up, down, all around

Posted on Posted in book reviews/events, designing, food and garden, lace/shawls

hello! i’m finally back from what feels like a too-long absence—wow, the time sure flies when i’m moving about and have a deadline as well. between my teaching date, tax time, and the club chapter deadline, i feel i’ve been running to catch up for days. but i think today i may have finally gained even ground.

(ha—only to leave again on friday for a quick couple of teaching days at kathy’s kreations weekend retreat in ligonier, PA)

anyway, what a lovely weekend it was in solomon’s island, MD for the reston SnB retreat. it was mostly sunny, temperate, and with all that good company, a real pleasure to be there. they are a little bit ahead of us in their blooming period, so i was treated to daffodils, tulips, camellias, and hyacinth coming up everywhere. even a few cherry blossoms here and there, though not full bloom.

the main attraction is the water view, which i find compelling no matter what the orientation or weather. i was once again treated to staying in a water-facing room at the house where the retreat happens. on friday i worked on my chapter at the desk facing the water, privy to every nuanced change in scenery as the day cycled through a grayish dawn and into an even grayer rainy morning.

it stopped long enough around 1 pm for me to go for a nice run up the peninsula and back; i got showered on a bit but not drenched and it felt great to stretch and get my legs moving. back at my desk i worked on my chapter some more until the weekend guests started to arrive.

and just before my trunk show and talk were to begin for the evening, we were treated to a rainbow—for real! you can’t make this stuff up, haha.

after class, everyone browsed through the little yarn and pattern shop we had set up in the dining room for the bare naked wools. it was fun to show everyone all that has been developed just in the year since i saw them last. some of the special new yarns were a big hit, along with breakfast blend fingering for spring accessories. it was a VERY enthusiastic response; i was am pleased that everyone enjoys our yarns so much.

but no worries, we didn’t get cleaned out of everything; we still have some of those specials i showed you last week. david needs to reload the store with the merchandise i brought back, but he’s been a little busy organizing the FIFC 2013 signups, which open to our club members today and for everyone on may 1st (click here to read more)

with the sunset, it grew cold, but we had a nice evening at the house, sharing warm lasagna, salad, dessert, and visiting. later we gathered in the front rooms for knitting with cups of coffee. and because i had gotten up before dawn, i was sleepy by 9:30.

and of course that is a vicious cycle; because i was sleeping by 9:45, i was awake by 3:30 or some such craziness. but that works in my favor when i have a chapter to finish.

also, good for catching photos of the dawn—i was drawn by those cool lights on the dock sheds and snapped a whole series of the sunrise to share with you, running out in my slippers every ten minutes or so to snap one. here goes . . .

(i love this one where i panned right to find that the sky is half black and half dark blue . . .)

as soon as it was light enough, i tied on my runners and headed out the door—it really helps me stay energized throughout the day if i get my exercise in, no matter how early i have to do it.

on the way up the road, i snapped one final picture of the sun up above water. priceless.

saturday was a full day of classes; first we did a beginning lace segment, then followed that up with a lace project class for the afternoon. so intent were we on working that we worked well past the stopping time; marie had to pry us away to go to dinner.

lo and behold, while walking to the crab house, we got to see the sunset over the other side of the island. nice, right?

the focus of the weekend classes was on lace so for sunday, we moved right along into learning about more advanced lace fabrics, techniques, and shaping. the project class was split into beginning and intermediate sections, the first working on isadora and the second working on frillibet. by late sunday afternoon, we had a number of very pretty examples in the works, especially the frillibets; it was nice to see a group of them coming to life, like butterflies, haha.

because i only have one or two projects on the needles that i can knit in public, i lavished all sorts of attention on the infinity scarf i brought with me (the other will get its turn this coming weekend, heh). and look—the darn thing actually grows when i knit on it consistently and for more than half an hour!
whoa. actually i got more than far; i reached the point where the pattern ends and still had yarn left.

curious to know just how far it would go (i’m betting on one more repeat), i continued. cuz you can do that if you like with these cowls and scarves; it’s up to the knitter. i state a size and number of reps in order to define yardage, but seriously, have at it if you want to add or don’t want leftovers (that’s my personal camp).

the texture of this wasn’t very apparent earlier, but now with a larger area of fabric, you can see. it’s kind of an abstract, bumpy openwork which to its credit, is reversible. it took a little while for me to get into the rhythm of doing it, but over the weekend, we totally bonded. and now it’s almost done. with luck, this will be off the needles tonight and maybe i’ll even get photos before i go, so i can release it friday or monday.

it was too late to drive all the way home on sunday after the retreat, so i took the opportunity to stop off overnight and visit with my dear friend—and yours—anne marie. we miss her so much in spinning class, but thankfully we keep in touch regularly because she is one of our awesome proofreaders and also moderator of our bare naked wools group with barb.

we had a nice long knit and chat until late on sunday night and then monday got up early to take in the display of flowering trees and bulbs throughout her beautiful neighborhood. every single cherry tree was at its peak bloom, covered with pink or white flowers. the neighborhood is hilly, with lovely sight lines; the trees are a real accent to the scenery.

even bocce appears to be in awe (though probably just thinking about his next snack)

the morning was drizzly, but it seemed to make the colors of spring even more intense. after a nice hot breakfast and a trip to the amish pretzel shop (david and i are quite addicted; soft pretzels are our favorite midnight snack), i got back on the road and headed for home.

i pulled in late on monday evening and and boy am i glad to be here. all sorts of new things are popping up in the garden outside, but i think i’ll save all that for the next post. it’s time now to get david to release the club chapter and then post the waffle creams sock pattern in our shop. i can hardly believe it’s been a whole year already since we published that chapter.

and i’ve got this cowl to finish; i really REALLY want to get it off the needles today.

10 thoughts on “up, down, all around

  1. Such progress on your infinity scarf! Can’t wait to see it blocked.

    Thanks again, Anne for a truly lovely weekend. We had such fun and always look forward to learning more from you!

    Now I get to haunt the mailbox waiting for the arrival of my club package!!! 🙂

  2. Just a note:

    I had a wonderful time at Stitches South this last weekend, apparently while you were teaching in MD. I bought a pattern from a sample in a booth and after it was paid for I was totally thrilled to realize that is was one of yours. I am a faithful blog reader and just thrilled to own Elm Row.

  3. Such gorgeous pictures of the scenery! Two years in a row you’ve made me jealous of this retreat. I wonder how a Westerner gets to be an adopted Reston SnB member? They look like a really nice (if intently concentrating) bunch.

  4. Anne, thanks again for another thoroughly enjoyable weekend! I always enjoy your classes & get so much out of them. (Also love all the little anecdotes.) I’m already looking forward to next year back at Solomons! Tonight is our weekly SnB meeting; I might even dare to work on Frillibet. And my club yarn just might be waiting for me when I get home! Glad you made it home safely!

  5. Anne, let me add my thanks foe the great weekend. We. All look forward to your visit and many have already blocked out the weekend for next year. I have finished three repeats of the Isadora and I love it. I can’t wait to start on my new Bare Naked yarns and patterns.

    PS I have already put the lace edging knowledge to use on a top with a collar.

    Thanks again.

  6. Your sunrise photos are so beautiful and so beautifully timed — it’s the next best thing to being there! Get some rest!

  7. Firstly, your photography is exquisite. Secondly, I’m in love with Bocce!! May I ask what kind he is? I adore his scruffily fur!

  8. Anne, many thanks for a really wonderful lace-filled weekend. It was very inspiring and so good for me to stretch my brain!
    And a big thanks to Marie for hosting and also to the Reston SnB-ers for being so welcoming.
    On Saturday, I wasn’t sure of the fate of Isadora. By Sunday I felt more confident that she’d come to be. Stay tuned 🙂

  9. Love your sunrise pics Anne. I grew up on the Chesapeake Bay, and you captured so many of its looks. I have traveled the world, and truly no where else is the light like that. I don’t know what it is or why. Can’t wait to see the Cowl blocked out. Enjoy being home!

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