It's taken me a couple of days since returning from the P3 knitting retreat in Wales to fully process everything that I experienced over my five day mini-vacation but here's a quick recap:
Day 1 - Following a very early start catching the tube to Paddington for the train to Cardiff (and watching the sunrise as we pulled out of London), I met up with Jen and Gwen who led me to my second breakfast in a cute pub and then we wandered around Cardiff for a bit exploring the many arcade shops and Jen and I got lost in the haberdashery department at John Lewis while Gwen went in search of a pint nearby. Then it was another train to Whitland where we popped into the lovely shop, Colourway Yarns, and we all fell down and got some delicious yarn! We met more knitters in the pub and then the taxi took us off to the hotel where we got to know each other more and settle in before the retreat officially started the next day.
Day 2 - P3 kicked off late in the day with Amy Singer and Brenda Dayne getting us super excited with some lovely goodie bags, general intros, and an overview of what we'd be covering through the weekend. There were 29 participants, and one lovely "token gentleman" - Andy from Texas via Amsterdam.
Day 3 - Our minds were blown. Seriously. Amy whet our appetites with shawl design and in the afternoon Brenda laid our grey matter on the table after her talk about raglan pattern construction and her formula for helping us design our own sweaters. Totally awesome. I really wanted to just curl up with stitch pattern books and my stash and plot and swatch and contemplate, but I'll have to wait a bit longer until I'm reunited with my stash to really put pencil to paper. That night we all shared stories about sweaters that had a special moment in our lives as knitters. It was a great way to get to know our fellow participants even better as the stories shared were quite personal, but also telling about their interests and styles - completely lovely.
Day 4 - Yarn bombings were starting to appear throughout the inn! Lovely knitting things popping up everywhere - including a beer tap cozy in the bar that unfortunately I neglected to get a picture of. Probably just as well. Sunday's class was about breaking rules and being random. Hard for someone like me who enjoys symmetry but I look forward to trying it out. Following lunch was the mini-marketplace with the stunning, UK indie dyers of Fyberspates, Nimu Yarns, and Countess Ablaze participating. I got a scrumptious skein of superwash merino in a DK weight from Countess Ablaze with the name Grey Skies Over Manchester. In the evening I (mostly) finished my latest project (just the button band to go!) as we watched and giggled over the latest episode of Downton Abbey at a pajama party in the bar!
Day 5 - It was time to say goodbye, but not before another surprise and gift of gorgeous mawata silk hankies from Blue Moon Fiber Arts and learning how to draft and knit from them without spinning. Amazing, and something I've always wanted to try! A light, spring scarf is definitely in my future. After lunch we caught our taxi back to Whitland, in time for more yarn shopping before catching the train back to Cardiff and connecting back to Paddington. We were a pretty merry band of knitters on the way back!
It's been a wonderful way to jump into the knitting community here with both feet and meet some amazing knitters and learn new things. I can't wait to start tapping into all the inspiration and creativity that I came away with! So many ideas for new projects...