Friday, August 29, 2014

Two Weeks Til Monhegan Island! How I Am Preparing...

Hey Y’all,
Well we are now in the homestretch for the countdown to Knitting and Yoga Adventures Monhegan Island Retreat. And you know what? I CAN’T WAIT! In two weeks we’ll be on the island knitting, hiking, eating great food, and hopefully making Holden blush (just a little).

My life is an embarrassment of riches, and as it happens, each year right before I fly to Portland, Maine for the retreat, I fly to Portland, Oregon for a different knitting adventure. My friend (and ex-brother-in-law) and his partner live in Oregon and I spend a little time in Portland with them and then head over to Astoria for a few days. This time, during my weekend in Portland, I found out that my friend Rachel, who grew up in Portland but lives near me in Austin, was visiting her family. So we made time to meet up at Happy Knits, a GREAT LYS in Portland, and knit for a bit.

Then it was off to Astoria. Most folks know Astoria because it was featured in the movie The Goonies. I know it for another reason: as a great getaway which, much like our imminent Monhegan journey, includes fabulous fiber-related fun and some really amazing food.

 Each year basically what I do is go down to the BlueScorcher Bakery, eat too many fresh-from-the-oven cardamom rolls, and just wait for my knitting friends and acquaintances to show up. They always do. There’s Veronica, a mushroom forager, who this year is working on a bunch of knitted mushroom caps (get it?). And then there’s Shannon, who is knocking out a bulky sweater for her husband—they live across the bridge in Washington where it’s cold and damp much of the time and this sweater is going to get much use.

And then there is Margaret, who runs the Fiber Arts Academy at the Astoria Visual Arts space, which is full of looms and also all sorts of beautiful yarn that she has dyed, and also some that other local fiber artists have spun. I’m especially fond of her mohair and got some more to add to my stash, along with a very sweet, super simple cardigan pattern. So yes, it’s pretty much a knitting paradise.

On this trip I’ve been working on a Kitty Cat Chemo Cap, not the first I’ve ever made. This one is for a little friend of mine who just started treatment the other day. I’m actually writing this post on a plane, and as soon as I’m done I’m going to resume the cap and try very hard to knock it out before I get home to Austin tonight so I can deliver it this weekend.

I am positive the KCCC is going to be a hit because while I was in Astoria, I spent some time with my friend Iris, for whom I also knit one of these, and she assured me she wears hers a lot. I don’t love that so many of my friends have needed chemo caps, but I am glad for a chance to make them something nice to help cheer them up and keep them warm through the bumpy part of their journey.

I’m excited to see all of y’all, and find out what you’re working on. It’ll be great to catch up with you repeat offenders and I look forward to meeting all newcomers. It’s going to rock.

See y’all so very soon!
Happy Knitting!


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