I think I have finally recovered enough from my week at knitcamp to try and write a blog post. It is so rare to get away from home for a full week that I took full advantage of it!
I have never taught so many classes one day after another so a full week of teaching was quite an experience in itself. By Friday I was starting to croak rather than talk but some hot coffee seemed to help! On top of talking for long classes meals were in a cafeteria so there were always new and interesting people to talk to….as well as every evening! I had the best time all week with Woolly Wormhead, we had met before but I hadn’t expected to spend so much of the week hanging out together…anyone who gets the chance, she is lots of fun.
Over the course of the week I discovered that I really, really love short rows. Now, I had known that before… but talking to students every day I realized just how obsessional that was. I think that every class but 1 I ended up talking about short rows at some point! Half of knit camp may now be as in love with short row set-in sleeve caps as I am. That’s not a bad thing! Needless to say the class I had the most fun was (wait for it)..the short row class. I got to go through tons of different ways of constructing them and everyone found one that suited them.
This wonderful bag (hand quilted!) of gifts was given to me by a group of Portuguese knitters. They had made gift bags for all their tutors and it was such a kind, thoughtful gesture that it nearly made me cry! (Hand painted yarn, little Portuguese knitter statue, and pretty cards, pencils and notepads from Porto).
After my week of teaching I am looking forward to my next few teaching engagements in Ireland. In Autumn I’ll be at Crafty Alley and a couple more shops. Anyone down Killarney direction please come along. If there is particular class you’d like to see let me know, I’m just planning it now.
Now back to Knitcamp. As well as having a wonderful time in all my classes (the students were superb) I also enjoyed every evening. First night (Monday) we went to the EZ dinner. I met Marleen and Nancy Marchant before the meal. Both live in cities in the Neatherlands that I have relatives living in so I felt right at home! During the meal Marleen introduced me to Jon and his husband Roy. Marleen has designed several shawls for Jon and I can see why, his yarn is just delicious with wonderful colors. On my other side there was a knitter from Alaska and we had some great chats (please forgive me, I don’t remember your name…if you read this please fill me in!).
Tuesday night (I did warn you that we went out every night!) there was the pub quiz. Woolly Wormhead had arrived by now and we arrived at the quiz late. I dragged her onto our Team Twilight and let me tell I doubt we would have know how many patterns she had published without her on the team!
Wednesday night was Stitch n’ Bitch night with Debbie Stroller (just in case you don’t know who she is go pull out that Stitch n’ Bitch book from your shelf!). It was very surreal to have a knitting legend going from group to group introducing herself! I actually forgot my knitting that evening and ran back up to the dorms to get it. Just wouldn’t have been right not to have it with me. In fact as far as knitting went I did very little all week. My mind was so in the teaching I didn’t have much extra mental space left for knitting (as well as the fact that most of the work I’m doing right now is secret so not the best for a huge knit camp!)
Thursday we headed off campus to a pub close by and bumped into the gang above. What a fun night we had, I feel as though I haven’t had such an easygoing relaxed night out since I was a teenager. It’s nice once in a while to get transported outside your everyday life. In fact that’s a bit what the whole week felt like. The first time in 12 years I left all my daily responsibilities behind.
By Friday night we were fading and my friend Sue arrived from Cork and whisked us off for a great Indian meal in Sterling. Even though for cafeteria food it wasn’t so bad I was in serious need of some variety. Also the early meal time was more than I could manage, I was so hungry by most mornings that I was retching with hunger (no, I”m not very good at looking after myself!)
Isn’t this just the craziest Briyani you’ve ever seen? The bread was cooked in a dome over the top of the pot!
We’re nearly at the end of the week now…if you’ve managed to read it to the end of this post you’re now probably almost as tired as I am. The marketplace was amazing. I got far more than I had intended, buttons, vintage buttons, shawl pins and a little pretty yarn I couldn’t resist (I didn’t want to add any weight going home!). The night went on far too long but I did get to meet a personal hero of mine, Norah Gaughan, before the end of the night. She had been suffering from a cold but was still up for a chat at almost midnight! I even got to see her Ipad sketches.
And now I need to rest and recover from the week. It was lovely to get home to the boys but I think they had so much fun with their dad all week that they barely noticed I was gone! A big thank you to Jo and Doug (as well as the rest of the team) for putting this together and pulling it off.