Saturday, July 18, 2009

Meet Our Head Sheep Dog: Patty Bright

Sixty-three days and counting! I think I’ll buy my plane ticket next week. I just got a new suitcase. And I’m already trying to decide which projects to finish before the trip (one more pair of socks, a big scarf/shawl, maybe a hat) and what to bring with me, even though I know there will be plenty of projects waiting.

I’m also really looking forward to more hikes around the island with our fearless Hike Genius, Patty Bright, who is tireless and endlessly enthusiastic when it comes to trekking. She also is excellent in her role at making things Even More Spectacular.
I asked Patty to tell me a bit about herself to share with y’all. Here’s what she had to say.

Spike: Tell me about life in Maine.
Patty: I have been married for 17 years to my wonderful hubby Cameron who let's me escape to Monhegan each fall. We have two great kids, Wesley and Acacia, and two great dogs, Buzzy and Jake. I've lived in Maine for about 22 years, not counting college. I met Lisa when her daughter and my son were in the same class at school.

Spike: What you do at the retreat?
Patty: I am the head sheep dog, herding all the Knitting Yogis from the airport to the ferry, making sure that all is well. I lead the hikes, again making sure no one strays from the path, sprains an ankle or falls behind. Also, I am the team photographer. While on the island I try to be available to all the Knitting Yogis for whatever they need - warm clothes, directions, laughter, moral support, glass of wine, band-aid or whatever else might come up.

Spike: Why you love Monhegan?
Patty: What's not to love? Beautiful scenery, lovely people, great food (thanks Holden), incredibly relaxing, waves crashing, salt smell in the air, a step back in time, no traffic. Just being on Monhegan you feel invigorated and relaxed at the same time.

Spike: What's your knitting story?
Patty: My Mom taught me to knit when I was probably about 8. I have knitted on and off since then. I have always been a color knitter and didn't do too much with pattern until I tried a fisherman cable knit for my brother, aka the "ten-year sweater.” It came out beautiful, so that got me going. I am currently working on a lacy scarf and hope to have it finished by September and a cardigan for me (which I lost the pattern, so may have to wing it to finish it).

Spike: What is your history with hiking, and outdoors, and in particular Maine?
Patty: I grew up north of Boston and went to the University of Maine at Orono for college. That got me hooked on Maine. It was really my college roommate who got me into hiking. While in college we hiked Mount Katahdin, the tallest mountain in Maine and the end point of the Appalachian Trail. Since then I do a few hikes a year usually in Maine or New Hampshire's White Mountains. I hope to hike Mount Washington this summer (the tallest mountain in New England).

Spike: You're big into sailing, right?
Patty: My husband is a big sailor, so I was pulled into sailing after we were married. I truly love it, but I am not a natural born sailor. My longest voyage was from Norfolk, Virginia to Bermuda on an 88 ft. traditionally-rigged schooner. That was fun. In the summers we sail on Buzzards Bay on Cape Cod and my son and I have to do Paper, Rock, Scissors to see who gets to race with my husband on Saturdays. Sailing down the Maine Coast and seeing all the islands is a most wonderful experience.

Spike: What was your favorite part about last year's retreat?
Patty: I loved the knitting-fests/laugh-ins we did every night. The people on the trip were so much fun and I have not laughed that hard in a very long time (and that says alot because I laugh all the time). I'm smiling right now thinking about all those hilarious stories and the howling laughter that ensued.

Spike: What are you looking forward to this year?
Patty: I'm looking forward to spending the week with a great group of people, knitting, hiking, eating (did I mention the homemade whoopie pies and smores?), stretching, laughing, telling stories. I can't wait!

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