Thursday, September 16, 2010

Goodness Gracious Great Balls of...

How it got to be Thursday already is beyond me. And I continue to be behind in reporting everything because there is an awful lot to report despite the insane amount of relaxing we've got going on here on the island. I think I need to make a list so I remember to touch on all the points I want to touch on:
  1. Balls
  2. Cables & Lace
  3. Hot Stones
  4. Not Knitting on 3500 Calories Per Day
  5. Bingo!
  6. Nature Nature Nature
  7. More Balls
  8. Pro Photo Bonus!
And now, some explanations of the above, which I shall illustrate using the amazing photographs of Patty and my own fine-photo self.

So, balls. Where to begin? When we discuss balls in regards to a knitting retreat, naturally we are talking about the firm but soft variety, composed of yarn, and typically wound from a hank or skein. Why all yarn doesn't already come pre-balled is a query for another day. All I know is I have seen some pretty unique ball-rolling techniques this week, including irrefutable proof re: Why God Gave Us Knees.

Beyond our run-o-the-mill ball-rolling, we actually had a very special ball-rolling class, headed up by SuMi who dumped the equivalent of four tractor trailers worth of stash in the middle of the floor. Then she explained that we would be rolling balls composed of many different kinds/colors/textures of yarn. This immediately pushed some of my less savory buttons-- despite my outwardly deceptive appearance, which suggests I don't give a rat's behind about fashion and color, I'm all about using either solid yarn or factory variegated stuff because actually I like my fiber a very particular way. SuMi wanted me to do WHAT? Mix it up? No thank you. Others, however, embraced the concept:

Meanwhile, I retreated to the parlor to wrestle with my cabled neck snood, continuing to spend four hours per 102 stitch row. I want to note this has nothing to do with CaPa's teaching or the pattern, just my own severe allergy re: learning curves. Anyway, back in the Magical Ball Room, several campers dug right in -- and I'd be remiss if I didn't point out that among these, Cassie and Marianne should win some sort of a prize. They rolled balls bigger than... well, you get the picture. In fact, I was so inspired by the size of these ladies' balls, I had a change of heart and sat down and rolled a big ole ball of my own and I am here to tell you: Big Magic Ball Rolling is, as it turns out, awesome! So soothing! So silly! So big and fluffy!

As for cables & lace-- so I admit it: I struggled with my cable knitting. Cathy helped. I struggled some more. Cathy helped some more. I knitted when I shoulda purled. I purled when I shoulda knitted. Finally, very gently, Cathy took the tangled mess and fixed it in an instant, seeing as she is the Cable Whisperer. It took me another five hours to finally get it but, folks? We have a Winner!! Yours truly learned a big new skill on the island. That's right, I get the cable thing now. Yay! That makes two skills picked up in four days-- there was also the lace/chart lesson learned with SuMi. I observed many other knitters making tremendous progress with their projects.

Next topic: hot stones. By applause-- how many of you think maybe Mary Alice's massages need to be outlawed seeing as the relaxation her treatments trigger is borderline criminal? I mean, talk about reducing the productivity rate on the island. There I was, face down on the massage table, wishing she'd set up a dribble cup for the moment I knew was inevitable: the hypno-drooling-trance moment. Suddenly, I felt a warm sensation on my back. MA had borrowed a few stones from Pebble Beach, heated them up, and lined them up and down my spine. She also put one in each of my knit-weary hands. I stumbled out of that massage room like a lightweight stumbling out of bar after 1.5 strawberry daiquiris. (As you can see in the photo above, I also received an impromptu outdoor rock massage.)

Not Knitting on 3500 Calories Per Day is Jan's special slogan for what actually can happen here at knitting camp. And it's true-- between the French toast, the omelets, the hikes, the massages, the lobster rolls, the shopping, the dinner, the WHOOPIE PIES and other sweets, PLUS the BINGO it's almost a wonder that we get anything knitted up at all. (Oh, but we do.)

Wait, did somebody say BINGO!? How lucky-- I mean how L-U-C-K-Y could we get in the timing department? I think Lisa didn't even realize it when she scheduled the retreat but, hello, our time on the island coincided with the September BINGO game, which is a fundraiser for the Monhegan School.
The Monhegan School currently has two students, and rumor has it they are twins. The boys ran the benefit-- calling the numbers and handing out the prizes-- and Eva won THREE out of the five or six total games. Marianne also won a game. And Ruth one what was, imho, the best prize of the evening-- a totally blinged out stapler. Seeing as I was sitting next to Eva and back-to-back with Marianne and mere inches from Ruth, I can only conclude that I was the common denominator lucky charm so you might want to consider sitting next to me when Holden starts handing out door prizes at the closing ceremony: that's right, he's giving away THREE PROPERTIES on the island and I'm thinking anyone sitting near me is going to be mighty lucky.

The prizes at BINGO were terrific, as you can see from the picture of Eva, who plans on wrapping up all of this most excellent booty and giving it to Marianne for Christmas. We also enjoyed speculating about what it must be like, going to a school with a total of two students, particularly when your classmate is also your brother. I imagined an after school conversation like this: "Mom, there's this boy at school and he won't quick picking on me...."

Nature Nature Nature: You know, there's so much nature on this island I just don't know what to do with it all. But I still have about 70,000 photos that Patty took, so I'm going to put some of them in at the end of this post and will show some more tomorrow night at the slideshow.

Which brings us to the final two items on today's Must Write About List: More Balls and Pro Photo Bonus! SuMi's Magic Balls weren't the only thing rolling around the Monhegan House this week making everyone oo0h and ahhh. As it happens, Melora also brought some (non-yarn) Magic Balls which she uses in yoga to help loosen everyone up after long, late nights of laughing, knitting, and bending forward to grab leftover afternoon cookies from the tray that Eva sneaks out of the walk-in. (Sorry, Holden...) As you can see from the photos, these Magic Balls are helping several campers to feel better. I'm predicting Cassy is going to become a yoga instructor when she gets home, and that she is going to use giant Magic Yarn Balls to help people work on their balance.

And finally, as if all that weren't enough for one day! Susan had a photographer, a model, and a hair/makeup artist out to MI this week to shoot pics for some upcoming Classic Elite Yarn books. She also recruited Christie, who has been entertaining us all week in the dining room, to model. I barged into Susan's room for a sneak peak at the great handknits that will be featured in the books. Alas, I cannot show pictures or even reveal hints here about those-- you'll have to wait for the books. Unless you're here at camp, in which case you'll get a sneak peek, too, on Friday night.

And that, my friends, is all for today. I'm ready to head back down to the parlor and swipe me a whoopie pie and work another row or two before hitting the sack. Tomorrow is our last full day on the island, which is too bad. In fact, I refuse to think about it another second. And now, here are some more pictures for your pleasure:

1 comment:

  1. awesome post!!!!
    enjoying the travel with knitting.such a nice experience you have.the pictures are so awesome and beautiful.the place is close to nature........