Saturday, August 02, 2008

The Summer Retreat

Here they are - some of the knitters concentrating on their patterns and projects at our Catherine Lowe workshop, the central theme of our 1st annual Ethelridge Road Knitting Salon Summer Retreat. To say we had a great time is an understatement. We were busy from morning till night with hardly a moment to spare from our arrival early Sunday morning at Catherine's stunning and pristine studio to dinner at the Ethelridge Road Knitting Salon North, more knitting with Catherine (8 hours each day) and then off to Colorful Stitches in Lenox for our private shopping event and morning into afternoon knitting again at the Salon North. That's just the overview and now for the details:

Nestled in a garden of vines and flowers, Catherine's studio was the perfect setting for our workshop entitlted: "Three Bags in a Box". In addition to a meticulous little container of our yarns and tools for our little bags, and our large and classy black knitting totes, there ,at our seats, we found our start-up kits, carefully packed in brown paper bags with small balls of yarn, wound into one of Catherine's signature yarn boxes accompanied by our first instruction booklet. We spent a few hours learning swatching from the swatching expert- Catherine, then on to begin one of our very special little bags, each one prettier and more elegant than the next. The instructions were detailed and we carefully and studiously reviewed them, discussed them and began to complete them. We broke for an elegant and delicious lunch, oblivious to the stormy weather outside.

Exhausted, retreat participants headed to their B &B and then joined us at the Salon North for a yummy dinner, while a few hearty souls headed to the creek for a hike and the rest of us did what we do best - knit. We even managed to teach Jill and Sandi to crochet too. Monday morning followed with another 8 hours with Catherine mastering crocheted cast-ons, buttonholes, selvedge edgings, i-cords and more. We all became better knitters, enjoyed Catherine's wealth of knowledge and incredible sense of style and organization. There was so much to learn that we could have easily added just one more day to the workshop.

Monday evening, we drove to Colorful Stitches, that gorgeous yarn emporium in Lenox, Massachusetts. Just imagine a group of kids in a candy store - that was us, scurrying around, in awe of all the beautiful yarns, books and knitting paraphenalia. It was fiber overload. We thoroughly enjoyed hearing owners Mary and Bonnie discussing their the shop's origins and their own. We could hardly contain ourselves during our dinner that evening - sharing details of our purchases. and still knitting our workshop projects or new ones just acquired . And if that wasn't enough, we were joined Tuesday morning at the Salon North by Bardet Wardell, designer extraordinaire of Be Sweet Yarns. Bardet came to knit, but we just couldn't resist when she brought in some of the Be Sweet yarns and samples. What excitement ensued... Exhausted and enthusiastic, we kept on knitting and sharing ideas, techniques and common threads of careers, families, children and travel. It was an extraordinary few days, in need of repetition. It was exhausting in the most positive of ways and provided a burst of energy to our knitting life. Can't wait to do it again. Soon.


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