Monday, May 7, 2007

It doesn't get any better than this!

This past weekend I attended a workshop at a fellow hooker's cottage north of Kingston, Ontario. Everything was absolutely perfect from start to finish!

This weekend has been in the planning stages for nearly a year, so the element of anticipation, and the possibility for lunchbag letdown were both high. I am delighted to say the entire weekened exceeded my every expectation.

Even the traffic on Friday cooperated, since I think we were ahead of much of it. Three of us carpooled, which meant lots of chatter on the way, a stop for lunch, and a quick race through a dollar store to pick up the forgotten toothbrush and a few other irresistable items.

When we arrived at the cottage, it was absolutely stunning. The country road in, the driveway, the cottage, the lake were all amazing. The beautiful craftsman style cottage overlooking the lake is now being finished with fieldstone patios and large rocks and boulders forming functional seating and amazing sculpture. It is in the landscaping stage of construction, which for someone who is at the front end of a renovation, is a much nicer place to be.

The host and hostess could not have been more gracious. The wife organized every little detail to make the weekend perfect. The husband's chief responsibility was to make snacks, clean up after meals and do everything in his power to maximize our hooking time. He was amazing and we all wished for husbands just like him.

Meals were planned and brought by the attendees and beleive me, we ate in style. One woman did incredible baking and we all indulged in goodies we would never have in our regular lives. Let's face it, none of us eat as well as we did this weekend -or at least not often.

And starting right after dinner on Friday nite, we hooked pretty much non-stop. With glasses of wine and lots of enthusiasm, we jumped right into our pennies and didn't put down our needles until midnight. The chatter around the table was first- night banter. Catching up for those of us who knew one another. And getting to know the newbies in the group. It was light and lovely.

Saturday, we were all up bright and early for a great breakfast, and back at our tables by 8:30. We worked right through the day - stopping only for mid-morning coffee a quick and delicious lunch outside - to get our Vitamin D. Then there was a short field trip (a.k.a. shopping excursion) for those of us who had never been to the area before.

We worked until dinner time - ate another gourmet feast - and then got back to it until 11:00, slightly earlier than Friday. Conversation moved into slightly more serious topics - kids, middle age, old age. Giddiness set in around 10:00. It was run.

Before heading to bed, we lined up our works-in-progress and looked at the 8 emerging rugs. Though we were all working with the same pattern, colour choices and indvidual customizing had created very different rugs. This never ceases to amaze me. We all bring our own colour palette and style to everything we do - consciously or unconsciously. And the results are amazing to see.

Sunday morning was more of the same - squeezing in every moment we could until it was time to break for lunch and then head home.

Bea Grant was an incredible teacher - as always. Her gentle style and guidance helped all of us get over any bumps and inspired us to try bolder, braver things. She has a way of positively encouraging you to try something else rather than make you think you have made a poor choice. She is truly a gentle genius.

There is no picture of the work in progress in this blog and there is a good reason why. This concept is Bea's, which she has kindly shared with us, as she will with other workshops she leads.

It's not often that something really new happens in the world of hooking (let's face it, it's a historical art form) but Bea has done it. She has broken new ground by combining two primitive styles like no one before her.

I think it will quickly become a norm in the hooking community, and we all encouraged her to get the book that is inside her head onto paper so she can share this fantastic method with the rest of us and garner the accolades she deserves.

Thanks again Loretta for hosting it (along with Gord), to Bea for her quiet teaching, and to my classmates Elaine, Sandra, Betty, Rhonda, Nancy, and Donna.
There is nothing I would change about this weekend. We talked about having it become and annual event and I really hope it does.

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