The Knitter’s Review Retreat was — there are no words for how wonderful it was! I drove up on Wednesday afternoon with a car full of yarn and my spinning wheel and what felt like my entire house. By the time the rest of the knitters began to arrive on Thursday I’d settled in nicely.
[For a better description of the weekend than I could ever give, read Minh’s wonderful three-part blog series. I failed in the photography department, too (not one picture!), but Minh also happens to have taken lots and lots of great pictures.]
My friend and roommate Kristopher arrived very late on Thursday, after working all day and driving for something like eight hours. We hadn’t seen each other since last year, so we were looking forward to catching up in person (yarny phone calls just aren’t as satisfying as yarny face-to-face conversations). The entire weekend was filled with yarniness — all my senses were overloaded with yarn, knitters, good food, laughter, friendship, generosity, and fun!
I found myself thinking about my year — a lot. Last year at the Retreat, I was just about to enter that long, dark winter of chemo and sickness, but I didn’t really know it. This year, from the other side, I looked back with a lot of perspective. Surrounded again by all the people who kept me going, and able to (I hope) tell them how much they mean to me, I was happy and nostalgic and teary for most of the weekend. I saw myself differently — through the eyes of my lovely, caring knitting friends — not just as a survivor, but as having thrived, too. It’s hard to explain, but I love this Jane, from her new hair down to her annoyingly-numb toes.
I started a simple New Beginnings project this year, since last year was the first time I didn’t finish what I started on Sunday morning. It was a lace scarf with a provisional cast-on and charts, and apparently, not meant to be. So this time I brought out a skein of merino-alpaca, a beautiful limited edition yarn from Chris at Briar Rose Fibers in greens and blues and browns. I cast on a few stitches on US 10 needles, and began Clara’s One Skein Shawl from Knitter’s Review. I added some lacey rows, but it’s mostly garter stitch, so it’s chunky and warm, and above all, easy.
So the Retreat is over, and Thanksgiving has come and gone, too. I had a great day with Judy and her family — and I would have stayed longer if I didn’t need to be ready for the big weekend at work. Black Friday passed quickly, as it always does, and Saturday was busier than Friday. For the next few weeks my head will be spinning, and then it will be 2010, and I’ll get to relax a little. At least I have a goal!