I had a fabulous long weekend at the 2008 retreat of the Minnesota Lace Society. We were there in conjunction with the Ladyslipper Needlearts Guild so there were about 9 Lace members and the rest were from the Ladyslipper Guild and some friends. Wow, the amount of creative energy that was concentrated in one place!
We were at the ARC retreat center near Osceola, Wisconsin and we took over two large meeting rooms and one very nice living space. The lace members were all in one location - the "house" with kitchen and living room. But we did visit and join the others in the large meeting rooms too. You can see that I'm not the only one that makes a "nest" around themselves while working on a project. Here's Amy and Luci tatting away.
It was last year at this retreat that I learned to use Deb's sock knitting machine and many people were sorry that I didn't bring it again this year. I've since purchased my own but I use it at home and wanted to learn new things at this years retreat. Laurie - the organizer of the retreat - said that it was worth the price of admission last year to see me use the sock machine! Oh, well I'll have to bring it next year.
And learn new things I did. My goal was to learn to tat with beads - particularly the Beanile method by Nina Libin. Amy brought her books and her knowledge and helped me figure out the notation and techniques. Amy had taken a class from Nina at a national lace convention so she was a wealth of knowledge! The black hematite beaded earrings were made from one of Nina's patterns. The pink ones are adapted from a picture on Elizabeth Zipay's site and the purple ones are adapted from a Snowgoose pattern. Now I need to go to the bead store and get some sterling silver earring wires. And make some more...
I always learn so much from all the others at this retreat. Each person is working on a different thing and when you take the time to talk to them you learn so much. I learned a little bit about drapery making from Muriel. I knew Muriel from when I was in the Ladyslipper guild back when it was the Ladyslipper Smocking Guild. We enjoyed catching up on things. And Muriel was a font of knowledge about curtain and drapery making. She's explaining to us how to hang curtain rods made of PVC pipe.
I learned a little bit of sign language. I was talking to Ann (there were 3 Ann(e)s at the retreat) about my hearing loss and told her that I'd like to learn sign language. Turns out she knows it and she made it her mission to teach me some every time she saw me. I think I'm a slow learner because I only got as far as the first 5 letters of the alphabet. We didn't even get into any words. Oh, and I can spell my name. I know that the community college has a class but I'm still hearing pretty well with my hearing aids so I keep postponing checking it out. And really, the Compadre would have to take it also....
I learned how to make boxes out of cards - I'll have to make some so that when I sell some of my earrings I'll have a box to put them in. Sue taught a small demo about card boxes that I stumbled upon right before we were leaving.
I saw amazing projects:
Laurie does crochet with bullion stitch. I wish I had gotten a picture of this when it was spread out earlier. I always think of taking pictures at the last minute!
The tablecloth will measure at least 48 inches in diameter (I can't remember exactly - I should take notes).
This is a log cabin tote bag. Made out of Malabrigo yarn. It just needs to be felted-I wish I could see it done. You all know what a log cabin knitting junkie I am! I'm going to have to try this one. She had a pattern but I know I can do it without one. Stay tuned.
Stephanie made this quilt top during the weekend. Now that's inspiration for me - I have many uncompleted quilt projects. Granted it's a small quilt - but in one weekend! Must. Get. Busy.
I'm already looking forward to next year. Who knows what I'll be into by then!