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Christmas Gift Basket

This year I decided that my young nieces are young adults and forming their own tastes…and I don’t always keep up with those latest  likes and dislikes.  My solution…a gift basket of scarves that I had as models for my retail store…and I’m pleased to report the basket was success. Chloe and Shelby got to pick first because I celebrated Christmas with them at the family/friend ice-skating gathering in Dublin. Their mother, Sundee, got to pick too. Betsy got to pick on Christmas Day as did her mother and grandmother. The boys – Dan and Sam – got a “gift certificate” to go book shopping in a couple of weeks. It was great to see all the kids….and a joy to see what lovely people they have grown to be.

The Gift Basket

The Gift Basket

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Just recently Debbie, a Thursday night knit workshop knitter and a regular Skein Lane retreater, shared her most recent excitement. She just purchased a home on the coast that she really…really wanted. The first thing to share here is that the clincher that closed the deal. Debbie is the kind of person who is quite financially sound and has chosen not to have credit cards. This  actually created a challenge for her lenders to the close the deal…they were looking for info about her payment patterns. She called me in a panic and requested a letter saying that she had been a customer of Skein Lane for a number of years, paid her bills on time, and had no outstanding balances. (All of which is true!) Can you believe that the letter from her knitting enabler was the decisive factor in granting her the property loan? Go Debbie!

More about Debbie….she is an avid crafter. She knits, beads, spins, dyes…that is just a bit that I know. Her excitement about fiber arts is so inspiring….I still am enjoying her glee when she was  sharing  her fiber arts experiences at our recent retreat. I am in awe of how much Debbie accomplishes…not only does she craft at the handcraft (not homemade) level, she “runs” a school and finds time to spend with her husband.

Skein Lane Retreat 2009 051

Debbie sharing her dying results with her teachers - Marlee and Mimi

Debbie has given me permission to post her latest sentiments. ” All in all a great collection of photos and precious moments at the retreat. The pleasure of knitting and crocheting has brought so many special moments into my life as well as the very amazing beach house soon to be filled with fiber art projects and accomplishments. Thank you so much.”

Debbie so warms my heart! And now thank you to Debbie.

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Sally, Carolyn, and Nancy

So long until next year! Sally, Carolyn and Nancy

 

We are so fortunate – Sally and Nancy are returning for next year’s retreat….same place – Marconi Conference Center and the date is Oct 1, 2 & 3.

We are considering adding an extra day…let us know your thoughts.

You can sign up now at the Skein Lane website or call 510.525.9276

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It was the night before retreat and a call came from Ariane…”I know this is a last minute question…but would there be any space available for the retreat?” As it turns out we had one unfilled bed. And what a joy to have Ariane join us. I was fortunate enough to share a room with her and Carrie.

Here’s Ariane’s show and tell …. her own private fashion show. The pattern came from a class that she took…she will tell us more…the yarn was Knit One, Crochet Too, US dk 100% wool.

Skein Lane Retreat 2009 104

Ariane

Skein Lane Retreat 2009 103

Ariane - the detail

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The great outdoors!

View..early morning on the way to breakfast

I love Saturday mornings at retreat…we’re settled and a new day is beginning. For me, an early riser, I often get to see the sun rise. On this particular Saturday, there was a little fog in the early hours (6:45 am) and I loved it…a sense of calm before the day’s activities began. I love breakfast and in the “country” setting it is even more special…strong coffee, good food, and early morning conversations with friends and knitters.

After breakfast we headed off to our class rooms for our 3-hr classes…1/2 of us to Knit to Flatter and Fit by Sally Melville and Estonian Lace by Nancy Bush.  (I encourage you to look at the class review by Kimberly at Craftini.) Two of us headed off to Buck Hall to set up for the evening events…the customer fashion show as well as a showing of yarns from Skein Lane...this year the offerings were MaggiKnits yarns. More about those yarns in a future post…I have several projects that I want to share with you.

After our classes…we had a little time to wind down before heading off to dinner. Then we were off to the Customer Fashion Show at Buck Hall. Participants are invited to show their knitting in categories and those were: Shawls, Stoles, and Scarves; Sweaters; Accessories; Sweaters and Jackets; and Blankets and Afghans. I believe the greatest showing was in the category of Shawls, Stoles, and Scarves.

There were many beautiful shawls…and the first to be featured is that of Terry….one of the photos was at retreat….and the close ups were taken at Saturday  morning Skein Lane Knitting Workshop. It is truly a beautiful garment. The yarn, a mohair blend from Art Fibers, worked up beautifully in this Faroese Shawl pattern featured on page 38  in Shawls and Scarves from XRX.

A close up of the detail appears first. I know after I tried it on I want to knit yet more shawl…it was stunning and what a great drape! Have to say that these photos don’t do justice to the beauty of the garment…but trust me, it’s beautiful. I heards lots of oohs and aahs both at retreat and knitting workshop.

The detail

The detail

Terry modeling the shawl she knit for future daugther-in-law

Terry modeling the shawl for her future daughter-in-law

The Shawl from Terry

The Shawl from Terry

Carole modeling Terry's beautiful shawl

Carole modeling Terry's beautiful shawl

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Mimi and Marlee

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Nancy and Sally are the best! They are terrific instructors……and a joy that they are good friends. Here they are!

Nancy and Sally

Nancy Bush and Sally Melville

Photo compliments of Bonnie Baskin…thank you Bonnie!

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There are so many people who make this event successful….the participants…the people who help behind the scenes (and sometimes in front of the scene) – to name just a few….Kimberly, Emily, Susanne, Diane, Debbie, Margaret….oh, the list goes on….and to all those who help the break-down be so smooth and efficient. And many thanks to Marconi Conference Center.

Tomales Bay

Tomales Bay

There are at least two of us reporting on this past weekend…check out Kimberly’s Craftini as well as  Facebook where comments are appearing.  And Bonnie and I will be updating Raverly soon.

Oh my goodness…my girl puppy thinks she can knit…I just found her with a couple of skeins of MaggiKnits linen. She doesn’t realize that this yarn is better if you only use one skein, at a time, instead of two!

The retreat began for me on Thursday evening as I headed for the Oakland airport to pick up Sally (Melville). She flew in from Ontario via Denver..her plane was 1 1/2 hours late. For her it was 1:30 am when she arrived. We met, moved quickly from the airport and headed for Kimberly’s home where she graciously offers a private room with bathroom in her home for Skein Lane Studio visiting teachers. Thank you again Kimberly!

On Friday morning the contingency of Kimberly, Sally, Sheri, and Jan – headed off to Marconi Conference Center with a planned stop in Pt Reyes Station. At the same time I picked up Nancy (Bush)  at the same airport that I traveled to the night before – Oakland – her flight was on time (I was late) and we headed off to meet Kimberly’s caravan for lunch at The Pine Cone Cafe in Pt Reyes. Next stop – Marconi Conference Center.

We, as knitting retreaters, were extremely fortunate to have the unusual and wonderful blend of these two national knitting instructors for our annual knitting retreat. Nancy offered Estonian Lace and Sally offered Flatter to Fit. I believe we all walked away with new knitting skills and knowledge.

I have been a fan and friend of both of them for years. I have such fond memories of my first retreat with Nancy at Whidbey Island some 10 years ago….and I became aware of Sally when I attended a TNNA show in San Diego some 10 years ago as well. I took one class and then groveled to get into the rest of them…I got three out of four. I admire and respect both of their knitting styles, have learned so much from them, and include many of their tips and teaching in my own teaching.

The retreat started officially on Friday evening with Marlee of Black Mountain Weavers and Mimi of Windrush Farms giving us their “dog and pony” show as I like to call it…but more seriously it is a presentation of fibers, design, sheep, and farm life. I am in awe of both of these women and what they accomplish in the world of fibers as well as being people that you want to know. We then reaquainted  ourselves…old friendships and new friendships.

At this retreat Nancy taught Estonian Lace and Sally taught Flatter to Fit. We concluded on Sunday morning with a mentoring session that both mentored. Nancy has recently published Knitted Lace of Estonia and Sally’s most recent book is Mother-Daughter Flatter to Fit.

More to come….but in the meantime here are a couple more photos.

Some of the group

Some of the group

Sally, Tabitha and Betsy

Sally, Tabitha and Betsy

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It seems that we got here at Marconi Conference Center for our annual knitting retreat. We are now headed off to our Sunday morning mentoring session with Nancy Bush and Sally Melville. Stay tuned for a full report later this evening!

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SheepJoin us for a crafty/farm day at Windrush Farms this coming Sunday, October 11.

  • Marlee and Mimi have arranged an afternoon of fun – a tour of the Windrush Farm, a do-it-yourself pizza lunch, and a Shirbori felting class.
  • Starts at 11am with a tour of the farm
  • Lunch at noon
  • Shirbori felting class from 1pm to 4pm

Further details available on the flyer. (Just click through.)

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