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"Just be who you are, calm and clear and bright." - Richard Bach, Illusions: The Adventures of a Reluctant Messiah


Welcome to Nirvana!
Welcome to Nirvana! (I never get tired of that joke.)

This past week I was in New Hampshire for an incredibly fun and relaxing fiber arts/needlework retreat, Squam Art Workshop. Home again, I’m a little sad it’s over (missing my new friends!) and crossing my fingers I can go back next year, but I’m also feeling really inspired by all the lovely things everyone was making.

Mary Jane's swatches
Mary Jane makes beautiful swatches. ‘I could knit worms all day!’

It was a delight to be able to sit and knit and chat with other people who are just as obsessed with their knitting as I am, but more importantly, I realized just how few creative risks I’ve been taking lately. I need to figure out how to snap out of my routine (writing-wise and creative-wise in general) and find new ways of looking at the world. Last week I like to think I made some headway.

Inventing Stitch Patterns
I took a class called Inventing Stitch Patterns with Cat Bordhi. By no means the prettiest stitch pattern in the world, but you’ve got to start somewhere!


It was really magical to be able to fall asleep (on the first night, anyway; after that it got too cold to keep the windows open) to the sound of the lake-waves lapping on the shore, and the loons making their eerie night-calls. I dunked my feet in every day and tried to swim once, but I couldn’t feel my skin and so decided a thirty-second dip was plenty long enough.

Fair Isle baby hat class
Mary Jane’s class, in which I finally got the handle of proper colorwork technique.

Jonatha Brooke performing at the Playhouse

Here’s a (totally crappy, sorry) photo of Jonatha Brooke performing at the Playhouse on Wednesday night. I’ve been a huge fan of hers since I was in my early teens, so it was pretty amazing to be able to chat with her over dinner. She’s a lovely person and an absolutely incredible songwriter. (Check her out on Youtube. And then on iTunes!)

(I also got to meet Barbara Delinsky, who was very nice and interested in hearing more about my books! A bunch of us had a knitting circle-slash-chat-about-publishing on Saturday afternoon.)


How gorgeous is this quilt? My awesomely talented roomie Lizzy House designed it. I picked up the pattern at the Squam Art Fair even though (realistically) it’ll be years before I get around to making it. In the meantime, though, it’s nice to dream about.

Squam Art Fair

Amy, Anne, and Lizzy at Lizzy’s table. I also got to see Cal Patch, with whom I took a patternmaking workshop a year and a half or so ago (blogged about it here). Every day in the dining hall was basically a Cal Patch fashion show!

Squam Art Fair
Noel and Elizabeth, who organizes the whole workshop. She is awesome.

And of course, even though I said I was NOT going to acquire any more yarn, ahem, I did.

Splendor sock yarn
Merino-cashmere sock yarn hand-dyed by the marvelous Jill Draper.


I didn’t have to leave too early on Sunday, so I got to hang out on one of the docks with Amy and Noel for awhile. We had a great old chat about books (among other things).

So what is it, 360 days until the next spring session? Haha!

(Oh, and there are more photos on the Squam June 2011 Flickr group.)

4 Comments to Squam!

  1. Kelly's Gravatar Kelly
    June 6, 2011 at 9:53 am | Permalink

    Sounds like it was awesome! You’re just having too many great adventures lately… 😉

  2. June 6, 2011 at 6:37 pm | Permalink

    The classes you took sound terrific. You were brave to take a dip in the lake!

  3. Kate's Gravatar Kate
    June 6, 2011 at 7:45 pm | Permalink

    I actually like the quilt you made better 🙂 (not that it’s not beautiful).
    I’m looking forward to seeing your new creations!

  4. June 7, 2011 at 8:56 am | Permalink

    That is a GORGEOUS quilt.
    It looks like you had a great time!

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Hi! I'm Camille. I only write stories that could never ever happen in real life, though I do believe in real-life magic. If we were in the same room I'd fix you a cup of tea, but for now we'll have to settle for a virtual connection. I'm really glad you're here.