Ok, so it's taken me three days to get around to posting a Fling recap. I've been in recoup and re-entry mode. This traveling thing...seems so fun and glamorous when you're planning it, but then you actually do it and have to deal with the reality of going away and coming home again to real life! It's true...I usually need a vacation from my vacation!
But enough of that...how was Fling, you're wondering? Well, it was great! I didn't go last year, and I've never been to any other knitting retreat event, so I had really no preconceived notions of what it would be like. In fact, to be honest, I signed up for it on a whim, knowing that only a limited number of people's names got picked in the lottery for it, thus I figured I probably wouldn't get it. When I did get picked as one of the lucky 100, I figured it was meant to be and I was just open to whatever that turned out to entail, including me spending three days with 99 strangers, one of which would end up being my roommate!
I needn't worried. With only one very odd and bizarre exception (and I won't bother going into it because it was just so random that I'm sure there was probably a good explanation for it), everyone I met at Fling was lovely! Knitters generally are anyway, right? Everyone was there to have fun and knit and it was great. My roommate and I actually paired up via the Ravelry Spring Fling board beforehand, so it wasn't a complete surprise.
Janice and I could not have been better suited. We ended up having so much in common, and we talked and laughed late into the night the whole weekend. Totally wish we lived a little closer to each other so we could meet up in person more often!
And now is when I have to admit: I was terrible about taking pictures. I had my camera with me all weekend, and it turned out that I took TWO pictures the whole time. Sad, I know. The one of Janice and I above would be one of them. The other would be one of Cookie A. during her Sock Innovations class on Friday morning...
Here she is explaining the mathematical madness of "cable suckage" -- the phenomenon of losing width due to the stitch crossover in cable patterns. I'd read much of her new book before going, so the concepts she talked about weren't completely new to me, but it was interesting. This was a design class, and while I have no illusions of being able to design socks as fabulous as hers, I was encouraged to realize that my design process, while different than hers, uses many of the same ideas. So I feel like I'm doing something right.
On Friday afternoon, I took Wendy's class on toes and heels for toe-up socks. I've never done a toe-up sock, but I now know how to do Judy's magic cast on and a slip-stitch heel going in the opposite direction that I'm used to, so I'm all set to give it a try. Wendy also has a new book out, so I'll likely try one of those patterns. I have to say, Wendy is a hoot...great sense of humor and a wonderful teacher.
Saturday morning was my opportunity to go shopping at yarn mecca, er, Loopy Central. (This event is organized by Sheri of The Loopy Ewe fame.) Oh. My. Gosh. It was amazing! What a wonderful store! If only all LYS's could be like TLE! And to think TLE is mainly an online store, with very limited in-person shopping hours. Anyway, I mainly study to buying roving, and I found some absolutely gorgeous stuff (from Scarlet Fleece and Yarn Love)...I did take pictures of that, but they are on my phone, and I have no yet figured out how to get them off. So, they'll be coming later. LOL I picked up a bunch of patterns as well, and of course a few skeins of yarn hopped in my bag as well. I just couldn't help it. All told, though, I stayed right at my budget for what I planned to spend there, and I paid cash, so I felt mighty virtuous about it all.
Saturday afternoon was my final class, advanced lace, and it was with Anne Hanson. Can I just say Anne Hanson is my #1 knitting & designing idol? She is amazing. Her work astounds me. If there was ever a knitting celeb I was going to stalk, it would be her (but of course I WOULD NEVER stalk a knitting celeb! That would be creepy, right??). In fact, I was so worried that upon meeting her, I was going to start to babble endlessly about how much I loved her work and her blog and thought she was totally cool and her husband has great hair and I want to be her new best friend that I actually avoided her all weekend until her class. LOL Seriously. I saw her throughout the weekend and I could have gone up and introduced myself, but I was certain I would suddenly be crazy and stupid that it would prompt her to back away from me while frantically feeling around her knitting bag for her pepper spray...so I just didn't. I observed her from afar. (Even that sounds creepy! It's not like I had binoculars though, ok? Sheesh!)
Anyway, her class was great, and I now feel equipped to tackle an actual knitted lace pattern like her Bee Fields shawl. After class ended, I did have the chance to introduce myself (and she seemed to remember me from comments I'd left on her blog), and I took the opportunity to show her my Rivolo scarf, remember the one I made last winter out of some of my first handspun yarn? She was so nice about it and liked it enough to take a picture of me with it on and she even posted it on her blog! (OMGI'monAnneHanson'sblog!!! Howcoolisthat???) Apparently I was perfectly normal and not scary to her as she even sat near me that night during free time in the lounge.
(Anne, if you read this, seriously...I'm a normal person...really...I just think you are cool and awesome and really enjoyed getting to meet you!)
The rest of the weekend was largely spent knitting in the lounge and eating. And eating. And eating some more. And did I mention the eating? Holy cow, Sheri made sure we were fed well at all times, and though dinners were on our own, there were so many good restaurants right there that you just could not go hungry!
Oh, yeah, the knitting...I managed to actually finish a few things while I was away! I finished the first sock of a pair I'm designing, which I started when I was in Florida...it's working name is Brickle...
It's made of Regia Bamboo, and while I like how the texture works with the color, I think I'm going to make the pattern out of a semi-solid before committing to publishing it.
I also started and finished these You Snag mitts for the girlie out of Austermann Step...
Aren't they fun??
And since I've been home, I've started this...
It's the Dream in Color Shrug, the pattern for which I picked up at TLE. I've been seeing this pattern around and it looks so nice, so I wanted one for me. However, upon getting home, the girlie saw it and said she'd like it, so this one is for her. The yarn is Three Irish Girls Elenya (a merino/alpaca blend) in the Aiden colorway. I've had the yarn for a while and this is a perfect project for it. I absolutely love how the colors are playing out in it! They are fantastic! I'm about half done...it's a very quick knit and easy pattern to memorize.
Ok...there is probably a whole lot more I could say about Fling, but these are the highlights. Mainly: it was great! Would love to do it again! :)