This is turning into the Moby-Dick of blog posts! I feel like I ought to include a Table of Contents:
I. Meg Swansen's Knitting Camp 2.75
a. Camp itself
b. Miscellaneous notes on food
II. Workshop in Egg Harbor
c. Whitefish Bay B&B with Corriedale sheep
a. Spin yarn store in Sturgeon Bay
b. workshop itself
d. Miscellaneous notes on food
I had planned, of course, to post as each event occurred, but I find transitions throw me off my game. So, enough: On with the extreme catch-up!
I. Meg Swansen's Knitting Camp 2.75
This picture says it all:
I just love Meg! "Meeting" her in print changed my life; not just the knitting, but the approach. I had, as usual, a marvelous time at Camp. It is amazing the bonds you form with people after a decade—even people I don't spend much time with at Camp become dear. We cried together and we laughed together during our four days together.
I came away with some additions to my "to-knit" list and a new cast on from Bridget Rorem (the Faggotted Cast On). I thought this was a pretty cool new idea, until Maggie R. mentioned that Bridget had taught this cast on at least 3 times in the last 10 years. Man o man, my memory.... no wonder I stick to plain old long-tail cast on.
I didn't take many photos, but luckily Al takes photos galore and I can post them when I get the CD!
So, food notes: Excellent fare at the Kitchen Table Restaurant in Marshfield (owned by Meg's sister Lloie): eggs benedict is my breakfast standard; for lunch I'm more adventurous. The Rhubarb Custard Pie is excellent (and in the cookbook). Culver's for butterburgers and Concrete Mixers (mine a Cheesecake Raspberry cup of tasty butterfat). The Japanese restaurant for a fun communal-table experience; six of us went, and the poor couple out on the town for the eighth wedding anniversary coped with us gamely. No fish fry this year and no fried cheese curds!
II. Design Your Own Fair Isle Workshop in Egg Harbor
I went directly from Knitting Camp to teach the 3-day workshop in lovely Door County, Wisconsin. This county sticks out into Lake Michigan like the thumb on a mitten—beautiful agricultural scenery coupled with scenic coastline. The weather was killer, though—heat coupled with humidity like nothing I've ever experienced before.
I stayed at the charming Whitefish Bay Farm B&B, operated by shepherds Gretchen and Dick Regnery. They raise Corriedales for the handspinning market—the jacketed sheep have cooshy fleeces in different colors. Yummm! Gretchen says that they breed for the "friendly" gene—these sheep came right up to us to be scratched and petted. I really enjoy Dick's blog about life on the farm. They make farming look effortless, but it is obvious that the outward serenity requires lots of hard work.
The fleeces are for sale each year; Gretchen also has roving and yarns for sale as well. (I came home with some skooshy sport weight in natural light gray-brown to make a vest.) Gretchen is a great cook, so breakfast each day was an experience. My favorite part: one morning breakfast began with pear sorbet sprinkled with fresh blueberries.
Terri, the owner of Spin in Sturgeon Bay, kindly offered up her classroom space for the workshop. This exceptional yarn shop is well worth a detour if you are in the area—a well-curated and large selection of yarn and books in a light-filled space.
Twelve students worked through a series of swatches based on their inspiration pieces. Here are a few swatches (sadly, not all the photos I took were in focus):
I am so grateful to Sandy De Master and Mary Germain (a dynamic pair who teach many traditional knitting classes at Sievers School of Fiberarts and other venues) for organizing this workshop! They made me feel so welcome—the day I arrived we had a fantastic and memorable tapas meal at Parador in Egg Harbor. Sandy opened her house for a potluck the next day and these Wisconsin gals sure know how to do a potluck! EIleen and Cindy drove me back to Green Bay on Thursday night, where they introduced me to the quintessential GB restaurant, Kroll's, where butterburgers, fries, and milkshakes have been a tradition for at least 500 years, judging by the interior design. I enjoyed it immensely, especially the crisp burger buns.
There's just something about Wisconsin that I love.....
I had been anxious to get the hernia surgery over with because the painful achiness was getting intrusive. Sadly, a bout with food poisoning (we think) made it impossible for me to go under the mini-knife yesterday morning. Saga to be continued..... No photos.