Archive for the ‘Meg Swansen’ Category

Sad Farewell

I found on Sunday night that one of my mentors. Joyce Willams, passed away last Thursday, Aug 4th.   I really don’t have any words to describe how sad I am.  Here we are together at camp 2 in 2008 (the last one I attended).

I met Joyce in 2005 when I attended Meg Swansen’s Knitting Camp for the first time.  Joyce was so quiet most of the time but when she did speak all were riveted….And her sweaters/designs…there are no comparisons.

The thing that moved me the most about Joyce were her hands.  There was wisdom, skill, patience, knowledge, talent and beauty in those old hands.  Yet they still had speed….to watch her knit was mesmerizing.  Below she was working on cabled sweater using Satakieli yarn on size 0 needls…only for the fearless. 

Thank you for sharing yourself, your life, your skills and your love of knitting with us.  Most of all thank you for letting me sit by your knee, like the wise old grandma, the crown…I promise to remember my lessons always…

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Today is July 17th and Meg Swansen’s Knitting Camp 2 kicked off this morning in Marshfield, WI.  I am in New York and you know what? I’ve never been happier in my life.  Last night I met my sister in the park to see the New York Philharmonic perform (the fire works right over my head at the end were amazing).  It was my first night out alone since April and I had the best, guilt free time ever.  Kira was home asleep, safe and sound with her Daddy while I lay on a blanket in the park listening to Mozart and counting the stars.   

Before sunset I had a few moments of daylight to start a new project.   I decided that since I can’t attend camp this year I would, in the spirit of camp, try a new technique and finish it before Monday (when camp ends).  For those who’ve never been to camp, you are given a number of projects  based on the techniques being covered and the challenge, for some, is to finish before camp ends.

Make the sun shine where ever you are people…

My project is a top down raglan dress for Kira.  Not to hard (no charts), not to complicated (can still converse with others), it has a gull lace pattern (a la’ February Baby Sweater, a la’ the founder of camp, EZ) and it’s in a 3 month-ish size…very do-able.  Plus my friend May is coming to visit so I’ll have lots of hands free time while she cuddles Kira.


Let the weekend begin…

Have a great one everybody!!!

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Stick a fork in it, she’s done.  Right before I left for camp I’d been on an emotional roller coaster ride with this thing.  Loving it, then feeling like I totally screwed it up, then loving it again.  But after “show and tell” at camp, it’s definitely love.

I can’t tell you how excited and nervous I was when it was my turn.  One of my fellow campers Therese took the following three pictures.  You can see her entire camp album here.  I’m so grateful to have this pictures.   A 1,000 thank yous Therese.   You may think I’m a silly groupie but when you’re guru is offering counsel and praise…who wouldn’t be. 

One major issue with the coat is the hood. I love hoods but most of my attempts don’t quite work (yet this doesn’t stop me from attempting).  This one is no exception.  In a word, it’s too big.   I thought about tucking it in and tacking it down which I did so you would get a better “effect” of what the hood was intended to look like.  Meg said I should steek it and weave the ends together.  Cricket will do as she is told.


Can you stand it? That’s Meg Swansen examining my coat…holy crap.

How am I still standing?

It a big person who can post such an unflattering/raw picture of herself.  But it so perfectly captures how I was feeling…excited, nervous, honored, proud, humbled and just a bit freaked out.

Love the front.   I thought the sleeves were too long but actually I like them that length.  I always like my sleeves long.

When it’s laying flat against my back and the two cable “lines”  line up.  It takes my breath away…

This was one of my favorite parts to knit the epaulet/shoulder saddle.  I highly recommend learning to knit back backwards, it saved me so much time and energy.  Turning it at the end of each row of 6 stitches would have been ridiculous.

Here’s another feature I love.  The all purpose “duct tape of knitting” (to quote Meg), the Icord “shoulder holder”.  It was amazing how much of a difference this feature made.  It not only rounded out the shoulders but it strengthened the entire coat.  Like putting in a support beam in a house.  It ran from one shoulder to the other on the inside of the coat so the sleeves wouldn’t drag from the weight.

Almost forget a closeup of the buttons/band.  This picture was taken post-camp, thanks for modeling Carolyn (and for taking the coat off and giving it back).


Definitely love…..

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…of Camp (35 years), of Schoolhouse Press (50 years), of knitting and of friends.  I don’t know what I did more this weekend, enjoy all that I was learning or the company of such wonderful women.

Kim and Jessica deep in discussion (agreeing and disagreeing) over the perfect colors.  

When Meg speaks, it’s needless to say we are all rivoted.  Even though many topics this year where on the outline last year I’m still amazed by how much I Iearned.   You can study knitting all your life and never cover it all.

There’s Joyce Williams (wearing green) also holding court. 

And the ever smiling Amy Detjen.

There’s my coat all ready for show and tell, which I have to say was a great moment.  One of the other campers got some amazing pictures of Meg making suggestions to alter the hood (we’ll talk about the coat later, suffice it to say I was speechless).  As soon as I get copies they’ll go up.  

There’s Kim and I all “kimped” up and no where to go.  This was one of many moments that had us in stitches (no pun intended) this weekend.  It was great, I can’t remember the last time I laughed this much…

Jessica, Me and Kim…thanks so much for everything.

See you next year.

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