Saturday, June 23, 2012

It's a TRIANGLE, b*tches!

At Squam, I met some incredibly entertaining people. My roommate mentioned that sometimes she just likes to knit triangles. Not shawls, not necessarily bandanas. Just triangles. For some reason, this became the theme of the weekend, "What are you knitting?" "A triangle." Soon there were plans for various projects being renamed to variations of this post's title. I can not explain why this was funny, maybe we were high from all the fresh air?

On Wednesday, sitting at my LYS, with three balls of Plymouth Covington in my bag and no idea what to make with them, I was looking through the KnitScene Accessories magazine and found the Aristida Shawl (rav link). I figured, what the hey, and cast on. I never even looked to see if I'd have enough yarn, or if I was working in the right weight yarn. Turns out the original is knit with fingering weight, while I used aran. Ah well. I like it anyway.

Of more import was my realization that I might not have enough yarn. I started with the first color, then began with the second for the second chart repeat. The last row of the sage was scary, as I was not convinced there was enough. I assumed I would have no problem with the third color because I was knitting four fewer rows with it. I failed to account for the increased length of each successive row, and ran out with 3.5 rows and the bind-off left to go. Damn. Tinking back, I tried to use the second color for a row, and ran out with 3.25 rows and the bind-off left to go. Double damn. Tinking back again, knowing there was no way I'd manage 4 rows and bind-off with the first color, I did one more row and bound off. I find that I'm okay with that. I'm also okay with the lack of fringe and bobbles.

I hereby dedicate this project and post to the ladies of Ardenwood 2012. May the triangle be with you. Happy knitting. :-)

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

On Squam

I've been trying to figure out what to say about Squam that wouldn't sound trite or ridiculous. The only thing I can think to say that accurately describes the experience for me is: Squam was life-changing. As background: I've never done anything like this before. I've never driven that far before on my own, to a place I've never been. I never went to camp as a child. I've never gone anywhere for multiple days, entirely on my own. I've only ever "camped" once, and I seem to recall telling GF where he could stick his tent after one (admittedly rainy) night in the woods. So this was a NEW THING. A brave thing, for me. This went beyond "out of my comfort zone" - it blew my comfort zone clear to itty bitty bits.
NYC Skyline

The drive was pretty awesome. I listened to music I wanted to hear, without any need to keep the volume low to protect baby ears. Prince figured heavily. I took a few moments to appreciate my surroundings. I stopped at Stew Leonard's, on the repeated ravings of a friend, and am glad I did (Ps: Rachie, next time you go, please return with a six pack of the Shirley Temple soda? kthnxbye). I paused for lunch and watched the world go by. I knew I'd get there in plenty of time, so I wasn't in a hurry at all. Before I knew it, I was in New Hampshire!

Isn't it PERFECT? Exactly every shade of green!

The setting was soothing, and the staff at RDC did everything to make our stay as comfortable as possible (ticks and bears notwithstanding). My cabin-mates were warm and welcoming, funny and fearless, and exactly my kind of people. We brought more alcoholic provisions than anyone was ever going to actually drink, but there was enough for everyone. Mother Nature was both accommodating and irritating, switching between perfectly lovely and rain. Happily, the forest caught the worst of the rain, for those of us too lazy to go out for the evening events called to stay in and knit. I got to sit on the dock and chill, and I got to go to the Patternworks brick and mortar store and buy some KOIGU souvenir yarn.

My instructors were enlightening and entertaining. I took a sock class with Stephanie Pearl-McPhee and learned a great deal more about sock construction and body proportions than I anticipated. I also took two brain-bending classes with Franklin Habit. This experience elevated knitting from just something I like to do to an intellectual exercise, and I want to do all the things at once now (even more than before). I also had the opportunity to chat with a few other instructors and hear about other attendee experiences, which makes me want to go again and take other classes.

Thinking back, I am filled with satisfaction that I did this great and awesome thing that I never would have done before. Next time, though, I think I'll bring my boys. I missed them enough to leave all this loveliness early and headed home Saturday afternoon.