Catchy Title Here

There are only so many posts I can title with “Needler’s Retreat 2013”.

This was another wonderful weekend of knitting, laughs, learning, knitting, more laughs and knitting. I am so happy (and thankful!) to be back this year after missing the 2012 version.

Friday dawned fiercely with scattered rain and winds that were gale-force. Knitters are rarely daunted by weather, tigers or housework so we were out the door, Tim Hortons in hand and headed to Gananoque by 11:00. Many thank you’s to Work for letting me have a day off! This is almost unheard of in a designated “essential service” office.

The highway traffic was light and we (Frankie, my BFF and me) had a great drive. The scenery is so beautiful during autumn, it’s almost otherworldly. I couldn’t help but think how often we take our own surroundings for granted and so, to step outside just this 2 hours away, really brought home to me an appreciation for the beautiful place I live.

Arriving in weather that would have been suited to Mary Poppins Part II, we checked in and then headed to spend the early part of the afternoon in the room of other knitterly friends at an impromptu “wine and nibbles” to catch up.

Our room with a view.

Our room with a view.

The formal wine and cheese meet up and supper were followed by a get together for show and tell. This is a nice part of the entire event, seeing all the projects that the group has created over the past year. Back to our rooms for a techie “fix” of Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, and to get ready for the full day of classes on Saturday.

Natalie Servant, teaching the Roositud technique was our first class. This was something entirely new to me and after having learned the basics, I’m looking forward to trying more. Natalie is great at explaining and we were able to make a mini project during the class to take home.

Natalie's samples of Roositud work.

Natalie’s samples of Roositud work.

The afternoon was spent with Mary Pat McDonald, who opened her “My Favourite Things” topic with a great knitting rendition of the tune. This group is not just talented with fibre! This class had many excellent tips and refreshers for cast ons, splices, moebius work and more. We spent and hour after class in free time – I needed a nap! – then another wonderful supper and then off to Vendor’s Night.

Mary Pat McDonald serenading our group :)

Mary Pat McDonald serenading our group 🙂

Vendor’s Night… Knitter’s delight. If ever a gal needed a Llama Daddy, this would be one of those times. I did score some Hedghog Fibres from Georgetown Yarns, some Riverside Studios merino silk fingering. Louise of Yarn Forward, had a selection of Knitter’s Pride Karbonz circulars and Frankie of Fancy That, had her beautiful pins and stitch markers, of course I needed another set. There was more but I felt I needed to show some restraint and of course paying my rent is not optional! I did NOT sleep with my HF cashmere, although who could blame me if I did? 🙂

Vendor's Night scores

Vendor’s Night scores

Sunday morning class was shawl design with Anna Dalvi and it was entertaining and informative. Anna is a great teacher and to hear the folklore themes behind her designs in her own words as the shawls were passed around was a treat. I was able to snag a copy of her latest book “Ancient Egypt in Lace and Colour” and to have it signed *fangirls* I am so happy to have another of her books and can’t wait to get my needles into some of these beautiful wraps.

Anna Dalvi showing technique samples.

Anna Dalvi showing technique samples.

Lunch was another wonderful meal, I’m spoiled now and don’t want to cook for myself! A small group of us stayed to knit with each other as our group started to pack up and head off for another year. There wasn’t a lot of time for personal knitting but I managed 3/4’s of a fingerless mitt to match my Noro Bias Lace III and I cast on one of my own sock designs, “Bellydance! Sock” in Turtlepurl’s Big Turtle Toes. Really liking how the yarn and pattern are playing together:

KB Design "Bellydance! Sock"

KB Design “Bellydance! Sock”

And yes, as mentioned before, reality bites. What a great time though and already looking forward to next year! I didn’t get a lot of photos this year but there are a few more here on my flickr: Needler’s Retreat 2013.

*If you’re interested in seeing Fancy That shawl pins and accessories, just leave a comment. They are available in several different stores now and I’ll need to get an updated list.