Lopi Love, As Promised

Lettlopi at Álafoss

Lettlopi at Álafoss

We rode the  #15 bus out to Mosfellsbær to go to the Álafoss Wool Store. Compared to Central Reykjavik, this area is on the rural end of a suburban spectrum.  That is, there’s not a lot going on out there in terms of commercial development or housing. Here’s the view from the bus:

#15 Bus to Mosfellsbær

#15 Bus to Mosfellsbær

Once we got off the bus, there was an over the river-and-through-the-woods walk to Álafoss.

Footpath to Álafoss

Footpath to Álafoss

The Álafoss wool factory was founded at the same spot in 1896. There were displays of old knitting and spinning equipment, knit garments for sale, and of course… yarn!

I indulged in a few yarn cakes. Yummy!

Ah Camp KIP…

For those who don’t know, Camp KIP is a knitting retreat I attended last week in New Haven, Missouri, hosted by the spirited Jackie of the KIPing-It-Real podcast. The event was a Knitting-Podcast-A-Palooza of sorts, with headliners from many of my favorites (see some links at right). I’ve practically stopped listening to music in recent years to make audio time for podcasts. Specifically, knitting podcasts. I’m a knitting podcast junkie, it’s true. Even though I have a decent community of knitters in my real life, apparently I just can’t get enough yarn-on-the-brain-all-the-time discussion. The opportunity to connect in-person with knitters everywhere who share my audio community was too much to pass up.

It was…

  • Idyllic (I had no idea how beautiful the St. Louis countryside would be);
  • Indulgent (Knit anywhere, anytime, and get fed regularly);
  • Accepting (Everyone else understands!);
  • Communal (Sit down with any single person and you automatically have common ground for friendship);
  • Inspiring (So many lovely finished projects and works-in-progress to admire);
  • Restorative (Not just knitting and spinning… yoga and massage too!); and
  • Fun (Oh, the shenanigans!).

It was a treat to meet the people behind the voices that have become such an integral part of my day-to-day life. I was definitely shy about connecting with podcasters… I’ll have to work on getting over that in the future and remind myself that they are regular people who are just a bit famous within our circles.

It was an unanticipated treat to connect with and meet new people that I didn’t have the internal-fangirl-barrier with. I’ve made cherished new friendships that I’ll carry with me into the future.

Camp KIP 2012 is on my calendar. I hope I can do it again!

Knitting and Spinning in Under the Shade Structure on Friday Afternoon at Camp KIP

The Gateway Retreat

About a year ago, I was clicking around on Ravelry links and found myself on the website for the Golden Gate Fiber Institute (GGFI, aka Yarn Camp). I had heard of GGFI before because my spinning wheel came from Carolina Homespun and I’d seen a flyer in the shop. Even so, GGFI didn’t make my radar for a few years and I was ignorant of it until I saw the website.

I browsed for a few minutes, a feeling of excitement welling up inside. I took the plunge and signed up for the August 2010 retreat. As the dates got closer, I started to feel silly about the retreat: I’d spent about a week’s earnings and was taking precious PTO to spend time with a bunch of strangers. Silly!

Not Silly! Fun! Within moments of embarking on my Yarn Camp journey, I was in it deep and wasn’t looking back. It was the best thing I’d done in a long time! I was surrounded by people who shared my passion! I made new friends! I learned new skills! What’s not to love about a personal retreat?

So, GGFI 2010 was my gateway retreat. Now that I’m hooked on the camaraderie and communal solace of fiber retreats, this year I’m planning on more! I’m going to CampKIP in April and to one of Cat Bordhi’s Island Knitting Retreat in the Fall.

I feel so lucky to be able to do this.

A Week's Work at GGFI2010

Discovery Socks and Textural Yarns