Queen Bee Knits Maine Knitting Retreats?

 

View of the lake from the guest cabin

View of the lake from the guest cabin

I’m a little bit afraid to put it out there but being fearful just holds me back. So, with that said, I am putting it out there that I am thinking about hosting some weekend knitting excursions/retreats at our home in Central Maine.

I am privileged to live in a beautiful place. In my opinion, it’s the most beautiful place. Our house is five feet from a clean, clear lake and all the wonder that comes with it – loons, fishing, swimming, water skiing, boats, canoes, bald eagles, ducks, and more.

We have a little cabin on our property where we’ve been living for the past six months with our three dogs. It’s not fancy but it’s comfortable.  When I am done with the cabin renovation, it will sleep three or four comfortably with a shared bath and a little kitchenette. My thought is to have guests rent the guest cabin and we’ll do a lesson or two on our porch. I’ll provide a simple continental breakfast each day and then you’ll be on your own for dinner. I will provide you with a fiber map of great fiber-y places to visit while you’re here and great places to eat. Everything is within reach in about an hour and a half.

I’m thinking that a group of friends would have a ball up here. I know I have a ball with my friends and family here! Cocktail cruise in our boat one night, a road trip one day and some knitting on our porch with a lesson or two from me. It’ll probably be a year or so away … maybe more on the “so” end because we have to build a garage next year and the cabin will likely be following that project. So, unless you want to come and be really camp-y, it’s a way off. But I’m putting it out there.

Sunrise on Messalonskee

Sunrise on Messalonskee

I want to share this beautiful place and all the fiber-y goodness that Maine has to share. Prime weekends will be the Maine Fiber Frolic weekend in June or the Common Ground Fair in September. Not that we can’t do it for more than a weekend.

Pricing is yet to be worked out, but I’m thinking and dreaming. If you’re interested, let me know. Have any ideas or suggestions? I’m all ears!

Queen Bee Knits Maine Knitting Retreats. Love it!

 

Louisiana, Here Comes the Queen Bee

roadtripThe Queen Bee is taking the show on the road!

Unlike some former presidential candidates, my little dogs will be riding inside the car and will be accompanying me on a two week teaching trip to Lafayette, LA.

I am so excited and honored to have been asked to come out to teach at a beautiful, comfortable, well-stocked with wonderful yarn LYS called the Yarn Nook. While I have been teaching for years (and years and years) in Cincinnati (past), Maine (summers) and Orlando (present), this will be the first time that I’ve been invited to come out to a new place and teach. I see it as a wonderful opportunity to share this craft that I love so much and to learn about how I can teach and travel and still make it work well for everyone concerned.

Because I am a people pleasing perfectionist, I can already see that I have probably offered to teach too many different classes. I want to be confident and educated when I teach a pattern or technique so I want to try all the patterns that I will teach. This time, I have not tried them all and despite my belief that I can teach just about anything, I am a bit more tense than I probably need to be around this issue. And it’s all me and my silly “worrying” and it’s probably for naught.

Knitted Jasmine Flowers

Knitted Jasmine Flowers

As it stands now, I am learning some new patterns and techniques that I may not have forced myself to learn otherwise – and you all know that I love to learn new things. What I haven’t told you before is that, like most of us, I can be lazy and keep using familiar patterns and techniques that I know and that are tried and true.

Knitted Violets

Knitted Violets

I’ll let you know how it goes. I’ll post lots of pictures on Facebook. I will be sure to blog about the fun and the frustration. But I know I will enjoy meeting the wonderful knitters and I already feel like I know the shop owners who are absolutely delightful and I have a feeling that it’s going to be a great experience.

Gone knitting!

A Weekend with Annie Modesitt

Knit or Knot Group

OMG! She is fabulous!

Day 1 – Friday

Classes on Friday were Embellishments and Heel! Learn Toe UP Socks with Mutt-Luks!

Embellishments Swatch

You can see we did several different embellishments. I, personally, love love love the little dreadlocks! Anyway, you’ll see that there are several rows of garter stitch (just to warm up our fingers!) and then the first embellishment was the “dreadlocks”. Next, bobbles. These are nice perky bobbles with no droop or hole underneath. I love the idea of using these as buttons. Next we did a few rows of cables … without a cable needle. A great technique because, Annie says, using the cable needles stretches the yarn and sometimes makes for a gap or hole in the fabric. This technique will not! Last, but certainly not least, we did a couple of different bind offs … a picot bind off (on the right) and an i-cord bind off (on the left). The picot bind off could be used as closure for a cardigan sweater, for example, with some lovely bobbles as buttons. The i-cord band could include i-cord loops or frogs. I’ll be playing with a few of these ideas. I’ve played with adding i-cord to a flat garment but never edging a garment with i-cord!

(PS) My swatch is sitting on one of the books that I bought at the classes which Annie has written, Confessions of a Knitting Heretic. The second book I bought was this one:

Cheaper than Therapy is a collection of stories that were gathered by Annie. Since I’m a one book at a time kind of girl, I’ve not really dug into either one yet. But I am looking forward to them both!

The second half of our technique classes on Friday was a toe-up sock with a different (and better) toe and a different heel … an after thought heel of sorts, made with short rows. We didn’t really make a sock but we started (duh!) with making the toe and then knitted several rounds of the “sock” before adding some scrap yarn to mark where the heel will go. I still need to go back and finish the “sock” and I’ll show you pictures at a later date … or I’ll add them to this posting.

Day 2- Entrelac Lace

Saturday we did entrelac. Lots of entrelac. Mind-boggling entrelac!

Entrelac Swatch

We started out with our work flat, working back and forth in entrelac. I really like the look of  the entrelac (especially in two colors). It’s such a harlequin look. With the idea that entrelac can also be worked in the round, we then joined our work and then made the squares bigger and worked the top ones in lace. It was fascinating to think about taking a somewhat complicated technique and making it more complicated but the lace skirt pattern that Annie used as her example is really lovely and I would love to make something similar!

Day 3- The Universal Mitered Bag/ Modular Knitting

Sunday we made a small Mitered Bag. Using three colors, we learned how to form the interlocking triangles in different sizes and how to construct a bag (to be felted) using the technique. I found this technique really easy to follow and really enjoyed it. Annie even knitted on my bag to show how to do some of the steps … thus, I have a bright orange and a couple of tiny gray “diamonds” (on the left) which she gave me permission to pull out – but who in their right mind would pull out Annie Modesitt’s knitting? I think it makes my bag all the more special!

My Mitered Bag

This is the bag before felting. Notice the really cool “edge” at the top where the purple and cream yarn are twisted.

Two Rounds of Twisted Edging - Looks like Herringbone!

I originally had gone around again (because this round was done by Annie. Yay!) but it was too wide and I went back, after making sure I could actually DO the technique, and tore it out and bound off. I do think I’ll buy some good wool for felting and make the next size bag because it was really lovely and a good size.

Annie also gave us some tips for felting (and told us about her online classes that she offers … I would encourage anyone wanting to learn more about our craft to check out her classes  … click here to be magically transported to her site! She’s a wonderful and thorough teacher and I learned a lot!)

So, add in a potluck lunch that lasted into the next day, some great knitting women in the Orlando Knit or Knot group – which, by the way, is the local Knitting Guild Association group – and a lot of laughs, and you get the general gist of the weekend.

I had a blast – and I’m still recovering from the mind-bending concentration. I took some notes and will share some of them with you “down the road”. But for now …

Gone knitting (maybe my heel)!

Minnesotan Knitting Heretic Visit

Well, it was an Annie Modesitt kind of weekend in Orlando this weekend. I have been fortunate enough to knit for the last few months with a great group of women who have welcomed me with open arms. Just the fix that I needed …some new friends who knit!

I signed up for a weekend of classes with world-renowned knitter and designer (or maybe she’d say designer and knitter) Annie Modesitt. Two classes on Friday, and all-day classes  on Saturday and Sunday. Suffice it to say that my brain and fingers are sufficiently exercised and I learned a lot … and, as an added bonus, added some fabulous new friends to my Florida life.

I’ll write more tomorrow after a bit of much needed time to absorb and filter all my new knowledge. But for now …

Gone … and not knitting!