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Sunday, January 29, 2012

Retreating...Craft Retreat, that is.

I returned from the 2012 Winter Bear Cabin Inn retreat earlier today.
3 days of hanging out with friends, near constant crafting (knitting for me), and reallllly good meals provided by our hostess, Carol.
This is a link to the 2009 retreat. That link has quite a few pictures of that adventure.
This post does not have much for pictures. Well, not much for "during" pictures. I have some after pictures...but I'm getting way ahead of myself.

So...we had plans. Plans that went awry.
I was supposed to be co-pilot/navigator on the ride from Tucson to Show Low in the White Mountains. Unfortunately, early Thursday morning, a couple of hours before departure time, my friend called to say she was physically indisposed for an undetermined amount of time and she wouldn't be driving up that day and wasn't sure when/if she would be going to the retreat.

We discussed other car-pooling options, but those options were limited due to other life challenges.

The short version of those options/challenges: One car was full and a 2nd driver/friend may not go/might leave at a moments notice to be with a dear friend whose mother was in the hospital.
However, I left a message for the third group of crafters going to the retreat.

(Hindsight found that the car that was full - wasn't. Someone had to cancel out at the last minute. 
The friend that might leave at a moment's notice - didn't. 
And the friends I called didn't get the message until late in the day.
I think Fate felt I was supposed to take on this trip by myself.)

I didn't hear back from the folks for whom I'd left the message, so I plotted to drive myself. I updated (woke) the DH so he'd know what was up (and that no one had stolen the truck). He provided hugs, some useful lower-gear/over-drive advice for traversing the Salt River Canyon, and gave me a granola bar for a snack. {wry grin - I think the last time I drove the Salt River Canyon - I was in a stick-shift. Automatics are....not entirely automatic. I prefer a standard transmission.}

The drive was pleasant and uneventful. Converting from co-pilot to Pilot meant I was not going to be spending the drive knitting {sigh}. But I was accompanied by a few podcasts ("News from Lake Wobegon", "Sticks and String", and I tried out "Science Friday" (which is spiffy) ). I also listened to the soundtrack to a recent Arizona Theater Company production of "Daddy Long Legs"(It was a truly charming and lovely show. I wish I'd been able to see it twice!).

There were not a lot of people on the road.  And - unlike the other crafters (serious quilters all), I had not stopped at the various Quilt Stores on the way to Show Low so I was the first to arrive at the retreat. I got to spend a nice afternoon with Carol, who runs the retreat, and her sweet black Labrador, Maggie.

I can summarize my retreat with the following words (in no particular order of accomplishment):
Knitting, eating, reading whilst knitting ("Shadow Unit" on Kindle & a "Knit Wear" magazine), eating, refreshing my memory with Continental knitting videos on YouTube whilst pseudo-Continental knitting, eating, marveled at and admired the various quilt-related projects undertaken and completed by my fellow craft-campers, watched a Glee episode (yes, still knitting), checked on twitter & Ravelry a little, tracked down some patterns online, inherited Halloween fabric to make a quilt for charity, eating, participated in my first KnitChat on twitter Saturday AM (!), tummy-scritches for Maggie, admiring the mountain scenery, and um....more eating and knitting.

What did I knit? Alllll sorts of things. Mostly I moved forward on a variety of projects; but I did finish one. This is a smaller version of the "June is for Jag" scarf in Gentle Breeze Alpaca homespun-with-a-story. (Blocking is pending.)
Did you notice Nikoli "helping" with the photography?

These are the Works In Progress (WIPs) that I worked on during the retreat.
(See...the knitting pictures/updates I promised you several blogs ago. Hmmm - there are stories to go with most of these projects. Yep...fodder for another blog.)
The Birds Nest Shawl is nearing completion - I'm on the last pattern round!
This is what the pattern looks like when it's not all scrunched up. 
I did a welt every day on my Swirl Jacket.
Knotty But Nice hat for Rick at work.
Purlicue pattern by Cat Bordhi.
 I'm actually on the 2nd of this pair of socks
and this one is still heel-less. 
Tardis Socks for the Little Brother.
Lenore Socks for me are into the heel. 
This is the reason I was refreshing my Continental knit-knowledge.
I worked a little on this colorwork sock from a class at SS11.
I need to practice colorwork for the Tardis Socks. 

Princess Langwidere Cowl from "What Would Madame DeFarge Knit"
And these Mitt Envy Fingerless Mitts were finished before the retreat. However, I did get to deliver them to my would-have-been driver, who was well enough to come join us on Friday!

Aside from the project photos, there are no pictures of the retreat quilts or crafters.

I did try to take pictures of the night-time view from the window in my bedroom. Pine trees black against the dark blue sky with stars shining through the branches and in the surrounding sky.
Unfortunately, that is not a picture I could wrangle from my spiffy little camera.
But I did get a picture of the same view with the dawn back-lighting the tree silhouettes:

The drive back home was not quite as "fun" as the ride up. I suspect it mostly relates to the lack of months of anticipation that accompanied the "going" trip. And there were more cars on the road (cars more interested in rushing past the speed limit than myself). But I had another round of Podcast-listening ("Wait Wait...Don't Tell Me") to keep me laughing all the way down the mountain.

My return home yielded some strong evidence that the DH and cat-critters had missed me some:
Yep, the DH had gotten me flowers and left me a very sweet note.   
Gryphon also greeted me and evidence of the cat's contribution to the gift was obvious.
(Did you notice the tattered rose leaves?) ;-)

I enjoyed the retreat and look forward to the next one, but I'm very glad to be home.

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