Thursday, July 24, 2008

My Room --- The Cottage

As I sit and prepare my last post before I head off to a rental cottage for the next three weeks, I am reminded of a time not so long ago when life was so much simpler...

Yes, I'm still talking about Knitting Camp.

I was looking through pictures on my computer the other day and realized that there was still so much to share about camp! For instance, here is my 'Wine, Wool and Whoppers' staged shot---

Let's review this picture from left to right, shall we? The brightly coloured orange and yellow and pink sock yarn? Purchased at camp from Ellen's 1/2 Pint Farm. :o)

This picture was taken after I received my luggage; I know this because that's where my wine glass was packed!

Rainbow whoppers? I've heard mixed reviews on these treats, but I enjoyed them. Period.

A compact reading/knitting light, courtesy of KGB. Thank-you again. :o)

Mini blue socks---blue merino and cashmere!---thanks to the wonderful thoughtfulness of fellow sock design knitting class attendee, Gretchen. Gretchen also looked after my 'needles lost in luggage issue', by loaning me the lovely bamboo, circular knitting needles that the blue and red sock is posed on.

Wine? A lovely Pinot Grigio from the quaint Liguor store in Hamilton, NY. Hey, Pheonix!

Red and blue sock? Mine. Yarn purchased Friday night at camp, because luggage was GONE; somewhere in Chicago! The sock shown in the picture was 'frogged' the next day as my foot was one of the exceptions to the new rules that we embraced for our new sock making technique. Please note, however, THE BEST LITTLE KNITTING TOOL EVER, as attached to the pictured sock. It is a row counter. A wonderful, aesthetically pleasing (it's the best way I could think of to describe it!), entirely useful, little piece of Knitting Jewelry out there! Now, just to blow my own horn a little, (my husband doesn't seem to appreciate this trait of mine) once I bought this little gem and showed it to some of the other knitters that I had become acquainted with, (I Love Camp) they sold out! Yup, I pulled a Harlot; mentioned a find to the masses and BAM!!! They're snapped up like nobodies business! Leave me a comment if you're interested in getting some Jewelry For Your Yarn and I'll send you the email address or phone number!

So, that covers the staged shot within my room; here is my room from the outside. All the rooms had Indian names. Isn't that great? Just like camp!

My own little, quiet, t.v. did not even get turned on, didn't find out who was in the other side of the cabin until the day before we left, could walk around wearing WHATEVER I wanted to (or just plain had available to me), leave as much yarn laying around as I wanted to, somebody came in and made my bed, tidied the bathroom, emptied the trash and there was no place to cook, room.

I took this picture on one of my last hikes (and I use the word 'hike' loosely) back from the classroom to 'my room'. Isn't it lush and lovely?! The birds were singing and the trees were beautiful. There's a whole historic village set up; it really was nice.

This is one of the typical views that the knitters enjoyed when they gathered to share their love of the craft. And as one of the few Canadians there.....Wow, eh?

So now, I pack up the kids and myself (my husband does his own packing; last year he packed and then forgot to load it into the truck. No, I'm not laughing. ;o) to head off to a cottage for three weeks (husband and dog will do time on the weekends). It is a beautiful lake and we have plans to get together with a lot of dear and wonderful friends. We have a boat now, so that I don't have to stress and physically 'work' at getting around. The cottage looks very comfortable and I've packed a lot of knitting, some quilting, and some books too. I've packed some games, crafts and water toys for kids; so that some of this will be my holiday as well! When we get back we'll only have a couple of weeks before school (or as my children say, 'the beep word') is back and one of those weeks I'm covering for holidays in the office!

This summer, even though we're not even half way through yet, is just flying by!

I won't be on line for the next three weeks, but hope that everybody stays safe, healthy and above all...


Friday, July 18, 2008


Hi There!

I do really have a few more things to say about camp; in fact I had a whole '10 Things I learned at Camp' blog title in my head, but....ran out of time. I hopefully will get back to sharing more camp stories, but it's going to take a bit more effort to get all those ideas back!

I'm going to go a bit random here, because then I will at least get a post up. (Hey KGB!)

1) Here is a SOS '08 themed shot.

I've completed one pair of socks using Dream In Colour Smooshy, colourway 'Flamingo Pie'. My friend has size 4 feet; as Cat Bordhi says, "don't you wish all your friends had size 4 feet?!"

I got me some sheep sock blockers from The Loopy Ewe!

I wound some yarn that I bought at camp....just to take the edge off one morning.

I bought some new sock yarn in Parry Sound this past weekend while attending the 5th Annual Bobby Orr Hall of Fame Induction Celebration.

Why, you ask?

Why the yarn, or why the Bobby Orr Hall of Fame?

Yarn: because I don't have any of that kind. :o)

2) Bobby Orr: My husband (with the help of dear friends Steve and Cory) and me too (I guess) bought the tickets to present to 'The Original Four' (as opposed to the original six), that being my mom, my dad, my brother and myself, for Christmas '07.

We grew up listening to how wonderful Bobby Orr was. My dad can give Don Cherry a run for his money as far as being Bobby's biggest fan! This was an opportunity for us to be there; to witness the moment that my dad would meet Bobby Orr.


The weekend was amazing! They know how to throw a party in Parry Sound! The weather was perfect. We enjoyed an evening cruise on Friday, had the next day to explore/shop or play golf and then were treated to a wonderful dinner, followed by an extremely well presented and moving ceremony....not a dry eye in the house.

The autograph signing was a long process and didn't leave a lot of time for chit chat, but everybody was so excited just to be there! It was a wonderful and thoughtful gift that my husband gave to us. It's been a very long time since the four of us were all on our own and while my brother doesn't get why I brought my knitting with me...well, I don't get why they brought golf clubs.

So there.

3) I've been taking a fair number of photos of late. Actually, I've been taking pictures for years, and everyone's favourites are the ones where I show them a bunch of trees and say, "there's a really neat bird in there".
Then digital came along and that was a bit better, but I didn't seem to be getting all the cool shots that others were able to; so they must have better camera's than me, because it's always about the equipment that we're given to work with isn't it? So I went to our local camera shop Henry's to see about getting a better camera; the gentleman there very kindly asked a few questions about the camera that I was already using (no, I didn't have it with me---and it's a Kodak Easy Share) and informed me that there was usually a little picture of a flower on the dial to help with the close up shots.

What a nice guy. (me? not so smart.)

So, using my new skills of turning off the flash and setting the camera for close ups, I was able to get this shot the other day.

Isn't that cool? It's a moth sitting on the outside of my kitchen window; so I was able to take a shot from the belly up view! I love the feathery antennae!

4) If you were at the Montreal Jazz Festival weekend before last perhaps you saw this fabulous group of women?!

It was decided that our husbands are indeed the luckiest men alive, because we ARE the Hottest Mama's out there!!!

There are more photos of the Red Hot Mama's in Montreal, but....

"What happens in Montreal, stays in Montreal."...or Toronto, or Deerhurst, or Niagara-on-the-Lake, and next year....Christie's Mill Inn! WoooHoooo!

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

O.K. New Plan

For all my knitter friends (and those friends who wish they were knitters --- whether they know it or not!); here is a fair sampling of my purchases from Camp Stitches in New York. I believe that some more of the wonders that were available at camp found their way into my suitcase---I blame Debbie New's book for how heavy the thing was!

There are patterns, books, sock yarn, knitting accessories...because, well, why knot? hehe
There is a t-shirt with a Llama on it from Saratoga Llamas in New York; I was getting worried about running out of I bought a Llama's pink. :o) I also formed a relationship with the Llama roving that was available; tried to have a spin, but it was reinforced again that the only way to get better at anything is to practise!! I was getting impatient because I wasn't doing very well and other people were....
buying the other stuff that was there!!
You thought I was going to say watching, didn't you?
So I brought the fabulous fibre home and set it close to some of the other fabulous fibres that live here (all within 4 feet of my spinning wheel) and then did a ton of laundry and then left for another fun filled weeekend with THE RED HOT MAMAS in Montreal (more about that another day!).
Today I was catching up on blogs to see if any details have been launched about The Summer Knitting Olympics. I've had my Olympic project planned since February, but the Harlot has decided not to host the event so I had to come up with a new plan (hence the title of today's entry) and that's when I found out about The Tour de Fleece.
I've thought about it all day...
I'm in.
As with the Socks of Summer knitalong, I'm not going to be setting undue pressure on myself (again), but my goal for The Tour de Fleece is to spin a little everyday. That's all, just spin a little everyday.
And now, back to my knitting camp story...(sorry about the jumping back and forth in time. I would've liked to make the transition smoother---and I bet you I could have to---but some people are bugging me for dinner)
By Saturday morning I was getting a little ansy about my luggage really finding me or not and had made plans with the other 'luggage loosing knitter' (hey Phoenix!) to go into Hamilton to pick up a few necessities...

Yes, Cotton Picker, the only White Wine selection at the TeePee (the cabin with the booze) was a Chardonay and a White Zin; so I bought a bottle of Pinot Grigio and the friendliest Liquor store I've ever been to! We had a blast!! We were greeted by the cutest little fluffy white dog that sweet talked us and loved us all over up until he heard the cash register complete the sale and then...flop. His work here was done, we had been taken in by his charms and purchased several bottles of wine, Phoenix even bought some Champagne (Yea, camp is tough!), so after we had laid out the cash he could go back to just laying around!
If you weren't tipsy going into this sure felt like you'd had a few by the time you got out, but could still pass a Breathalyzer!

I had purchased the wine, but alas, my corkscrew and private traveling wine glass were still in the suitcase that had not arrived yet. I chilled my wine and broke down and asked to borrow a corkscrew and drank out of a plastic cup---yes, I was roughing it.

And then my suitcase arrived...

Everybody present and accounted for! help me

These were o.k. for a short amount of airport traversing, but not 3 days!!!

This is much better!!

Sorry about the sideways photo...just tilt your head and pretend you're doing some yoga stretches or something.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Camp Is....

Something you need to add to your Bucket List!!!

OMG!! What a great time!!!

Everybody, start saving now! Book the time off NOW!! Plan for it now! If you don't knit---learn NOW!!!
And now, the story...
Here is the sock that I started for the summer, with a glass of Pinot Grigio at Dules Airport in Washington DC.
This is where the flight that was to take me to Syracuse in time for the bus to pick me up and take me to Stitches Camp was cancelled. 30 minutes before take off.
Many people have asked me, "Why Washington? Why Fly?"
My answer remains, "I didn't want to drive. It was cheaper (ie less points) to take this connecting flight."
The few hours after the flight was cancelled was very stressful, but I remained 'in the moment' and knit, while repeating over and over (as I blocked out the guy that changed his story with each sentence about how important he was and how he HAD to get to Syracuse!!) 'everything is unfolding as it should, everything is unfolding as it should. Knit, knit, knit, knit....
Later on that evening the sock and I enjoyed another glass of Pinot Grigio at JFK; I took this photo for future inspiration.
(They asked me for ID. :o) I love JFK Airport)
Sooooo, I get into Syracuse at 1143 pm. There's a nice man waiting for me to give me a taxi ride to camp.
My luggage did not come to Syracuse. I was assured that I would get it Friday around 3 pm.
I get to camp at 1:30 Friday morning. I walk around in the dark trying to find my cabin. I find my cabin; luckily I packed an o.k. amount in my carry on to get me through the night and day (minus knitting class supplies---airplane rules and all).
I turn on the hot water...the tap makes a HORRENDOUS noice! I work with cold water.
Lights out 2 am Friday. (I left my house at 8 am Thursday; it's probably a 4-5 hour drive)
Class starts Friday at 8:30. I had a wonderful breakfast. Kim from The Mannings gave me a ride over to the classroom. I sat next down to a lady, and after a little intro from Cat, we started to work on baby socks; I asked Gretchen if I could borrow needles and yarn?
She loaned me some beautiful merino/cashmere and a couple of lovely smooth bamboo circular needles.
Friday at 5, I called the airline...they're not sure where my luggage is, but the last time it was scanned; it was in Chicago.
I've never been to Chicago.
I buy yarn at the 'store'. One of the rooms is set up with four vendors offering a plethora (love that word!) of knitting paraphernalia, books, yarn, roving, patterns....ooooohhhhh, you want it; they've got it!!!
So yes, I bought yarn (the first yarn I bought actually) to work on socks on Saturday, because we had pretty much completed our dry run on baby socks Friday.
I won a book on Friday Night too! Denim People by Rowan. At camp they draw names and give away prizes....books, yarn, yarn's so exciting!!
On Saturday morning I decide to catch the shuttle to the classroom because, while I wore relatively comfortable shoes for the plane ride; traversing four airports, end to end, and then maneuvering gravel pathways...well I thought it was time I gave myself a break and get chauffeured instead of taking the short walk.
And that's when I lost it.
I really was keeping the whole thing in perspective. I was safe. I had yarn. I had a warm (or cool if I turned on the AC) place to sleep. I was being fed (very well too!). There was wine available (Chardonnay, but hey, we're at camp) And really, there was nothing I could do about any of it anyway; so just go with the flow.
Saturday morning, however, in all my Zen-ness; of being in the moment; calm, peace....I left my book and my yarn/knitting (that was borrowed) in my room---had not taken it to breakfast; therefore had not taken it with me on the shuttle.
Well, THAT WAS THE LAST STRAW!!! I FORGOT MY BOOK IN MY ROOM AND IT WAS THE AIRLINES FAULT!!! I had coped as best I could, but that? That was about all I could take!
And then...
Knitters are wonderful. I had not one, but several offers to go back to my room to get my stuff. Through all of this 'crisis' I had really tried to keep a relatively low key about the whole thing. The Airline had given me a courtesy overnight kind of bag with toothpaste, mini deodorant etc. and a T-Shirt. People were generously offering clothes and knitting related items, but I wanted to keep it simple (as is the idea of camp) and remained hopeful that the airline would, indeed, deliver my luggage as promised.
After Cat gave a little overview/review and set us on our own, another lovely knitter took me back to my room where I retrieved my notes and yarn.
I came back to class and started my toe...
Doesn't that look like fun?!
Yea, it was all great fun until I ripped it out! Still making progress though.
My luggage was delivered during dinner Saturday Night, to great cheers and applause. Another lady, Phoenix, had her luggage lost, but it was delivered to her on Sunday...just in time to pack up and head for home!
I now have another photo to add to my 'claim to fame' collection.

Cat Bordhi, a talented, inspiring, funny, warm human being; I'm so glad to have had the opportunity to spend time with her and all the other sock, ouroborous, sweater making, yarn dying, button making, entrelac, Japanese, fairisle KNITTERS!!

I made it home with luggage intact and only a slight delay in Syracuse, and got plenty of knitting done while waiting for the planes.

I can hardly wait to get together with these fine people another time, but next time?I'll look into ALL my options to get where I want to go! Two days out of my life in exchange for 8-10 hours of driving time. Jeeez.

I love camp. I really do.