I’m just back from a little unplanned adventure! As you may recall, I made the decision a couple of months ago to decline the Maker in Residence position at Squam Art Workshops and ask that it be offered to a maker of color instead — and was happy when Jewell of Our Maker Life accepted it. With Bob’s surgical near-future still in flux, I also had to back us out of vending at the Squam Art Fair. Which left me with no official role at Squam but still with a plane ticket to Boston and a significant need for the time off, not having taken any in six months. And while giving up the residency had been an easy decision to make, I regretted not getting to see Rosa Pomar while she was here (there) to teach — among other loved ones — and wanted to meet Jewell in person. So I decided to keep my flights.
Each time I’ve been to Squam — near Holderness NH — I’ve wished I had the time to wander into Maine, having never been there. It’s right there, but I never get to do it. So when my friend Mary Jane Mucklestone suggested I drive to Portland and crash on her couch, it sounded like the perfect chance. We looked at lighthouses, walked all over the place, ate lobster rolls, and of course, knitted. And then we drove over to Squam for the weekend. There are rooms in a big creaky old lodge building that are set aside for Taste of Squam (weekend-only attendees), and we shared one of them; spent time knitting on the dock and the porch and in front of the fire, and shopped the Art Fair before parting ways and heading home on Sunday.
It was great to see so many people, however briefly, and to say a quick hello-goodbye to those beloved woods — the sad part being that Jewell was unable to make it after all! Unforeseen circumstances forced her to cancel at the last minute. So I hope we’ll have another chance to meet sometime.
. . .
But what about the knitting! The night before I left, I knitted and blocked a swatch for the Grace sweater I’ve included in my Summer of Basics trio, which I’m not knitting at pattern gauge. While the plane filled in on Wednesday, I measured the swatch (3.75 sts/inch as compared to 2.75 in the pattern), did my math, and cast on in-flight. By the time I got home Sunday night, I was already about 3″ past the divide for the body and sleeves! I know it’s not about speed, but there’s no denying how satisfying it is to knit a sweater that moves that quickly. Imagine if I were actually knitting at the original superbulky gauge — I’d likely have only a sleeve to go. And that’s not even the only thing I knitted. I also finished the shawl collar on my smock vest and wove in the ends. Can’t wait to show it to you!
All in all, five days well spent.
(Yarn and Town Bag from Fringe Supply Co.)
Love, love Maine. Spent many happy summer holidays there. (It’s a one-day drive from eastern Ontario, as opposed to a two-day drive to get to our Canadian maritime provinces.) Then, when we lived in DC, we would drive up through Maine to get to Bill’s family in Saint John on the Bay of Fundy. Maybe I’ll go back to Maine this fall if I choose to drive to my teaching gig at KnitEast. So tempting. Although the alternative is flying out of Toronto with the Yarn Harlot…
Oh, that’s my local lighthouse, Bug Light — I walk my dogs there a few times a week! And I’m pretty sure Mary Jane lives in my neighborhood, as I see her on the street now and then. Too funny. I was missing Squam something fierce last weekend; so glad you got a bit of it!
Bug Light was my favorite of the six I saw!
What a wonderful getaway! Time with friends and yarn is better ONLY when it’s by the water! So glad you got this break, and wowzer on the sweater! Beautiful!
What a shame that Jewell couldn’t be there! Looking forward to seeing Grace finished.
I was so bummed! For her and for not getting to meet her.
I am glad you got away and saw some of New England, but I do hope you got to head east out of Portland, away from what we often refer to as “northern Massachusetts” and saw the real Maine – the rural beauty of coast and back woods is not believed until seen. And we have loads of farms, yarn stores, indie dyers all tucked away up here. Next time you come, try for the first weekend in June and come to Maine Fiber Frolic!
Math idiot here. Could you run though your math logic re gauge, please? Break sounds needed and lovely.
What a wonderful time you had ! How nice of you to give your position to an artist of color. We need more of that. Thanks for sharing.