Wednesday, April 25, 2007

A very knitty weekend

It's been a while since my last post. It's not for neglecting the blog so much as having so much else going on. This is a long one, so set aside some time if you have it. Last Wednesday I rose before the sun and carted off myself to Bennington Vermont where I met up with Sadia and Ann, the hosts of the first knitting camp of the e-list we belong to. I was the first to arrive for the gathering which was to last to Sunday. I was a little apprehensive because I would be spending some time with the campmamas before the rest of the group arrived. It turned out that we got along fabulously and with Ann's daughter Grace spent the first night talking until midnight. Thursday I got a tour of the town as Ann and Grace ran errands. Bennington is an old town by Pacific Northwest standards and many of the houses reminded me of the houses in the oldest neighborhoods of Portland. It tickled the historian in me to hear the stories of the place as we passed places where Ethan Allen and the Green Mountain Boys were during the Revolutionary War. It wasn't long after we had returned from running errands and giving blood than Witt, his partner Gary, and Lou from the list arrived. We had a marvelous time getting to know each other now that we had faces to go with names, taking our conversation to the Madison Brewing Co. on Main St. I replenished the pint taken from the Red Cross with a pint from the brewpub and an excellent salad. And I have to say the conversation was not for the faint hearted. Friday was when folks started arriving in full array. Friday was also our day for taking the trek from Bennington to Northampton MA and the fabled WEBS Yarn Company. Barbara and Fudge arrived from Ithaca NY and we were going to meet up with more folks at WEBS. I rode with Barbara and Fudge, where we went through our lists of what we want in girlfriends and various other topics of amusement.

I have to say that having Woodland Woolworks in the neighborhood primed me for the experience of shopping the legendary warehouse. I have always said that WW is the Medina whereas WEBS is Mecca for yarnaholics in search of a bargain. I found myself right in that assessment. The warehouse at WEBS is well-stocked with bargains, including old standards like Plymouth Encore, Cascade 220, and Rowan yarns. There are also cones of yarns, novelties, discontinued yarns, and oddballs. But you can find good stuff in there.

I did. I wasn't alone. Jeri, who met up with us there found a few prize skeins to add to her collection.

Friday night more of the list contingent appeared as we gathered in the conference room of the Paradise Inn for feasting on burritos and fiber. David of Red Maple Sportswear and Dr Mel arrived with goodies from Alpaca With a Twist for us to stroke, fondle, and buy. Ray of Knitivity sent up a sampling of his yarns and Barbara brought up rovings for the spinners of the group. Joy brought skeins of sari silk for us to choose from and other folks brought yarn to swap. The evening settled to conversations and demonstrations of different techniques. Spinners worked on wheels and knitters worked on projects, mostly socks.

Saturday was the big gathering and some folks arrived for the day. A group gathered in Sadia and Ann's backyard for a class in dyeing skeins and roving with acid dyes. Others watched Mel demonstrate the Sherman toe.

Sunday was our last day together. Like all the previous days it was graced with sunshine and unusually warm temperatures. One by one folks headed out their separate ways but leaving with a feeling that this weekend was very special. No personalities really clashed. No one felt left out. We had some great huggers in the group and lots of laughs. For a group of folks who just knew each other over the internet it was an experience that was unforgettable. I look forward to seeing these folks again.


TheBunny said...

Sounds like it was wonderful! I do think we need to see your purchases up closer. And do you have any "plans" for it?

Jeri said...

Thanks for a great post and a wonderful summary of that glorious weekend!It was lovely to see you again... I am sorry I missed the preliminary few days; sounds like such a good time. We must do this again soon!

Ted said...

Conversation overheard at meeting to plan Camp:

"You know, we'll need some activities. What kinds of things could we do?"

"I know! We'll donate blood!"

Seriously. I read that sentence 4 times to be sure that was really what you had written.

Sounds like you had a splendid time, and how wonderful to see the pictures.

Barbara said...

It was great to meet you face to face finally. Glad I could help with the spinning and a little fiber enabling.

I am looking forward to glb knit West coast this fall.