Friday, July 20, 2007

Ah, Knitting Camp!

Oh my, I died and went to heaven! And, look what they have in heaven!!

This photo says it all--Sweaters from Camp in the flesh--actually, in the wool! What a fabulous experience. As you saw in my earlier posts, I attended Meg Swansen's Knitting Camp, the continuation of her mother Elizabeth Zimmerman's camp. She brings all the sweaters photographed for all the books she and her mother have written. Best of all, the campers can try on the sweaters and wear them during the instruction periods and after. Just return them to the tables before you go to bed!! Wearing an EZ original, what could possibly be better??
This is the Bavarian Jacket EZ knit for her beloved husband, Arnold, and the photo of which is in at least two of the books. I actually put this on and had my photo taken in it. But, I didn't look nearly as dapper as Arnold was in it!!

And, listening to Meg describe all the techniques and construction details for each sweater. Again, priceless!! She is holding the sweater I long to knit--I've added it to my knitter's life list.
As Meg demonstrates, the campers knit along with their own swatches. A camera focuses on her hands so everyone can look at the closest TV monitor arranged throughout the room. You can see my yarns for my projects. I had a startitis problem--I couldn't figure out which project to start, which yarn to use, etc., so as not to embarrass myself in front of all these wonderful knitters!
In the afternoon there is Show and Tell where campers show off their projects or seek suggestions for their disasters. This young woman from Toronto brought her "homework" project--a precious little steeked sweater. She finished it at camp and was very proud of her first steeks (as well she should be!) Meg is the most gracious of women and enthusiastically complimented each person's project, technique or idea. She couldn't say "that piece of knitting is crap" if you paid her $1 million!! Of course, the photo above is not of knitting crap. There was no knitting crap in the room. But, if there were, I'm sure Meg would find something very positive to say about it.
Not only were campers surrounded by fabulous items knit my the famous, famous hands of EZ, Meg Swansen, Joyce Williams and Amy Detjen, and by outstanding creations of the campers, we were surrounded by yarn. A half-ballroom was set up with tables displaying all the yarn and books and items carried by Schoolhouse Press. Who could resist? These bulging sausages are the shipping form of the unspun Icelandic wool that Schoolhouse carries. Very compact way to ship the yarn. And what fun when Meg demonstrated cutting the binding twine and the sausages exploded into wheels of fluffy yarn!!!

There were five men at our camp (or was that four?)!! They ranged in age from early 20's to maybe my age. The older man came with his daughter. They had a great, great time together!! I forgot to get his permission to post his photo, so I will show just his hands, winding yarn.
You can just see the corner of his nametag--a tie he knit for himself with his name knitted into it vertically. Everyone was required to wear a nametag. Most of the knitters made some lovely, creative name tag out of yarn and needles. In another post, I'll show you how I wimped out!

My posts are few and far between because immediately after knitting camp I went to Door County , Wisconsin to visit friends. Actually "we" went to Door County. My good friend, Betty from Barcelona, came to Wisconsin to go to Knitting Camp with me. We had a great, great time!! In Door County we purchased more yarn at a corriedale sheep farm--we hadn't purchased enough yarn at knitting camp, apparently!!!

We then returned home for two days before she departed to Barcelona. We left two days later to go to Idaho, where I am currently writing this post in a coffee shop. We are surrounded by pine forested mountains, lakes long, deep and blue, twisty-turny highways and backroads--and where do we spend our time?? In a coffee shop!!!


Maud said...

It sounds like heaven! It must have been heaven, I believe you!

Vicki Knitorious said...

Thanks for the wonderful update. I never get tired of hearing about cammp!

betty said...

we really had a great time at knitting camp!! thanks for being such a wonderful host!

Bonnie said...

You're right, Gail. Meg is so gracious, and so positive, she would even find something nice to say about a harlequin sweater knitted in poison green, persimmon, and canary-yellow Phentex. Glad nobody brought anything like that, though--I don't think the rest of us would be so merciful. I just LOVED what everyone made!

Lolita Blahnik said...

It seems to be such a great way to spend your holidays, a knitting camp!!!
Lovely mini-sweater the one of your camp pal.
Have a good time in idaho!

BertandFelix said...


I have a ton of sock yarn to send your way! Email me with your address. bertandfelixAT gmail DOT com

Knitnerd said...

It's my pleasure to meet you in the heaven (of knitting)! and thank you for sharing your photos with us.

HPNY Knits said...

the camp sounds wonderful! so inspiring!
wow- you are travelling so much. its good for the mind to clear up. but when you do get back- get on Ravelry! you'll love it.

Peg-woolinmysoup said...

Oh, a knitting camp where I could wear something that EZ had knit. You are right, if I go to heaven, that is what I expect to see.
I will have to Google and see what I can find out about the camp. If you have any info, would you mind sending it to me at
I think Meg looks like her Mom, and seems to have her personality. What a wonderful mix!

Meredith said...

Hey, Gail! It's your SockPal here...I got your parcel yesterday and am thrilled with everything! The socks are gorgeous and fit perfectly and will be great for cool fall and spring days and evenings (WHAT YARN IS THAT??? I WANT SOME!!!) The chocolate is magnificent; the cookie cutters adorable; the bag is just what I need for portable projects. Oh, yeah, and is that a sock pattern that's commercially available, or your own design?

A note will follow by snail mail, but I wanted you to know immediately how much I like everything you sent.