Back at It & Island Time

Well, the Estonian Garden Wrap lives again! I ordered more yarn, two cones of Jaggerspun4/8 Zephyr, just in case the dye lots didn’t match my earlier knitting. It was my luck: they didn’t match. But, I decided that I liked my (now) swatch enough to start again from the beginning. So, here’s where I am so far. About a third done with the middle. The Lily of the Valley pattern goes on each end. To see my “swatch” scroll back a couple blog entries. Thankfully, I am now to the point where it is conversational knitting. I haven’t had any of that in a long time, so this is a treat.

This past weekend was the last Heritage Fiber Retreat at Insel Haus. After this, Christa will host them. For more information visit www.yarndreamer.com.

This was (we think), the 13th time I have taken a group to the island and I did a lot better with my planning and menus. That means that I was able to enjoy more knitting time than usual (see the results in the pink shawl above!) and also did a bit of weaving. This bag was woven on an AshfordKnitter’s Loom with a warp of commercial alpaca and a handspunweft. It took me, all told, from warping the loom to hand sewing the double-pocketed bag, about six hours. Not bad. Christa helped me with the finishing – she made a braided cord (one of these days I’ll figure out her technique) and a beautiful double-knit tassle. Her touches make the bag! It is a sample for a class I am teaching next year at CNCH.

This was probably the most intense island weekend we’ve ever had. One group worked with Christa making her cobweb lace mittens, scarf and vest. Another worked with me on the Estonian Garden Scarf and Wrap. Lily of the Valley practice was the focus of the second group. Sorry, no pictures, I was too busy knitting! Okay, I left my camera in the car on the mainland. The bag photo is compliments of Donna.

Not every minute was spent inside. Annie and Christa and I snuck in a visit before Sunday brunch to a log cabin under construction on Lake Thompson, one of the island’s inland lakes. One of the cool things about the island is that many of the homes are built with lumber from the island. The logs in Steve’s cabin are massive. It isn’t a big cabin, but it sure is nice. Still very rough, you can just imagine the potential. Late Sunday, Annie and I went rock hounding at the beach. The water level is up a bit from last year. It was good to see. I was looking for smooth rocks for stone massage, but didn’t really find much. I did, however, find two rocks that I am pretty sure are agates. I remember looking for them when I was a kid and never found any then. Brought back memories.

It was a good weekend. I’ll miss the retreats, but not all the coordinating. I have promised Christa that I will teach on some of her retreats. Both times scheduled so far are in the winter, my favorite time on the island. It is so beautiful there then . . . quiet, peaceful, perfect for knitting. It is not too early to make reservations!

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