Thursday, September 26, 2013

Recap of Monhegan 2013-- and EXCITING NEWS for Monhegan 2014!

Hey Y'all,
Well dang! I am already missing the island. Heck, I miss the island as the ferry pulls out. But what a wonderful, wonderful, WONDERFUL week it was. Thanks for being part of it. Or, if you missed the Knitting and Yoga Adventures Monhegan Island Retreat 2013, not to worry. Because...

First of all, there are still two spots open in the Queechee, Vermont Retreat, which runs November 7 - 10, 2013. ALL THE INFO FOR THAT TRIP IS HERE.

And, we are already planning the Knitting and Yoga Adventures Monhegan Island Retreat 2014! Mark your calendars: Registration opens on January 1, 2014, space is limited. This makes a GREAT holiday gift so, you know, tell your favorite gift giver.

We have WONDERFUL NEWS about the 2014 trip. Kristen TenDyke has signed on to be our designer/teacher for the next adventure on the island. I had the great privilege of profiling Kristen for Interweave KNITS awhile back. She designs some really great stuff and she's from Maine and uses Maine wool.

Kristen's got a KICKSTARTER going now to raise funds to publish her second book. Here's info on how you can kick in:

And here's a great montage of photos from our 2013 adventure:

Friday, September 20, 2013

Not Our Last Day, Just Our Last Day 'Til Next Year

The weird Monhegan Island Time thing strikes again. First you get here and have to slow way down because you don't have to worry about driving and electronic devices barely work plus YOU'RE ON HOLIDAY! Then, if you're me anyway, thanks to the lack of city lights and street lights, you acclimate pretty quickly to an early-to-bed-early-to-rise routine. I managed to catch two sunrises this week and neither involved feeling sleep deprived the rest of the day.

Then, once you get all settled into I Could Live Here Forever and Be Relaxed and Spend My Days Hiking and Knitting, well dang, it's Friday, time to pack up for Saturday's early ferry. Not to worry, people. The good news is you can come back next year. Lots of us are repeat offenders and there are plenty of good reasons for that. For example, you learn things from your fellow knitters. Today on a nice, strenuous hike, Jean nearly killed me when she taught me a Scottish phrase I'd not have otherwise ever learned. It's this:

Come to the woods. But don't bring your knitting.

And last night, Alison taught me (or tried to) how to cable without a cable needle. I actually sort of understand the concept. I shared with Cassie some interesting things about lawn furniture she hadn't known before, and I think she'd be the first to tell you she likely never would have known if I hadn't told her. (You're welcome Cassie!)


Last night a number of us had a splendid sunset picnic, and the rest headed over to the Trailing Yew for dinner by candlelight. They also learned that at the TY, some guests have to go to an entirely different building to use the bathroom, making our bathrooms-right-down-the-hall seem like we are in the Four Seasons (a feeling accentuated by Holden's amazing attention to detail. Thanks, Holden!)

Above: Melora presides over our picnic feast.
Below: Cousins Jean & Alison contemplate the ocean that often separates them.

Below: the sun sets a bit more, which is Holden's cue to press the button to release the animatronic seagulls, so they will fly by and give us an amazing photo op:

Cory's scarf matches the sunset sky. She keeps telling us she only started knitting in February, but I'm thinking we need to ask her which February-- 1990? Dang she's amazing.


Here Holly blends in with the scenery. Not. Love that hot pink.

Below: I spotted this beautiful gate. Kind of inspires a lace pattern possibility, no?

Above-- the view out of my room at night. WAAAAAA! I DON'T WANT TO LEAVE!!

Above-- thee Harvest Moon, which looks rather unimpressive in this photo, but trust me, it was massive and amazing and I LOVE IT!!

And now, a few more pics from post-dinner ravelry (<-- that's a joke, get it?) and morning knitting and breakfast and our amazing hike today:









Thursday, September 19, 2013

Paradise-- Doesn't Get Any Better Than This

We are having such a ball here on Monhegan Island. The weather is beyond stunning. The temperature for the sunrise walk was totally bearable, barely even chilly. At 6 am we watched the nearly full moon setting before heading off to witness that brilliant orange disc float up above the horizon.

Then it was back to Monhegan House for the breakfast of champions-- blueberry stuffed French toast with real maple syrup and bacon. Plus coffee. Gallons of coffee. Holden is the magic coffee man-- he just keeps appearing with thermos upon thermos of the stuff, and so my plan is to have a statue erected in his honor. Oh he is so good to us. Thank you Holden.

Speaking of carbs we love, yesterday was Whoopie Pie day and we had not the traditional Devil's Food variety, but pumpkin with cream cheese filling. I think my reaction was a little over the top. When I started crying like a newly crowned Miss America at the sight of the little treats, several kind retreatants offered me theirs. I politely declined. Well, after accepting about three. Oh I love Whoopie Pies!


We all concur that it's a good idea to burn off the carbs, so today we had another spectacular walk. This time a bunch of us headed to Squeaker Cove via Cathedral Woods, the latter being home to Monhegan Island's famous Fairy Houses, of which we discovered many.


Besides groups of ecstatic knitters, the island also attracts flocks of birders and tons of landscape artists. The painters are drawn by the light, which is exquisite here. I sat for hours today and just watched the sun dance all across the Atlantic. The light pouring through the forest canopy is also breathtaking. There's just not a bad angle out here.


Our fearless walking leader Patty gets another big shout out for another year of keeping us on the proper paths. I have a theory that the locals purposefully under-label and mis-label the paths and then watch on closed circuit TV as the tourists scratch their heads trying to sort it all out. Thing is, it's a small island, so eventually you get to water and you're never really, truly lost. But still, you can get turned around. That's why Patty is our secret weapon. Here she is now, herding the gang.


And here are a few more pictures from out and about. I cannot believe it's already Thursday. Dang it. Mustn't think about it. Must stay in each glorious moment here. One stitch at a time.







Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Is It Day Three? Day Four? Island Time Has Sunk In.

Hello Y'all,

What a glorious day it is today. I have officially lost track of what day it is, though rumor has it we are still on the island for several more days, which ROCKS. This morning started out with me waking up around 5, thinking I might rouse myself for another sunrise hike, then drifting off only to find myself waking again to sunlight and this note that had been quietly slipped under my door:

Um, okay then. Guess I'll try again tomorrow. We've got mostly sunny skies predicted all week, so hooray for more chances to see the glorious view out at Burnt Head.

Meanwhile, though I missed the official sunrise, I did eat a hearty Eggs Benedict for breakfast, and joined in for the hike. I was allegedly going to stick with the slower moving group, and we were allegedly going to stay within view of the quicker hikers, and also allegedly, we were going to turn back when the going got tough. Well, best laid plans and all that... as it happens, the trails are only vaguely marked, the quick folks took off at a trot, and before you know it, we were humming the Gilligan's Island theme song. Technically we weren't lost lost-- this is an island and a small one at that. But we were on a path that was fairly challenging. And every time I asked-- "Want to turn back?"-- the group said NO! So we got in a really great walk. Here is Team Spike:

Then it was home for some hot chocolate from the Black Duck aka The Mall. And now as I write this, a few folks are knitting in the parlor and many more are basking in the warm sunshine, making good use of the big white rocking chairs on the porch. Soon, Teva takes over and today we are going to tackle a new lace project. A scarflet I believe is what we're calling it. Scarflet-- sounds like a verb to describe what I do whenever Holden puts out plates piled high with tiny treats. I SCARFLET!

Here are more pics from our excellent adventure to date: