Silver Threads

a knitting blog with occasional side trips

Knitting retreat 2012


It’s mid-March, and again, I was able to attend the Minnesota Knitters’ Guild’s annual knitting retreat. I dithered for days over what project(s) to bring in addition to the Aran wrap cardigan—surely I’d want to knit on more than one thing if I had nothing to do besides knit for a weekend—and then was monogamous with the cardigan the entire time. I’d show you my progress, but I’m having trouble getting good lighting for the photo, and anyway, it’ll look more impressive when I’ve finished the current piece. The next challenge: trying to figure out the sleeve instructions. Wish me luck.

Lake and fog

There's an entire house and dock over there, but you can't see them through the fog.

Crosslake is having the same fantastic and completely unnaturally warm weather that we’ve been enjoying in the Twin Cities. Crosslake is about 150 miles north of the Twin Cities, so it was slightly cooler, but that was more than adequate. This is the first time I’ve seen Camp Knutson without snow cover. It’s on a peninsula. It has paths. Who knew? Instead of being a little knitting couch potato all weekend, I kept slipping outside to take walks. I got most of nature to myself. My fellow knitters weren’t there to hike, although several did come out for a nature walk on Saturday morning and others were early-morning exercisers. So I was the solo audience for fog rising off the lake—still mostly frozen despite temperatures in the 60ºs—and a bald eagle taking off almost directly above me (very loud wings: WHOP, WHOP, WHOP). Sitting on a porch swing near the lake shore is just not the same when the frozen lake isn’t lapping at the shore, but just a few degrees warmer, and I could’ve taken my knitting out to the lake shore and knitted outside.

But how was the retreat? Quite fine. Again, mucho comfort food, not all of which I’m familiar with. My cultural background doesn’t include putting pickled herring out on a salad bar, but chocolate cupcakes, meatloaf, and French toast were familiar dishes. There were good conversations, knitting-themed jigsaw puzzles to work on, and a separate cabin to watch movies in while knitting. Massages were available, although I’m hoping that next year they find somewhere else for the massage therapist to set up besides in a cabin where people are staying. Confusing signage combined with a late evening schedule resulted in people showing up in my “bedroom” on Friday night looking for a massage.

A ball of Chroma Fingering yarn.

Chroma Fingering (Impressionist colorway)

I won cool yarn as a door prize: a ball of Chroma Fingering from Knit Picks. Perfect, since I’ve wanted to try Chroma ever since they came up with it. There are several patterns out there that just call for one ball, and I won’t even be forced to make a pair of socks out of it.

So yes, I had a great time, and I’ve already got it in my calendar for next year.


4 thoughts on “Knitting retreat 2012

  1. 1. I have never seen a salad bar WITHOUT pickled herring, but I have l lived in Upper Scandinavia (MN & WI) my entire life.
    B. Eagle wings are really loud. I was floating on a air mattress at sunset one summer evening, cooling off after a bike ride, when a bald eagle flew directly overhead, where “directly overhead” means about 10 feet in the air. I heard it long before it passed over.
    iii. Gorgeous photos of the foggy lakie!


    • 1. I grew up in Missouri. I’m not sure there were any Scandinavians in the area; they certainly weren’t flooding salad bars with pickled herring. Come to think of it, I don’t remember all that many salad bars in my childhood, period. Many of the women around me were saying things like, “You know you’re up north when there’s pickled herring on the salad bar,” so I’m guessing it’s not universal even here in the Twin Cities.

      B. The eagle was in a tree just ahead of me. I had just scared off a seagull a minute or so earlier, and so when the eagle took off, mostly my brain just kept going, “Notaseagullnotaseagullnotaseagull” until it finally reset itself and went, “Ooh, an eagle! Wow!”

      iii. Thank you!


  2. Sounds like you had a great weekend, and the photo of the fog on the lake is beautiful.
    Did you try the herring? It’s the only pickled food I like; we always have it at Christmas time.
    I can’t wait to see the Aran wrap cardigan…


    • Thank you. It was great to be able to just wander around in all that nature alone. Even city parks can be crowded sometimes. I did have some of the herring and I liked it just fine. My mother fed me plenty of sardines as a child; perhaps that was good preparation for herring. The Aran wrap cardigan is getting to the point where hauling it around takes effort. I’m only a few rows away from the end of the upper body.


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