Have you read Alterknits yet (photo courtesy of Amazon)? One of the creativity exercises in the book is to journal about your fantasy "dream knitting day". Being the busy procrastinator that I am, I skipped the journaling step and just lived it on Saturday.
Some of you know that I also quilt, though not so much recently. A few even know that I am still an active member of the Mountain Harvest Quilt Guild of Downieville. I am not sure if anyone currently reading remembers this post about last year's Mystery Quilt Weekend, but it is a longstanding annual tradition, hosted at the St. Charles' Inn in Goodyears Bar, right alongside the North Yuba. Last year, I pieced together a set of quilt squares I had won in one of the guild's raffles, but this year I decided to make it my own personal "March UFO Resurrection and Spinning Retreat".
After all, I didn't want to miss out on the grrl time (these women are some of my oldest and dearest friends) or the food (everyone makes dishes they wouldn't normally eat at home and promises each other that the calories don't count if someone else cooked it - Carole's Artichokes French was a big hit!). And I didn't want to miss out on the chance to spend a night and a day next to the river... one of my favorite places. I had been having some mild anxiety all week, realizing that I had worked in Downieville regularly since 1989, beside the beautiful Yuba, and life was changing such that I would probably only see the river one day a week, at best. My new job starts tomorrow, and my three old ones ended this past week, so rest and reassurance were definitely in order. I felt like an aquifer needing replenishment.
Friday afternoon was spent tackling my March UFO. It warrants its own post, so suffice to say that while some progress was made, I set it aside in order to spin up the remainder of the blue denim mohair that has been patiently waiting since last fall. I stopped for feasting at dinner time, but otherwise spindled away until I was almost dropping in my tracks... I had only a few small, pre-drafted slices of mohair left, but had to admit that sleep was calling and my spinning deteriorating significantly.
The rooms at the Inn are spacious and lovely, and decorated with antiques. However, my friend Lynn and I were especially delighted that Tami had put us in her daughter Krista's room... Krista was one of our former students (Lynn still teaches English and Drama at the high school where I taught yearbook and computer classes for eight years). Krista moved into this particular room last year, while a major remodel had the Inn closed for several months, and will soon have to move out and let guests use it, but is currently in Japan, keeping her sIL company while her brother serves in Iraq. Her additions to the room include her collection of angels, the beautiful pencil sketches and watercolors she does, as well as dioramas and picture frames incorporating found objects and broken bits of china... we both had restful sleeps with creative dreams.
I woke much earlier than planned, did some yoga for the first time in several weeks since there were no little dogs clamoring for a walk, and then finished up the blue mohair before breakfast was ready.
This photo makes it seem like there is more yarn... actually these three skeins are pretty "cute and little"... I wasn't paying attention as I wound each one off with my niddy noddy or I would be able to tell you approximately how many yards I have. I still need to wash them and measure the WPI, but I just might be able to make the Laceup Fingerless Gloves in Alterknits. I love the sparkle of the mohair in this photo, taken at our communal lunch, eaten outdoors in the bright spring sunlight. The light really picks up the halo from the mohair.
With a feeling of accomplishment, I returned to my UFO, and successfully finished it... as you will see, it was worth the effort and I like it much better as a FO!
Trying to decide what to do next (when do you ever have enough time for spinning or knitting for such a choice?!), it was just too hard to resist the "bunny crack" as Margene calls it, so I dove right in and got to spinning Anne's blend of Rambouillet wool and her bunny, Hank's angora. I was happy to be able to get a finer thread from this mix, as I had been nervous about attempting angora, but Anne had reassured me that blended together it would spin up easily. I began envisioning a small scarf....
We had a great feast of a lunch that included excellent smoked local trout, carmelized onion cheddar cheese (this was new to me and totally awesome), several desserts and salads... in other words "way too much". Lynn and I took a walk along the river to stretch out from sitting and work off some of the good food, and I also got a chair massage from Laurel, who arrived in mid-adfternoon to help us relieve the stiffness of long hours of spinning or sewing. My guild members made lots of progress on their mystery quilts and much laughter abounded. We even thought we might try solving some of the problems of the world.. or at least commiserating on them.
Even the Mock Croc sock got some attention, and is only a few inches from completion; I expect to be able to start sock #2 later this week. One of my quilting friends was in awe of the colors in this yarn, and so am I... others were amazed to learn that there are different types of sheep and that this affects the qualities of the wool and what you might want to use the yarn for. I was a regular knitting and spinning ambassador!
All in all, I had a dream day of knitting and spinning, even though I bypassed the dreaming and journaling stages. I highly recommend that you sit down right now, and leave me a comment describing your dream knitting day. That will be the springboard to get you going and planning a spring day as wonderful as mine was.