Travel

Not Home for the Holidays

This year my husband and I turned from tradition and did not stay home for the holidays. Instead, we went to New Zealand where we met up with Twin 1 and his most excellent girlfriend, who are following the Te Araroa trail from the northern tip of the North Island to the southern tip of the South Island. I’m insanely impressed by their sense of adventure that requires 4 months of backpacking along 3,000 km of trails.

We spent three days with the kids, during which time we fed them and put them up in hotels where they could shower and do laundry. We filled their backpacks with food and sent them on their way.

My husband and I then embarked on a 12-day trip of both islands. I took what for me was a lot of photos, but they don’t do justice to the spectacular scenery.

Top to bottom: Recreational Reserve on Kaikoura Peninsula (South Island), waterfall in the Milford Sound (South Island), Hobbiton (North Island), and grazing sheep near Queenstown (South Island).

 

New Zealand is a tourist destination for people from around the world. Happily for me, they speak English. However, not all visitors speak the same language so officials have come up with clever signs that can be universally understood. We ran into the sign shown here at the entrance to a suspension bridge. Fortunately, there were only four of us on the bridge so we didn’t risk tumbling into the rushing water below.

 

As you may know, New Zealand is know for its exquisite wool and wool products. Like any self-respecting visitor (and a knitter to boot), I was thrilled to find the The Merino Story and wool shop, disguised as giant sheep in Tirau (North Island). Yes, I made purchases.

Although I took my knitting (I never travel without it) and we spent many hours in the car, boats, or buses, I didn’t knit a single stitch! However, I did return home with a lot of inspiration.

 

Knit For Fun in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada!

Once again, Knit For Fun Retreats will partner with River City Yarns for a third Knit For Fun Retreat in Edmonton, Canada. Because we like it so much, we’ll return to the DoubleTree by Hilton, West Edmonton.

Rock Star teachers are Olga Buraya-Kefelian, Xandy Peters, and Shirley A Scott.

OlgaThe daughter of a professional tailor, Olga Buraya-Kefelian (aka Jazzyknits) acquired an understanding of clothing construction at a young age. That understanding has evolved into Olga’s imaginative yet versatile knitwear designs that balance a love for texture with a minimalist approach. Her designs evolve from technique-driven elements that provide her students with a greater learning experience and impeccably finished knitwear. In addition to publishing her own designs, Olga is a contributing designer, author and co-author of numerous titles. Learn more at www.olgajazzy.com.

Xandy Peters is a knitting designer and teacher, best known as the innovator of the stacked stitch technique and for her Fox Paws pattern. After graduating from Pratt Institute with a degree in Industrial Design, she started out as a footwear and product designer. Xandy turned to knitting as a way to explore textiles and surfaces without using factory production and has since made a career out of knitting, publishing new patterns monthly, and teaching workshops across the country. Xandy has been published in magazines such as Vogue Knitting, Twist Collective, Knitscene, Knitty, and Pom Pom Quarterly, but continues to self-publish most of her work on Ravelry. Follow Xandy’s blog at http://theworkisgettingtome.blogspot.com.

Shirley A Scott (aka Shirl the Purl) is a handknitter with a special love for history and North Atlantic culture that led to her first book Canada Knits: Craft and Comfort in a Northern Land, which chronicled the history of knitting in Canada. She went on to publish her own knitting newsletter, to establish her own craft tour company, and to design and publish many knitting patterns. She is now co-author with Christine LeGrow of Saltwater Mittens, Saltwater Classics, and the upcoming Saltwater Gifts books, all of which celebrate the Newfoundland aesthetic. A native of New Brunswick and a survivor of 50 years of living in Toronto, Shirl now makes her home in Newfoundland, where she has found shared interests, deep friendships, and much food for the soul

The regular retreat classes will be scheduled during four class periods: Friday morning, Friday afternoon, Saturday morning, and Saturday afternoon. You will be given three classes (one with each instructor) and one free period with regular registration. In addition to three 3-hour classes, you’ll have the opportunity to sign up for one-on-one sessions of 20 minutes each with the Knit Doctor (that’s me, Ann Budd) on a first-come, first-serve basis. I’ll help you with anything that ails your knitting, from taking measurements and choosing yarn to finding your place in a piece gone wrong and fixing mistakes. With more than 40 years’ knitting experience, I’ve seen (and corrected) almost everything.

For additional fees, you can sign up for an extra full-day class with one of the teachers opening day (Thursday, August 27). If space is available, you’ll also have the opportunity to register for a fourth class in lieu of a free period.

Go to Knit For Fun Retreats for complete details.

Registration opens Saturday, January 11 at 10:00 a.m. Mountain Standard Time

Getaway to Michigan

For a number of years I’ve taught at Four Purls, a family-owned and run yarn shop in Winter Haven, Florida that’s home of hand-dyed Emma’s Yarn, created by owners JD and Laura Dobratz’s daughter Emma as a result of homeschool classes on math. (I used Emma’s Yarn for my Junior Goat Herder Pullover.) Still in high school, Emma relies on her older sister Aspen to help with the the logistics of running a rapidly growing yarn dyeing business. I’m happy to say that I’ll return again December 7 and 8 this year to teach A Skirt For All Seasons and Toe-Up Socks. It’s always nice to escape the Colorado winter for a bit of Florida warmth.

However, I’m even more excited to announce that I’ll be one of three teachers at the first Four Purls Getaway in Kalamazoo, Michigan, July 16-19, 2020. Kalamazoo is the hometown of JD and Laura. For years, they’ve dreamed of sharing their Michigan roots with their clients.

Next July, that dream comes true.

The retreat will take place at the Radisson Plaza Hotel in the heart of downtown Kalamazoo, walking distance to specialty shops, breweries, distilleries, and coffee roasters, as well as world-class dining.

I’ll join teachers Kate Atherley and Melissa Kemmerer.

Kate Atherley, Knitty.com’s Managing Technical Editor, seasoned designer, and teacher of all things knitterly, is known for her attention to detail in her patterns and classes. Kate regularly teaches at stores and events across North America, and her work has appeared in many books and magazines. Kate’s technique classes are a lively mix of discussion, demonstration, and hands-on practice, with individual attention and guidance provided. At the retreat, Kate will teach Two Socks At Once: The War & Peace Method, Make-or-Break Garment Skills, and The Pi Shawl.

Knit designer, Melissa Kemmerer is from Upstate New York. She loves to knit sweaters and does not like to sew, a combination that results in her nearly seamless sweater designs. Since 2018, Melissa has been designing for and creating Nomadic Knits magazine along with her best fiber friend, Becky Beagull. Melissa travels the country looking for indie dyers and designers to feature in the pages of Nomadic Knits. She loves to explore the local knitting culture wherever she goes and is ridiculously excited to share her finds with the world. At the retreat, Melissa will teach Beyond the Basics, Inside Nomadic Knits, and Knits that Fit.

I’ll fill in with Happy Heels—Explore Three Heel Variations, Two-Layer Mittens, and Fixing Mistakes.

In addition to classes and camaraderie, attendees will have access to a specially curated marketplace that will feature Michigan makers, as well as a private one-on-one 30-minute shopping session with Laura, Aspen, or Emma, all of whom will help you find the perfect yarn for your project.

To provide their guests with the opportunity to explore more of Kalamazoo after the retreat, Laura and JD are offering a 4-night extension (organized by my own event coordinator Cindy Hallam) that will include many of the highlights of their favorite town.

A Big Bon Voyage

My middle son (Twin One) has left on the adventure of a lifetime. Along with his most excellent girlfriend, he’s in the process of hiking the 3,000 km length of New Zealand. They started at the northern tip of the North Island and will end at the southern tip of the South Island. They expect the excursion to take five months.

Now, I have enough trouble packing for two weeks and I can’t imagine fitting everything that will be needed for five months in a single frame pack. The kids were undaunted. Below are photos of the clothes, etc. they laid out the night before they left. In terms of clothing, they each have one pair of shorts, one pair of long pants, three shirts, three pairs of socks, a jacket, and rain gear. I can certainly learn something about packing light from them!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

They’re each taking three pairs of hiking shoes, but they’ll send two pairs ahead of them to post offices in towns that they’ll pass along the way. Without food (which they’ll pick up along the way), their packs weighed about 28 pounds each. Once they add food, they’ll be carrying close to 40 pounds each. Good grief, I have trouble limiting myself to a 50-pound suitcase when I travel and stay in a hotel and eat in restaurants!

Just look at those huge smiles as they said goodbye to us at the airport. Oh, to be young!

My husband and I are going to meet up with them at the northern tip of the South Island in December. I think they’ll welcome a chance to sleep in clean sheets, shower, and have a few meals at a restaurant. I’ll welcome the chance to see that they’re safe!

Fun in La Jolla

It’s been a couple of weeks since my Knit For Fun Retreat in La Jolla, California, and I’m already missing all the new friends I met and the old friends I got to see again.

My event coordinator Cindy Hallam and I were joined by international teachers Nancy Bush (from Salt Lake City), Andrea Rangel (from British Columbia), and Veera Valimaki (from Finland). I think I speak for all of us by saying what a delight it was to spend some time in warm sun before returning to cooler weather.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

As a special treat, Jeane DeCoster of Elemental Affects was on hand as the Style Doctor to help retreaters determine the optimum styles for their particular sizes and shapes. We all learned a lot about proportions and balance. Thank you Jeane!

Lastly, I want to take this opportunity to publicly thank my most excellent helpers Rhonda Croxon and Chonita Olivas, who ensured that the retreaters were well taken care of and cheerfully solved any problems that cropped up.

 

 

 

 

 

 

The next next Knit For Fun Retreat will take place in historic Savannah, Georgia. April 23 – 26, 2020. The three teachers will be cable expert Norah Gaughan (from New Hampshire), lace expert Elizabeth Johnston (from the Shetland Isles) and yours truly (from Colorado). The basic registration package includes one class with each of us.

Registration is now open!

 

Knit For Fun in Savannah

Join Norah Gaughan, Elizabeth Johnston, and me next April at my Knit For Fun Retreat in Savannah, Georgia!

We’ll stay at The DeSoto, which overlooks Madison Square in the heart of Savannah’s Historic District.

Check-in for the retreat will begin Thursday, April 23, followed by a welcome dinner. Classes will be offered Friday and Saturday, and the retreat will conclude with a farewell breakfast Sunday, April 26. As a departure from the normal Knit For Fun Retreat schedule, you’ll have more time in the evenings to explore the historic district, including a night to eat at one of the local restaurants.

As with all Knit for Fun Retreats, you’ll get one three-hour class with each of three first-class teachers, as well as lots of fun and surprises!

Norah will teach Knitting Two-Sided Cables; Twisted Stitches; Knitting With Linen; and Knitting A Patterned Yoke.

Elizabeth will teach Shetland Lace Tips and Tricks; Steeking; Fair Isle Cuffs, Ribs, and Trims; and Shetland Lace Shawls.

I’ll teach Intro to Sweater Design; Fixing Knitting Mistakes; Custom Socks At Any Gauge; and A Skirt For All Seasons.

Registration opens at 10:00am MST today!

Click here for details and to register.

 

 

Kraemer Yarn Mill

This summer I had the opportunity to visit Kraemer Yarns mill in the small town of Nazareth, Pennsylvania.  There, they accept bales of fleece, card it into roving, and spin it onto huge cones of beautiful yarn. After experiencing the heat and high noise levels first hand, I have enormous respect for mill workers!

 

 

 

 

 

 

The yarn that’s sold in the on-site store is only a fraction of what Kraemer Textiles produces. The bulk of their business is custom spinning yarn for industry, including apparel, carpet, home furnishings, industrial, and craft. Perhaps the most notable of these is the yarn they produced for the unforgettable hats and sweaters that Ralph Lauren designed for the athletes in the 2014 Winter Olympics!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Knitting in the Big Apple

As you read this I’ll be heading to the East Coast for a few days of teaching. One of my stops will be The Knitted Purl in Oyster Bay, NY (that’s on the north shore of Long Island). I’m scheduled to teach June 18 and 19.

One class is Top-Down Sweaters with Circular Yokes (based on The Knitter’s Handy Book of Top-Down Sweaters) in which students knit a miniature sweater to learn all the techniques in a single day-long class.

By the end of the day, students will have practiced all of the techniques necessary for a top-down circular-yoke style pullover, and will understand how to use the charted instructions in book.

 

The other class I’ll teach is A Skirt For All Seasons in which I take body measurement and combine them with individual gauges to generate a custom “pleated” skirt pattern for each student. I’m absolutely in love with my basic skirt pattern and have several variations for sale in my Ravelry store. Because the design is based on a classic tailored pleated skirt, it looks great on all body types–short, tall, wide, or thin–especially when designed for individual shapes. My knitted version is as comfortable as sweat pants but look a whole lot better! I joke that I plan to take over the knitting world one skirt at a time. Care to join me?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

As of my writing this, there are still spots available in both classes. Call the Knitted Purl at (516) 558-7800 if you’d like to register for one of these classes.

Gathering No Moss

My dear husband complains that I’m on the road more than I’m at home and I can’t argue. Since March 11, I’ve been to Washington, all around Italy, Maine, Texas, Pennsylvania, and New York. Out of 111 days, I’ll be gone 67. In other words, I’m away 2.5 days for every day I spend at home. I guess my husband has cause to feel a bit lonely.

I, on the other hand, am having a blast. First, I got to teach (along with Lorilee Beltman and Carson Demers!) at the third annual Getaway Retreat hosted by the Bazaar Girls in the quaint little seaside town of Port Townsend, Washington. It was a treat to learn and share while enjoying refreshing sea breezes, locally grown produce, and freshly caught fish, and shopping from independent merchants.

After just four (4) days at home, I joined Lambs on the Run’s 16-day excursion to Italy that included knitting and cooking classes, tours of wineries, a chocolate factory, and a cashmere goat farm, visits to museums, and lots of time to soak up the local culture, art, and architecture. The trip began with three days in Rome, followed by trips to Milan, Perugia, Florence, Viareggio, Parma (oh, the cheese!), and Turin. I stayed a few extra days to visit Venice as well.

I was home just long enough to get over jet lag and repack my bags, then I headed to Freeport, Maine, for my ninth Knit For Fun Retreat, held at the incomparable family-owned Harraseeket Inn. There, I rubbed elbows with teachers Kate Atherley (from Canada), Isabell Kraemer (from Germany), and Mary Jane Mucklestone (from New England), and enjoyed making lots of new friends and reconnecting with old ones. “Fun” is an understatement!

I had another two days at home before heading south to Fredericksburg, Texas, for Cindy Hallam’s first Cre8tive Escape. My fellow teachers were German knitwear designer Isabell Kraemer and Saori weaving expert Kathy Utts. If you like to pair learning with intimate luxurious settings, look for future Cre8tive Escapes.

After a full two and a half weeks at home (during which I cooked all of my husband’s favorite meals), I’m about to fly east to teach at The Knitter’s Edge in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania (June 11 and 12), and The Knitted Purl in Oyster Bay, New York (June 18 and 19). Of course I plan to make a detour to New York City to take in a couple of shows while I’m in the area!

My dear husband is delighted that I’ll stay home for the month of July (and I’ll enjoy sleeping in my own bed). During that time, I don’t know whether it’s wisest to treat him like a king in retribution for the fun I had without him, or to annoy him as much as possible so he’ll be glad to see me leave when my fall teaching schedule picks up.

Where Would You Like to Retreat?

It’s hard to believe that my Knit For Fun Retreats is in its fourth year! I got the idea for the retreats (even the name) when I was looking for my “happy place” while recovering from a broken arm.

I’m glad to report that my arm is thoroughly healed and I’m I having a thoroughly good time hosting retreats! My plan was to hold the retreats in cities across the country that I wanted to visit. Turns out, I’ve taken them to Canada, too.

So far I’ve taken my retreats to Park City, UT; Estes Park, CO; Freeport, ME; Vancouver, WASavannah, GA; Sturgeon Bay, WI; and Edmonton, AB, Canada.

This year we’ll go to La Jolla, CA; Mont Tremblant, Quebec, Canada, and return to Freeport, ME.

The teachers have included notables Susan B Anderson, Lorilee Beltman, Olga Buraya-Kefelian, Nancy Bush, Bristol Ivy, Carson Demers, Meghan Fernandes, Norah Gaughan, Sivia Harding, Susannah IC, Galena Khmeleva, Joji Locatelli, Laura Nelkin, and Justyna Lorkowska (oh, and me, too). We’ve got Nancy Bush, Andrea Rangel, Veera Valimaki, Alexa Ludeman, Nancy Marchant, Julie Weisenberger, Kate Atherley, Isabel Kraemer, and Mary Jane Mucklestone lined up for 2019. Wow!

I’m writing now to ask where *you* would like to join in a Knit For Fun Retreat and what teacher(s) you’d like to learn from. North, south, east, or west, I’m game to travel the continent. There is plenty of this beautiful country that I have yet to explore.

Perhaps a future Knit For Fun Retreat could be somewhere you’re keen to visit!