Monday, June 10, 2013

Post Card from Squam: Day 1

Wednesday, June 5

Hello! How are you? I am fine. This morning, very early, I left my sister's house and traveled to the airport to catch the plane that took me to Manchester, New Hampshire. I think it is only my second time in NH, and I'm pretty sure the last time I just drove through it on my way somewhere else. (Kind of like Saskatchewan.) It looks quite a lot like northern Ontario, but a little gentler--not so harsh or barren. Maybe it's the birch trees. But other people said it reminded them of Georgia. You know, it has a lot of trees, rocks, hills, and lakes. I guess a lot of places are sort of like that. In any case, lovely.

In Manchester I met the people I was sharing a rented car with. They were easy to find because they were knitting. Of course, that didn't mean it was definitely them because there were a number of us knitting on the plane--all headed to Squam. In fact, while getting off the plane, I saw that Franklin Habit was sitting just two rows in front of me the whole time!! (I probably didn't notice him because he is rather short--a little surprise since I've never met him before. I really enjoy his blog; that's how I knew of him.) There was another man with him whom I didn't recognize right away, but was pretty sure was John Mullarkey. I wasn't familiar with his work before I heard about Squam, but I knew I would be taking a weaving class from him. And there he was--right on my plane!

I wasn't going to do this, but apparently
I can't stop myself. Outfit for Day 1 included
the hand knitted Pencil Sketch Cami. White
blouse for traveling? Why not!
We sat for a while in baggage claim because we were waiting for one more rider. While talking, I let out my inner 5-year old and told them all it was my birthday. They were very excited and promised to get the waiters to sing to me at lunch and maybe I would get free ice cream. We eventually went to lunch in Manchester at the Republic Cafe. (Let me say that again, the Republic Cafe--get it now? I know, it's a little weak.) But the food was great. I had the sauteed pears and onions on flatbread with blue cheese and greens on top. Mmm. Much later we realized we forgot all about my birthday and never did get dessert. I actually didn't think about it being my birthday again until heading to bed. Too much going on!

An hour's drive got us to Rockywold and Deephavens Camps, where Squam was taking place. I was surprised to see on the sign that the camp has been around since 1897, and learned later that it was where On Golden Pond was filmed. How cool is that?! A lot of people mentioned that they felt like they were in the movie Dirty Dancing. It was a really neat place.

First thing to do was to head to registration of course. We were greeted with smiles, name tags, a tote, and free yarn from the "qiviut" sponsor, Purl Soho.
The red is their new Super Soft Merino ($19.50 a pop) and the yellow is Ella Rae Classic Marls. I'm thinking of making souvenir socks out of the yellow; and the red...who knows! (It's just 87 yards so it won't go far.)

Next was to stop in at the cabin to drop off my stuff. While the rest of my car mates were in another cabin, I was in Everest.
Instead of thinking of the arduous climb up the
mountain the cabin was named for, 
I preferred to think
of it as Ever-rest. (But not the dead kind of ever-rest.)
It was a lovely cabin. No kitchen, one shower, two toilets, and 12 beds! We ended up with nine women staying in the cabin, and a tenth joined us on Saturday night.
The cabins are not heated or insulated and things get pretty chilly on cold nights. I made sure to pack a cashmere sweater for sleeping in and I definitely needed it. They do have fireplaces, however, and we were plenty comfortable in the evenings. Another cabinmate had mad fire tending skills so I could sit back and relax and enjoy it without the work it takes at home. The "ice boys" also kept the wood box full. Yes, the cabins have ice boxes which are filled with ice they harvest from the lake in the winters and store on site. It is quite a place.

There were lots of screened porches. This was the large one downstairs:
Our bedroom was off the porch (to the left). The room had suspended sliding doors (like barn doors) to close off the room from the porch. We especially needed that on the nights when the wind was blowing. There was another smaller screened porch on the first floor with an attached bedroom, and I believe both of the rooms upstairs had "sleeping porches" as well. (I didn't actually go upstairs all weekend.)

Once I had my stuff stowed, I noticed there were a couple people enjoying the warm sunshine on the dock
and I went and joined them.
I met my roommate and another cabinmate and we sat for a while enjoying the sun and having our feet in the water. (It was cold, but not so bad you didn't get used to it.) We sat and knit for a while before it was time to unpack and get ready for dinner.
After dinner, some of us stopped back by the registration area because we heard about free yarn! People had set up a "bring and take" table for extra yarn and patterns that they no longer wanted. I picked up a nice book:
I wouldn't have bothered to take it home, except I saw this skirt pattern:
A little hard to see, perhaps, but it's really nice. The shaping is simple and mostly done by increasing the needle size, and the pattern naturally falls into pleat shapes. Classic. Easy.

On the way back from dinner we saw the most ambitious yarn bombing effort:
Yes, they covered a whole canoe! I don't think it was all hand-knitting; I think some of them are pieces from sweaters. But incredible nonetheless. The women who did it were in our cabin and showed us pictures of the work in progress. The canoe cover filled the entire screened porch. It's huge!

After dinner and a little break, we went to the "opening ceremonies." It was an ambitious title for the low-key event, but it was fun to gather all together. We must have had 200 people in the "Playhouse." Harriet Goodall, who was teaching a basket weaving course, made this lighted heart basket to greet people:
Elizabeth, who put together this event, spoke for a time, and then all the teachers had a chance to say a few things. While they all claimed not to be public speakers, they did pretty well. (No real surprise, right.)

Then back to the cabin to get to know each other while knitting and crocheting in the living room with a nice toasty fire. I'm not proud to say I was the party pooper and first one to head off to bed (at only 10:15 or so) because I just could not keep my head propped up any longer. Fortunately, I didn't actually stop the party because I heard a lot of lively conversation and laughter as I fell asleep.

Wish you were here!

-christina

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