you not buy that third skein…we all know the angst of not having enough yarn for a project!”

    It was a delight to meet and chat with you over the weekend. I SO look forward to your visit to our guild in June. I am wishing you and yours a wonderful Thanksgiving.

  16. I *LOVE* that picture with you and your mother knitting. So precious! Very excited to learn you’ll be in Canada in June! I may have to make the trip 🙂

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