Wednesday, July 13, 2005


Knitting Camp

Meg Swansen's Knitting Camp 1 - July 2005

So here we are...Happy Campers out on the grassy knoll, putting down our needles for just long enough to take a group photo. So, many folks have asked me what camp is all about (knitting friends, non-knitting friends just look at me with that deer-in-the-headlights look when I tell them that I go to knitting camp). What did I learn? What was the camp experience? What was the staff like? I'll try to summarize...

The total camp experience was calm, yet energized. Nothing was rushed, and the room was filled with 60+ brains all focused on the magical outcome of twisted loops of fiber. Meg and her staff are so experienced with running these camp sessions that it appeared effortless, but anyone who has set up a group meeting knows how much work it takes. There was a video camera on the front table were Meg demonstrates, and 4 large TVs in the room, so that everyone could see, up close, the technique that was being shown.

All campers attended the same session. We sat in the same seats each day which enabled us to develop friendships with the other campers in our area. The contents of the Schoolhouse Press store were displayed on tables in the rear of the large banquet room so we could shop at will. Of course, I bought a few books that I never realized I wanted before camp; A Gathering of Lace, and two lace treasuries. Oh, and yarn, then more yarn as the days progressed and I was inspired to create my own fair isle colorwork.

Meg is an outstanding instructor. She demonstrates with total confidence, good humor, and an open mind to hear & learn techniques from the campers. I felt like we were all in her livingroom chatting and knitting. Amy and Joyce provided us all with instant problem solving and answered our individual questions with respect creating the perfect environment for learning and growing.

So what did I learn? Well, I already have worked with color knitting, shaping garments, etc. for many years. What I was searching for was technical tidbits and to gain insights into the inner circle of America's most accomplished traditional knitters. I didn't even have to sneak in the back door - they (Meg & staff) threw open the front door and invited us all in to this magic place.

I was able to touch, examine, and try on some of Elizabeth Zimmermann's & Meg's original knitted garments!!! Think about all the pictures of garments in the many books, then imagine seeing them stacked up on tables in front of you for you to play with for days!!! Pure heaven!!!

We steeked, we hemmed, we used I-cord in every way possible ("I-cord is the duct tape of knitters"), we experimented with different methods of casting on, we knit with 2 colors using both hands, or one hand with both yarns, and so much more.

In the evenings, many campers sat outside on the patio nibbling fruit and cheese and nursing glasses of wine. Staffers Amy and Joyce were available for knitting help until deep into the evening. The hotel (Holiday Inn Marshfield) was excellent - new, clean, and their staff was so attentive and friendly.

For camper Kim's narrative about camp and MORE PICTURES - click on the "Sanity Knits Blog" link to the left! Hi Kim!

Time to get back to work here...

And next year, we're having "after-camp" camp on Terry's boat!
Keep us up to date on when you and hubby sail away. Thanks again for the ride from the airport. Kathy from Denver.
how fun! i got to visit a woman in quincy,Ca who went to the e. zimmerman camps, and is even in one of e. zimmerman's books! looks like they are still fun and lots of work! the sweater looks great!
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