Finally – after a day of sleeping I can tell the tale of the tremendous weekend retreat in a place called Mad River Glen.
First of all, I was thrilled to be able to travel with Alison (our esteemed instructor of finishing – check out her beautiful lace sweater in the current Vogue Knitting – Karabella yarn section…) and Eileen, a student of mine, up to Vermont. We left on Friday morning and drove up through NJ, NY and into Vermont listening to Elvis, They Might Be Giants and someone’s aunt singing along to a karoke mix.
Arriving at the lodge – way up on a mountain outside of Waitsville in northern VT, we discovered Maggie (my co-arranger of the retreat and the member of the Ramapo Ski lodge who allowed us to rent most of the rooms in the building for the weekend) and some of the other attendees had already arrived.
We unloaded the HUGE containers of food that I bought at Trader Joes – yes, I could pretend that I can cook, but why bother? I knit, that’s enough…
As more and more folks arrived – some from as far as Oregon and Idaho – we began preparing our dinner and mingling – drinking wine – chowing down on bruschetta and becoming friends.
I was amazed at the spread we had on Friday – I expected folks to bring some pot luck stuff, but everything dovetailed so nicely. It was a great evening, topped off with amazing apple pie (Maggie’s) and the worlds most delicious raspberry brownies (Marna’s) One of the continuing glories of the weekend was the fact that Marna – a trained chef – stepped in repeatedly to whip up some delicious vinagrette or toss something together that brought the meals to completion. Thank you!
Friday night we sat and (guess what?) KNIT! While we knit, we played a lying/truth telling game. For the record, I have NOT met President Clinton. And Mary Louise is NOT a nudist. The rest you’ll have to worm out of the attendees. More wine was drunk, more tea was made, more chai was imbibed.
Saturday we had a bread, yogurt, granola type of breakfast and a full day of sock knitting classes (challenging) and knitting with wire class (fun!) with just about everyone finishing their baubels that afternoon. I’d figured that Saturday night most folks would want to investigate the local restaurants and get out, so I hadn’t made plans for dinner. However, my frugal and thoughtful attendees determined that we had just TOO MUCH good food to waste, so we put together a dinner of leftovers, soup and more bread. Lovely!
Afterward we had some chocolate chip cookies, knit some more, finished up necklaces and just became better friends. I have to say I was gratified and a bit amazed (as always) at what wonderful people knitters are – how well we all seem to get together when our hands our busy and our mouths are full!
Sunday I was finished teaching – it was Alison’s turn to demonstrate finishing techniques in a type of hands on workshop while I packed up the car after making some scones (they were great – thank you King Arthur Scone mix!) It was wonderful to realize that I had about half of what I’d brought – we’d eaten the other half! THIS is the way to pack for a return trip!
One by one folks left to drive home, or go off to a hotel to stay overnight before flying back to the West Coast. I wasn’t the last to leave – I left that distinction to Maggie and her ski buddies – I was chomping on the bit to get started because I wanted Alison to be able to catch a train at a decent time to get home to Queens.
The one sad part was that one of our attendees wasn’t able to make it due to a family emergency. I certainly understand those! We missed her – and I spent some time on Friday night worrying that she was lost on the mountain! I’m hoping that we’ll be able to see her at future retreats, and I’ll be sending her the materials from this retreat so she can fix a big pot of soup, make some raspberry brownies, pour a glass of wine and try to recreate our fabulous weekend!
It was so much better than I had any right to believe it would be – and it was entirely due to the wonderful attendees! Thank you – all of you – so much!