Thursday, October 08, 2009

A Weekend of Crafts

I went to camp last weekend. Yes, I'm an adult. And it's practically winter. And I have family responsibilities. Still, I had the opportunity to go to Camp Takodah in New Hampshire for a Women's Weekend full of fun, friendship, crafts, and outdoor activities (which I skipped). And by God, I seized the days.

Of my fifty hours away from home, my favorite part was seeing my friend Lucy and all the friends she's been talking about for years but has never actually shown me. My second favorite part was sleeping in a sleeping bag on the top bunk of a slightly wobbly bunk bed in a cabin with rain dripping on me from the roof. My third favorite part was a tie between multi-ethnic line dancing and pure Amurican karaoke.
But my favorite-favorite part that was so favorite that it defies the convention of calling it favorite was:

The Hobby Nook.

I rubbed my soul all over this delightful little cottage, and it petted me back. I died wool yarn, made my own knitting needles, crafted several rubber stamps, did some charcoal drawings, and learned how to felt wool into shapes. I talked about my babies. I heard about the lives of women from their twenties to their seventies, from all over the country and beyond.
I was impressed as hell with Emily, my fiber instructor, who works at Harrisville Designs in a town that's been spinning out fiber arts for centuries. To my delight, she brought lots of goodies from her store and was willing to share. Among other talents, she hauled out her spinning wheel and showed me how to spin yarn from sheep's wool. She gave me a spontaneous lesson one evening in the dining hall, in front of the fireplace. As I watched the wheel pull a string shape out of something that looked like a cloud, my new friend Beth walked by. She said, "I don't know you very well yet, but if I had a camera, I'd take a picture. You really look like you're in your element." I pulled my camera out of my pocket and handed it to her. Bang: historical record.

For the one full day and two half days, I missed my children so much it made me nauseated. But the weekend was finite, and apparently even mothers need to recharge their batteries from time to time. In the end, the babies came away from the experience with a little more Daddy time, some new rubber stamps made just for them, and -- in a few days -- their first postcards.

If I do something with my hand-dyed yarn other than just rub it on my face, I'll post a picture here. But if I just snuggle with my new art supply, well, you don't need to see that.

Thanks for inviting me, Lucy. I loved it a real lot.


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