I’m sick on a Saturday. Grumble grumble grr. And we had plans: wash all the dishes, clean the bathroom, go to the Farmers’ Market, go to the grocery store, ride around on BART. The morning grizzled, so that was a good excuse not to go to the Farmers’ Market. The dishes and the groceries had to be done, so they were. The bathroom, well, tomorrow’s another day. And I could not avoid BART.
On the drive to school, we’re along the BART tracks for a while. Every morning, and every afternoon, the Kid says, “I want to go on BART. When are we going on BART?” This week, I answered, “Saturday.” I’m stuck. But it was a nice, low-key adventure, and I downed tea and ibuprofen all day. We walked over to the Ferry Building and ogled the skateboarders on the way – ogled because somehow they managed not to run into anybody. We watched the ferries fill up and leave. Now we have more plans involving BART, ferries, my grandmother in Marin, and a lot of walking. The Kid chased after some pigeons, “I’m going to get you!” and a whole crowd of pigeons swooped after him. Ready to defend their own? Joining in the chase? Or looking for the trail of crumbs that fell off him as he ran? Who knows? But we got back home safely, despite the pigeons.
I pay more attention to buildings after reading The Architecture of Happiness by Alain de Botton. 101 California is interesting with it’s columns lifting it off the block on one corner and atrium windows pyramiding underneath through the columns and down to the sidewalk. It nicely opens up some space and clears out the claustrophobia. And, before I forget, the Friday morning sky was blue with spreads of small clouds. Driving into downtown Oakland on 12th Street, I noticed a building I’ve not noticed before. It’s one of those buildings with lots of green/blue glass windows. It rippled with the sky Friday morning. The Kid noticed the very top floors have windows that curve inward and didn’t reflect the sky. The Kid has good eyes. One thing I like about this drive into downtown is the landscape/skyscape of very different buildings against each other. Across 12th Street from the rippling sky building is the Tribune building, with a clock tower.
It’s been a surprisingly nice Saturday.
Did I say more Knitting Retreat? Oh, yes! Now I’m not at work, I’m at leisure to use lots and lots of words.
2007 Skein Lane Studio Knitting Retreat with Chris Bylsma
Not that we can tell from this photo, but Chris is showing off the supermodel walk we learned during Show and Tell. It is absolutely possible to knit and laugh. I know – I had a great view of the laughter all weekend, and I did it myself.
Good thing we laugh. It’s amazing how intense knitting a teddy bear vest can be. And, no, it wasn’t just the steeks. It’s a great project choice. Small, so it’s not so hard to catch up. It’s for a teddy bear, and teddy bears don’t complain out loud. And Chris’s Madly Plaid vest is loaded with interesting and useful techniques: starting out from a waste yarn crochet chain, shaping points and their placement, adding vertical stripes without intarsia or stranded knitting, knitting in the round all the way up shaping armholes and the V-neck with steeks, preparing and cutting the steeks, shoulder seams, applied I-cord edging. Mine’s not done yet. I’m still working on the applied I-cord. The Kid complains that the leopard is still cold, and so is the giraffe. Mom? We’ve got to get these things finished! All the peluches in the house are threatened by cold!
Friday night after dinner, Marlie from Black Mountain Artisans in Pt Reyes Station and Mimi from Windrush Farm inspired us. Marlie and Mimi are marvelous workers and artists. They believe that we should not be limited by what we can buy. Mimi told/reminded us we can have our own unique yarn, even if we don’t spin it ourselves, by combining different yarns together as we knit. Marlie kept pulling out unique skein after skein and unique finished article after finished article. “Oh, this was fun! I spun this with that using the other technique.” “You just knit a ___ and put it together like this…” “So and so used this yarn and knit it up like this.” They had wonderful, inspiring energy late Friday night. I’d love to spend more time with them, and I hope we have the opportunity to visit Mimi’s Windrush Farm next year.
Inspired us right into buying a few things! Green mohair and silk hand dyed by Bo-Rage, autumn-y hand dyed and hand spun merino and silk by Bo-Rage, and luscious hand spun hand painted mohair curls on silk. Reach your hand into the monitor and squeeze these locks!
On our way back into the real world Sunday, I picked up a little hand dyed mohair to play with, from the store in Pt Reyes Station on Hwy 1.
Bad enough that Carolyn had Black Mountain tempting us with lovely goods. She also had yarn from Lisa Souza. Oddly enough, I bought something. This is superwash merino hardtwist petite, color Earth Birth (on a bed of mohair locks).
I bought one or two more ordinary, and lovely, things (again on a bed of mohair locks).
I now have a dilemma – what can I make that is worthy of these locks?
Thank you, Carolyn, for a lovely retreat. It seems like a magical coming-together of wonderful teacher, wonderful knitters, wonderful yarn. But I know that the magic starts with a lot of very hard work. Thank you.