30 April 2013

Unwinding in North Carolina

Even before 2013 began, I knew April was going to be a busy month. STITCHES South and Unwind are just two weeks apart. I didn't get to teach at STITCHES South, but I did get to teach at Unwind. And I am very glad I did.
Contents of Unwind Goodie Bag. Everyone got this.
Unwind is a knitting retreat weekend in Blowing Rock, North Carolina. Nancy Shroyer of Nancy's Knit Knacks and Sue Homewood are the organizers. The theory is that many knitting shows are big and busy. This is all fine, but sometimes you just want a quieter experience. You want to come back from the weekend rested and rejuvenated. You want to make new friends rather than just hang out with the friends you have. Unwind is exactly that sort of weekend. It is a smaller gathering in a little resort town way up in the mountains. The views on the drive up are spectacular. The town has delightful shops, including the yarn shop Unwound, and delicious restaurants, including an ice cream shop with fudge and candy apples and chocolates. The gathering itself is about 25-50 people, so not overwhelming crowds. There are only three or four instructors. And students are encouraged to take three classes but not four -- in other words, you are expected to have a rest period to just relax or wander the town. Our name badges were color-coded so you could see who had the same rest period. Even the teachers had a rest period.
Door prizes and swap prizes. :-)
Since the teachers all roomed together, I got to meet Michelle Hunter and Debra Lee. Both are delightful people and fine teachers. Michelle Hunter of course is Knit Purl Hunter and the author of Building Blocks.  This afghan book is a great way for beginning knitters to move up the learning curve. Knitting is the most fun when you can knit what you want, rather than being limited to knitting what you can. Debra Lee is both a teacher and true fiber artist. She is especially brilliant at bags and color work. It was fun each day to see what the other teachers were wearing. Michelle, of course, wore her wonderful sock-opus tights made from leftover sock yarns. Debra wore beautiful jackets with lots of complex patterning.

The only thing unkind I can say about the weekend is why don't people south of North Carolina know about this?! There were quite a few ladies from nearby in North Carolina and a whole van load from the Washington, D.C. area. Miss Babs' had special open studio hours nearby, and I think the ladies in the van went home with their weight in yarn. Everybody participated in the door prizes and games, even the teachers and organizers. I was being a well-behaved munchkin and not spending money and I came home with yarn and books. The donations were a wonderful chance to see some of the products offered in our industry. There was also a stash swap opportunity to pass your less-wanted yarn, books, and materials off to someone else -- perfect if you actually did some spring cleaning.

For a quiet weekend of knitting in a lovely locale, Unwind!

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