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And boy oh boy did I have fun! What an amazing weekend I just had. For someone who lives alone and really values her personal tiem and space, I did surprisingly well in the crowded, loud, frenetic environment. The venue was absolutely faultless, and I can see why the group has a standing booking for every year.

The organisers of the retreat hit a perfect balance between not enough diversions and too many, giving us the opportunity to be involved in an information session on suri alpaca, run by a local alpaca breeder; there was also the excellent sessions on knitting and yarn photography, which was really good and helped refine my idea of how I approach photographing my work and made me determined to either get a light tent or build my own DIY light box! The weaving demonstration/workshop was brilliant, too – Molly and Helen had it seamlessly organised between them and lots of “here’s one I prepared earlier” to show us the process. I’m feeling armed against the day when I can start weaving the rug I’m spinning for! I even had the opportunity to get a few people started on spindle spinning, which was fun and immensely satisfying, especially when one lady adopted one of my spindles and proceeded to spin a whole skein of yarn, plying on the fly as if she’d been doing it for years!

I knit almost a whole pair of fingerless gloves, including my very first attempt at stranded colourwork! I had a lot of fun doing it, marvelling at the end of every row at the miracle of little shiny blue bits in the middle of my smooth purple stocking stitch! There was the heartbreak of frogging; the tense anguish of tinking, but these were mitigated by triumph after triumph as more people hit milestones of some sort. The atmosphere of unconditional support was the most encouraging and uplifting thing I’ve ever experienced, and I totally intend going back for more next year.

I take bad photos so I’m hoping I can link to others’ photos in days to come, but for now, here’s a few shots of the weekend.

Can't you just feel that undercurrent of determination"?

The big conference room and base of operations

"Furry" Helen surrounded by her first spinning project (Furry Floss) which she finally finishedspinning at the retreat

Ballwinding station, the equivalent of the office water cooler, where everyone seemed to gather mysteriously

All The Things