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Tuesday, June 08, 2010

What do you say when everything was just ... perfect?

One week ago today I was in the car, driving through five states with a friend, en route to Squam Lake, New Hampshire.  The trip was easy, if long, and while we didn't see any moose ...

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... we did see a deer fly off the hood of a car in the next lane on the highway.  Did you know that deer bounce when they hit the pavement at 65 mph?  Now that's something I never expected to learn at ...

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Four and a half days of crafting bliss - just me and 150 other crafty people taking over a historic family summer retreat on an idyllic lake ...

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... for classes, camaraderie, and (at least for me) a lot of this:

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Our first class was at a cabin that was, as I fondly referred to it, at "the ass end of nowhere," which was reached via a brisk 10-minute hike through the woods ...

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Luckily, I had a hearty breakfast that morning, so I even after the hike I was ready to tackle my first class - Latvian fingerless mitts in five color stranded knitting, with the incredible Beth Brown-Reinsel.  I've done colorwork before, but never with so many colors, and she really opened my eyes to some of the things I've been unintentionally doing wrong (can you say, "dominance? what dominance?").

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Really, it's not that hard once you get used to the whole idea of controlled chaos on the back side of the piece.  Don't give me that look - you know you want to try it, too.  Look how easy it is - I didn't even break a sweat!

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My class the next day was even farther away from our home cabin, which gave me plenty of time to gather inspiration from the woods around me.  I'll spare you the approximately 48,000 pictures I took of ferns, and instead show you the most interesting bit I stumbled upon:

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I swear, those puppies looked so fake, I was tempted to see if somebody had hot-glued plastic mushrooms to the tree.  Anyway, I needed all the inspiration I could get, because I was supposed to be designing botanical-inspired things to print on fabric in Maya Donenfeld's awesome class.  I was also totally copying designs out of that Japanese book on the corner of the table :)

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Squam wasn't just about crafting, though - there was plenty of time to enjoy the facility and its surroundings. I decided to use a free afternoon to drag myself up to the top of a mountain the hard way (i.e. on the shorter path that went straight up the side of the damn thing, which meant there was a lot of actual "dragging myself  up the hill" involved).  Luckily, the view was totally worth the schlepp.

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My last class was only half a day, which was a shame because I really had a good time meeting Jared Flood and starting the blanket he designed.  The thing was so fun that I couldn't resist working on it more in the car on the way home.  

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Luckily for me, wool is very absorbent, because there may or may not have been a few sniffles from my side of the car as we drove off into the sunset (well, actually just away from the sunrise, since we were heading west at an ungodly hour of the morning).

I'm not a normally effusive person, but I have to say, this was among my best vacations ever.  Nothing went wrong, everyone got along, I didn't forget anything, the people were nice, the place was spectacular, there was plenty to do, nobody thought you were weird if you didn't want to do anything but sit on a dock with your feet in the water, and everybody was crafty.  I'd go back in a heartbeat, and while I don't know if I'd say it was life-changing, it was certainly awesome.  And fun.  And inspiring.  And only slightly mosquito-filled.  So if you're even slightly crafty, go check it out.  You'll be glad you did.

1 comment:

Lucie Wicker said...

Gorgeous girasole! I'm starting mine whenever my yarn arrives, hopefully this week. Good luck!