Have you ever longed to flee the concrete jungle for a peaceful ocean retreat? At Asilomar, in Pacific Grove, California, flowers bloom in the sandy dunes, and sandpipers scurry among the waves. Walking down the trail from the retreat center to the beach, a tempting expanse of tide pools greets you. There, seated high up on the rocks, you can knit while hermit crabs amble at your feet.
Yes, that is my sneaker-clad toe dangling in the bottom of the photo, as I sit knitting away! How lovely it was to soak in the sun on the seaweed-covered rocks and indulge in my favorite hobby. While my father-in-law watched the hermit crabs, I began a new mohair sweater, until the advancing tide caused us both to beat a panicked retreat just in the nick of time!
Amy Herzog provided a variety of wonderful activities at her Make Wear Love Retreat, ranging from sweater sample try-ons, a measuring tutorial, and various intriguing workshops of long and short-lengths on topics such as garment finishing, working with hand-dyed yarns, and ensuring a successful finished sweater.
The student fashion show is always a retreat highlight and we
all had a marvelous time seeing our fellow students and friends
parade around wearing their latest hand knits.
Student fashion show
But my favorite experience at the retreat was the walks on the ocean I took with my family every day. The food was much better this year, by the way. And it only cost me $12 a day to add my husband to the rustic cabin at Asilomar retreat. He and his father spent their days hiking, exploring, and playing pool while my mother-in-law and I enjoyed ourselves taking classes with knowledgeable and intriguing knitting personalities.
If you ever have the opportunity to take a class from Kate Atherley, who is the technical editor of Knitty magazine, I highly recommend it. She was an endless source of information and highly entertaining as well. She has a book coming out soon on glove and mitten knitting that I cannot wait to get my hands on. (ugh, unintentional pun!) Amy Herzog’s class was also excellent and I came away with pages of notes. And the opportunity to try on literally scores of sweaters in more or less my size in front of a full-length mirror to choose new knitting patterns was unbeatable.
Most of us, when we are searching for new patterns, have to depend on highly unreliable design photos. But when you try a garment on yourself, you know if they are right for you. What struck me most was that some of the most unassuming-looking garments were actually the most flattering for my figure. But without the opportunity to try them on, I would never have guessed! The first pattern in my queue, apart from Herzog's draper, will be
this simple little vest, which looked so good on, that the Habu
wrapped merino yarn that the pattern calls for all disappeared from
the market in a twinkling of an eye!
Would I attend this retreat again? The answer is a resounding yes!