Knitter’s Review Retreat!

Sigh…do I have to have a regular job? Can’t I just knit, the way I did all weekend at the Knitter’s Review Retreat? Just because my hands are sore from all that knittin’ doesn’t mean I can’t dream about more of it.

This is Saturday’s sunrise at Jeronimo’s. It was the second beautiful, crisp morning of our time there. This was taken from the balcony outside our room. The morning before, I’d run into Bess at the crack of dawn. She was here-kittying the resident black cat.


Here’s the building where we spent about half our time at the Retreat. Knitters can make a room rock, that’s for sure. Friday night’s Show and Tell was spectacular, and raucous, and inspiring beyond belief. The rest of our time was spent in the dimly-lit but comfortable rooms in the main building. Knitting. We knitted. Oh, and we ate, too. The food was delicious and every meal was a party.


On Saturday afternoon, after the morning workshops and another fabulous meal, we shopped. I went there knowing just what I wanted, and here it is — Spirit Trail Camel/Tussah roving, Spirit Trail Blue Faced Leicester yarn for my New Beginnings project, Lela Nargi’s latest book Knitting Memories (signed by Lela, Ms. Clara Parkes Herself, and Teva Durham), and a few papery things from the KR Boutique. I’m not sure how that skein of Fleece Artist Peter Rabbit from Katonah Yarn made it into my bag, but there it is. I seem to recall asking everyone I encountered to tell me if I needed it or not. Stupid question.


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What else did I do at the Retreat? I had fun. I visited with old friends, met many, many new friends, learned the best way to wrap and turn (Thanks, Bess!), and sat next to Martha as she tried out her new wheel.

I almost finished a Mobius scarf begun in Cat Bordhi’s workshop, I laughed, I slept well, and I spun just half a bobbin of my Corriedale batt (but who cares?). I learned how to do a cable cast-on. I’m not ashamed that it took me this long, not one bit.

I knitted six inches on my diagonal rib scarf, ripped back six inches because I made a mistake in the dim light of the bar on Thursday night, re-knitted the same six inches on Friday night, and called it a day. I made progress on a sock, but not enough to write home about.

I watched knitters knit, too. I’m fascinated by all the knitting styles and methods, and by all the different work being done. The shawls! My goodness, the shawls! I want Shelia’s workshop shawl, and that silvery-bluish-purple Charlotte’s Web, and Rosi’s Sea Silk scarf, just for starters.

I read the letter I wrote to myself at last year’s Retreat, the one in which we were to write our goals or hopes for the coming year. Last year was such a hard one, and I was mighty emotional when I folded it up and put it in its envelope. I’ve come a long way in 2006, so when I opened the letter, so did the floodgates. It was a good cry, though.

And I took pictures of hands, just because I think our hands are so beautiful when they are creating.


I didn’t take nearly enough pictures, of course. I missed many moments of laughter and joy and surprise and amazement. I didn’t get a single shot of any of the beautiful knitting. I wish I had pictures of some of the wonderful knitters, too. Someone else, or many others, will have captured it well, and all together we’ll have a complete picture of the wonderful weekend.

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Back at home, I’ve made a bit of progress on my New Beginnings project. It’s a shawl, I hope, in the Tilted Block pattern from Barbara Walker’s First Treasury. Don’t be surprised if it morphs into something else while it’s in my hands. I won’t. I have too many ideas floating before me, and I might grab one and make a New New Beginning.

19 thoughts on “Knitter’s Review Retreat!

  1. All your work is an inspiration to me, Jane–when you said Tilted Blocks, I had no idea it would be so beautiful. Somehow in your hands, it all turns into art.

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  2. Great photos, Jane, and I love love love the shawl–it’s beautiful. And look–my hands! RachelKnitter just emailed me to ask if those were my hands. I guess I’m getting a bit of a reputation for, well, craziness.

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  3. Hi Jane – it was so good to see you again. It’s always amazing to me to see the bonds that are built at things like this. We’ve spent such a short time together, but know that we’ve made a great connection. I truly treasure the bond and connection you and I have (snarkiness and all!).I love your shawl – like so many of your pieces, it’s beautiful. I think I’m going to have to look up that stitch and make something for myself.Love Ya!

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  4. hey jane..love the pisc.. love your review.. wish i had really spent more tie with you. I don’t know how that happened.. one moment we were tehre.. the next you were gone. but I meant what i said about you coming and spening some time here. I would love to be present with you for longer than a few fleeting moments.The tilting blocks shawl is d*mn gorgeous, just like you.

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  5. Hi Jane! What a treat to spend the weekend in your company. Thank you again for coming. Your new beginnings shawl is gorgeous, btw – a perfect use for that yarn.

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  6. Okay, yes, a little weird to recognize the hands of someone whom you’ve never met in person, but come on–handcrafted silver rings, bone needle, teal yarn–sounds like Lanea’s MO to me. Great pictures, and great shawl!

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  7. I love the concept of capturing knitters hands. I think you may be on to something. Your tilted blocks is wonderful. I confess I was one of those enablers behind your yarn purchases. I even held your place in line, but look how fast you are. Your hands need that fiber. They create such beauty. So lovely to meet you, Jane.Rosip.s. My sister and I traveled through Italy on our own in 2004.

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  8. Sounds like a heavenly weekend! I’m trying to imagine what I could do with my days so that I could spend more time knitting and creating. But would a weekend away be as sweet if you got to do it all the time?The shawl and all your goodies look wonderful!

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  9. The pics of hands are BEAUTIFUL! Love the sunrise pic too, of course.I’m sorry you have to have a real job, but so glad that you knit anyway, that you attend the gatherings of knitters. I love it that you put beautiful things out into the world. Wow!! Thank you!

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  10. Sweet Jane,Thanks for the memories, my friend, that you wrote about w/this post.What a delicious time we all had.Loved the photos of the hands – you are right on w/this good idea.Would love it if you visited Philly – what a lovely idea that is.Many thanks for all of your support.XOXO

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  11. Hi Jane-It was great to see you again at the retreat. I will be looking on your blog for more of your beautiful pictures and fabulous knitting until I see you next year.

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  12. Love the new sock pattern on KR, which led me to find you on ravelry thence to your blog. Then I found your spinning and tilted block. I’m off to look up the pattern in BW…

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