Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Aloha Y'all!

Wait, no really-- is it already WEDNESDAY? Have we been done with our paradise retreat for four days already? I don't know about the rest of you, but island time ended for me pretty quickly. After a joyful ride to the airport with Eva, Suzette and Marianne, and a relaxing time sitting in one of those big wooden rockers waiting for a plane out, things got annoyingly hectic way too soon. There was the storm on the way into Atlanta, the delayed flight back to Austin, and the discovery, upon my return, that my wonderful house sitter forgot to leave my key (she didn't know I didn't have one with me). So seventeen hours of boat/car/plane/layover/delays and I'm back home and can't get into my own house. I figured it out without having to break in.

Now that I've had a few days to catch up on my sleep, I'm feeling much better. I can't get Monhegan out of my head. Last year, I was so psyched to learn lace and Fair Isle. But as soon as I got back, I pretty much resumed my St,st lifestyle. This year, I feel different. I feel like I had this knitting transformation, and I am hungry like the wolf to finish my French Market Bag and start up some Aran sweater. And no, I am not being sarcastic.

Is it too sappy to write a love letter to knitting? I take my chances. Being on the island for a week with y'all was like landing on some home planet where I don't have to explain this way-more-than-a-hobby knit-addiction of mine. Yes, I'm in awe of those of you who can finish three projects in one day, and can knit without looking, and who understand what colors go together well. But I'm also pleased with my own progress. I think this point was really driven home when I made a joke at breakfast about how I'm going to start cabling my i-cords. Get it? Get it? CABLING MY I-CORDS!!

Three years ago I don't think I knew what an i-cord was. And the sight of a cable needle made me tremble. Even though I know from other areas of my life-- writing, cooking, serial divorcing-- that everything takes practice to get right, I get amnesia around this concept. Only when I wake up ten years after the fact and see what progress I've made do I understand the power of process. Which is my convoluted way of saying that when I picked up the needles eleven years ago, I swore I would never learn to purl, that this would lead to too much frustration, a "need" to learn patterns. After three years or so, I did learn to purl. Then I learned socks. Then I learned basic sweaters. Then I learned accidental felting. Then I learned how to repurpose the accidentally felted sweater into a nice bag.

At Knitting Camp, I have picked up SO many tricks, bits of advice, and skills, that I now feel like a ding-dang daredevil on the needles. I cannot believe that I now get the concepts of lace, Fair Isle, chart reading, bobble making, and-- thanks to this year's retreat-- the formerly daunting intarsia which makes an amazing amount of sense to me now.

So thank you all for all the help, inspiration, and-- yes-- makeup tips.
Boy am I a happy knitter.


  1. Wow Rhonda! I didn't realize how well that backpack doubles as an 'unmentionable'!
    Just MAKE 2 (!), add a few triangles...
    When times are tough, you've always got a bag to carry...

  2. Hi Spike! I'm the one you found at the top of Burnt Head with my birder friend. I had my Noro Scarf with me which gave me instant access to your whacky group. Can I come play with you guys on Monhegan next year? I love the island, have been going there for over 20 years with birders. I am seriously involved with knitting. It gets worse as the years go on. I have been a student yogi for about 12 years as well so this is just the group for me! Now if someone could figure out how to yarn over while doing Down Dog I would be impressed. Keep me in mind, Fahy (pronounced Fay)

  3. The votes are in. All my work friends want my sister Laur to be their sister, too!