What a great weekend. I had a ball, and I hope everyone else at the Knitting Weekend did too! Sorry I haven't put up a post today til quite late, but as a result of poor planning on my part, I had to work at the store all day today. Actually, I probably would have gone in regardless, because there was paperwork to catch up on and bills to pay. Those vendors, they like to get paid on time. :) I hope to get a fully-captioned photo album of my knitting weekend pictures available in the blog sidebar by tomorrow night.
Friday night, people began arriving at the Lord Camden Inn for the knitting weekend. Matthew and the rest of the LCI staff had prepared a wonderful reception for us, with white tablecloths and pink tulips on the tables, red and white wine as well as coffee and tea, chocolate dipped strawberries, mini chocolate eclairs and cream puffs, cheese and crackers, spanikopita, stuffed mushrooms, and Swedish meatballs. Victoria checked all the participants in and handed out their goodie bags, filled with a schedule, information about the Camden area, and a few goodies from Unique One. Ongoing at the same time, private shopping at Unique One for the knitting weekend participants offered fun and discounted shopping. People went back and forth between the food and wine, and the shopping fun at the store (only a few steps away from the Inn). We had a great time. It was not long before there was a lot of laughter and general happy noises ringing through the halls of the inn. It was a sound I personally basked in. I love hearing people laugh.
I stayed up as late as I could, but around 10:30 I finally dragged my butt off to bed. It was so much fun seeing all the projects everyone was working on, and seeing Nancy Z.'s new spinning wheel, and listening to everyone's knitting and fiber stories, that my head was really whirling! But it was a good kind of whirling.
Saturday was busy and as fun as I can imagine. Everyone who stayed at the Inn started off with a great breakfast (I, of course, had to have a freshly cooked waffle -- yum) and then the first class started. It was a lot of fun, a lot of laughing. I think everyone learned something, and some people learned a lot! We've had some great comments about the classes. Then we had a fabulous salmon lunch, and a little time to chat and knit before the afternoon round of classes. The afternoon classes went off just as well as the morning classes had, and then everyone went their separate ways for the rest of the afternoon and evening. Most went off to area restaurants for dinner, but some (including me) got sandwiches at the Camden Deli and went back to the Inn for some serious knitting and/or spinning. More people trickled back in as they finished having dinner, and soon the Inn was full of happy knitters again. It was a lot of fun. Later in the evening, a demand was made for me to go over to the store and bring back some sock yarn for people to buy, so I did. It's a nifty new sock yarn called "Step", because with each step you take, your feet are softened by aloe vera and jojoba oil that is right in the yarn. The aloe vera and jojoba stay in the yarn through several washings. Anyway, the yarn feels wonderful and it is great to knit with, and the resulting sock you knit feels really soft. I was loving knitting with it quite a bit, so thus the demand was made. We are currently sold out of this new yarn, but I am sure Victoria will be ordering more soon.
Also on Saturday evening, Rudy Amann gave a talk and demonstration of nalbinding, an ancient form of netting used to make garments such as mittens, socks or "booties", hats and scarves. What a fascinating topic! Rudy showed some slides of preserved, historic nalbinding samples, and he had also created a wonderful display, models, and handouts about this intriguing form of needlework. Rudy showed everyone how to do some nalbinding. He had made "starter" nalbinding pieces and got lots of people to try out some nalbinding of their own. Some people even bought nalbinding needles from him and have set out on their own nalbinding adventures. I think it is wonderful that Rudy is keeping this form of needlework alive! Everyone enjoyed Rudy's talk and demonstration very much.
Sunday morning, we were very fortunate to have Linda Cortwright, editor of Wild Fibers magazine, join us and give a talk and slide show about some of her adventures as a magazine editor. I loved hearing her tales! She is an entertaining and enthusiastic speaker, and brings her topic to life. I felt like I had been right there with her in North Ronaldsey, Scotland, to look at the seaweed-eating sheep, or way up in Alaska with the musk ox farmers. After Linda's talk, we spent a little time doing some show & tell, sharing projects and stories. It was a wonderful way to end our knitting weekend.
Throughout the weekend we drew about 16 excellent doorprizes, including (among many other wonderful things) at least 4 sweater kits donated by yarn companies, and an overnight stay in a deluxe luxury room, donated by The Lord Camden Inn. At last count, 14 people have already paid a deposit to come back next year (Thank YOU!) and I am so impressed about how eager folks were to do it all again!
The April Knitting Weekend is currently about half full (it is scheduled for April 21, 22, & 23, 2006 at the Lord Camden Inn). We are also accepting reservations for the 2007 knitting weekend -- right now we only have plans for a March 2007 knitting weekend, but if there is enough demand, I'd love to have one in April 2007 as well. Please call Unique One (1-888-691-8358 or 207-236-8717 if you're local) for details on any of these, or to sign up for any knitting weekend. I have tomorrow "off" (meaning I work at home instead of in the store), and tops on my to-do list is to update the Knitting Weekends part of the Unique One website to reflect upcoming events and provide sign-up information.
Thank you so much, all of you who joined me in this first, experimental, knitting event. I have never organized anything like this before, and I was pleased that everyone seemingly had such a great time. I had never seen people actually walking on air before, but now I believe I have, and it made me happy to think I was lucky enough to be a part of it. You are all magnificent!