Thursday, June 20, 2013

Squam Art Workshops – third time's even more charming

When I sent in my $50 pre-payment for the spring 2013 session of Squam last December, it was late at night, after a night out (and half a bottle of wine) with my sister, on a whim. When I awoke the next morning and saw the Paypal receipt in my inbox I was a bit surprised.

It's one of the better spur-of-the-moment decisions I've ever made.

The weather was mostly lovely – cool enough that I got to wear my sweater (but warm enough that I could dandle my feet in the lake) and rainy enough to make sure I appreciated the sun.

Everything was in full leaf and there were innumerable shades of green to be seen. There was none of the fall colour that I grew accustomed to seeing on those hills during my September visits.

I'm not normally a huge fan of yarn-bombing, but this made me laugh. A canoe cozy! There were tiny (and not so tiny) yarn-y installations all over camp, put up by two of my cabin-mates, and they looked fantastic.

Travel mug, travel knitting, travel bag. All the essentials of life at craft camp, really. Previously, I've stayed in small cabins with only one or two cabin-mates, but this time I was in a much larger building with eight other women. It was a good group, and I'd happily stay in a larger cabin again.

Thursday, I took an art class with the awesome Kerry Lemon. It was messy and fun and I had a great time. I was impressed by the artworks of my classmates, many of whom put their talents to work and turned out huge panel illustrations. I made a teeny-tiny book, instead, bound with twigs and featuring the leaf rubbings and prints I'd made.

My second class was Shetland Lace with Gudrun Johnston, on Friday afternoon and Saturday morning. Gudrun was lovely and a great teacher, and I picked up a trick or two that I'm happy to have in my knitting arsenal. 

Garter-stitch based lace doesn't look like much when it's in progress, but here's a photo of the tiny shawl (below) and the lace swatch (above, with my wee book) I ended up with at the end of the day. When I make a full-sized shawl I'll get out the blocking wires, obviously, for a neat-and-tidy top edge.

Outside, knit and crochet flowers, birds and critters surprised and delighted at every turn. 

Saturday afternoon we headed to the Playhouse for the Ravelry Revelry. There was beer, cheese, cake and candy, plus all sorts of fun and games, including relay races, knitting speed trials, charity projects and more. And door prizes!

Speaking of door prizes, I won one! I couldn't believe my luck (as you'll see in the photo in my roommate Christina's blog post – scroll about halfway down – I believe the phrase is "gobsmacked").

Thanks to the generosity of the Ravelry Revelry sponsors WEBS, Anne Hanson (Knitspot) and Journey Wheel, I brought home an absolute embarrassment of riches, including: a set of Knitter's Pride interchangeable knitting needles, a pattern and the yarn to go with it, notions from Lantern Moon, and a knitting basket; the August project (pattern, custom-dyed yarn and project bag) from Knitspot's Fall in Full Colour 2012 club; and a beautiful spindle. I could not believe my good fortune.

That evening we headed to the Art Fair, which is an craft extravaganza of epic proportions. The trademark ice lanterns lit the way into a dining hall that had been transformed into a room chock-a-block with vendors selling their hand-made yarn, buttons, books, art, clothing and accessories. 

I brought home a treat or two...with all my goodies, I just barely squeaked in under the baggage allowance on the return flight. I had just enough room for the equivalent of a stick of butter!

Sunday morning I had enough time for one last indulgent breakfast and one last scenic photograph before I hopped back in the car for the long drive back to Boston. 

I enjoyed both of my previous SAW experiences, but this one had a definite "third time's the charm" feel to it. The camp experience is familiar now, so I wasn't dealing with any of the anxiety of the unknown. Also, I was lucky to make fast friends with a group of talented, funny, kind women, stellar knitters with killer senses of kind of people. I'm really not a mixed-media artist, and so I always felt a bit out of my depth at the fall sessions. At this session, where it felt as though everyone "spoke knitting," I didn't feel that way at all. Finally, this time I felt that I was able to put aside my own expectations and stop comparing my experience to anyone else's. As a result, I was able to enjoy each day for what it was, ups and downs and all the rest. 

That was all a week and a half ago, but I'm still thinking about how much fun I had and the lessons I learned. I'm already looking forward to putting in my deposit for next spring's session, but this time, it won't be an impulse move.

1 comment:

  1. What great photos. Squam looks like a great time. Thank you for sharing your experience.


I read and appreciate every comment. Thank you for getting in touch!