Gourmet Indeed

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.