Gourmet Indeed

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Well I’ve just returned from a weekend away at Knot Hysteria’s first Gourmet Retreat and all I can say is “Wow!”

Previous Knot Hysteria retreats were typically a three-day extravaganza of knitting, dyeing, and spinning. But Tina and Stephanie had received some feedback that ‘not everyone spins’ and so they thought of a combination that non-spinners might like: One day of knitting with and learning about luxury fiber; one day of dyeing luxury fiber;  and one day – wait for it – in the kitchen with renowned head chef of the Inn at Port Ludlow, Dan Ratigan. With him, we spent a day learning tips and tricks of the trade while actually helping to make a gourmet supper for 50 new friends.

Like I said: Wow!

Here’s a brief photo tour through my weekend…

Day 1: Learning about and knitting with luxury fiber, with Stephanie Pearl-McPhee


(The first rounds of a cowl knit with luxury fibers: Cashmere, silk, bison, qiviut and more)

Day 2: The vagaries and mercurial nature of luxury fibers, and how to dye them, with Tina Newton (DepraveDyer of Blue Moon Fiber Arts)


(The classroom before we messed it up)


(Dying a truly beautiful skein of bison in navy and royal blue)


(Dyeing a complementary pair of skeins of MCN (merino, cashmere, nylon) sock yarn)

Day 3: Gourmet, a holistic approach, with Chef Dan


(You have this many saute pans in your kitchen, right? There is a shot of Chef Dan in action)

 
(Yes, that is an entire quarter round of Parmigiano Reggiano, shipped directly to the Inn a Port Ludlow from Italy. I am still freaking over it.)


(A Decadence is born: Theo’s bittersweet chocolate and a whole lot of butter.)


Now, being an actual spinner, I found it a little funny that this was the first KH retreat that I was irresistibly drawn to. I’d seen the others, but had never felt that I *must* go. This one was different – I knew from the first read that I had to go, and I’m so glad I did.

As many of you know, these things start off being all about the classes, but end being all about the people you meet. The difference in community from Day 1 to the end of Day 3 is profound. Throughout the weekend, over and again, I heard the same phrase voiced aloud: “OMG! I’ve found my PEOPLE!” And it was true; the attendees were a rare and narrow stripe of the knitterly spectrum, all sharing a deep love of fiber and craft and craftsmanship and truly fine art, art that takes many final forms across fiber and food.

So I have a new tribe. I have found my people. They are giants of talent and grace; gloriously gifted Amazonian fiberists (oh hi Paul – you can be a Manly Fiberist of the Amazon!). I am thankful to be among them– to learn and to grow, and to share in the joy of wonderful new friendships.

4 thoughts on “Gourmet Indeed

  1. Katie Ann says:

    Sounds like an awesome way to spend the weekend!!

  2. MOM says:

    Yes indeed, I think you’ve found your “tribe” of people. You have becomes such a great needleworks person and to have two days of yarn and one of food, you must have been in your highest element. Glad it was so exciting for you.

  3. freshy says:

    Love your photos! So glad we got to share such a wonderful experience :)

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