Wow. What a great weekend. It was months ago that Sheri, at The Loopy Ewe announced the inaugural Spring Fling. I emailed and said I would like to attend, and then waited to hear if my name was drawn from the hat. It was! I paid my money and signed up for the classes I wanted, and the days grew closer. It was really my birthday present to myself, since it began the day after.
People look at you funny when you say you're going to a knitting retreat. For some reason a lot of people think that the word "retreat" always connotes something religious. It doesn't. Take my word for it. Comments ranged from, "so it's knitting then praying then knitting, huh?" to "Oh yeah, a knitting retreat - let me get the bail money ready, that''s going to be a wild time." (this last from my cousin, the criminal attorney :-D). Well, not so wild - I didn't even get to go to the Blues bar there in the hotel because Missouri is not smoke-free like Illinois and my asthma didn't want to chance a night in a smoky bar. Still, it was a wonderful event and I had a great time. Lot's of knitting time, and a LOTS of spinning time, too!
I didn't take a lot of photos this trip- mostly of Cedric my travel gnome, who was so indignant at my November visit to The Loopy Ewe (the one where he didn't get to go in . . . ) that he insisted on being photographed pretty much everywhere at Loopy Central this time. As you can see, he got quite close to Little Loopy . . . and I had no idea he needed a chaperone, but after finding him the giant bowl of kisses together with Little Loopy . . . 'nuff said I think.
But for posterity, here he is - not digitally inserted this time, next to the sign he likes so much (I'm still not quite clear on the gnome / elf connection, but I'm going with it - it seems to make him happy :-)).
Yes - The Fling was great fun. I got to meet so many people I had only known online through the Ravelry Spring Fling board, and also Claudia, the Wollmeise herself, direct from Germany. I got to take class from Wendy Johnson and Cookie A, and learned that while I'm likely to be quite a competent toe-up sock knitter, the sock designing gene is sadly missing from my makeup. I'm thinking I was behind the door when they were passing that one out. Still, it was great to take Cookie's class and learn about how she does what she does so well. The food was great, there were cupcakes (thank you Leslie), and mass quantities of laughter. April birthdays were celebrated, substantial shopping occurred, and I would go again in a heartbeat!
There was quite an eclectic group of people at the hotel while we were there this weekend. When I arrived on Thursday, there was an Edward Jones training conference going on. By Friday afternoon, the hotel was overrun with hundreds of small children . . . competing in something that must have been akin to Little Miss Sunshine, but without the charming character of Olive nor the ever-entertaining actor, Alan Arkin. Quite frankly I found it disturbing on many levels. Seeing these little girls in wigs, full makeup, and adult (and I do mean adult) clothing just made my heart ache, and doing my best not to judge, I still felt a deep and profound sadness every time I saw them - and they all looked miserable . . . at any rate, I was glad that I had hit the hot tub and pool on Thursday night, when there was just one investment banker and me, rather than any other night when it was full of kids trying to let off some steam. By Saturday the kiddy beauty pageant had morphed into a kiddy model search . . . and there was a miniature bottle convention going on in another room. I'm not kidding: Midwest Miniature Bottle Collectors. Quite a mix.
Where's the loot?! Here's the loot. Clearly, as my friend, Joyce likes to say: I need more supervision. Of course Sheri doesn't think so, since she and her family could probably go to Bermuda on what I spent this weekend alone :-D Still, this was a dispensation in my Stash Challenge . . . which hasn't been going so well, lately. Clearly. And I suppose it's made worse by the fact that I actually bought MORE yarn and some roving from The Loopy Ewe a couple of days before the Fling and picked it up there :-D
In the photo - some Handmaiden Sea Silk, some Claudia Handpaints silk, some Yarn Nerd, an assortment of Fiesta's Baby Boomerang, some more Shibui Knits, and some of the new Noro sock yarn. There was a skein of Wollmeise in our goody bags, but since I didn't buy it, it wasn't in the new stash pile.