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Knitting At The Ranch - Shivaya Naturals

Knitting At The Ranch

October 28, 2008

I think that this picture that the amazing Stacy Z took sums up all of my feelings of this past weekend. Stacy and I arrived home on Sunday from our time at the Knitting At The Ranch weekend, and it was such a great experience.

With everything that had been going on with my family, I was not originally sure if I was going to make the retreat. I had been invited to participate as a vendor, and I was excited to show at such a gathering, but I was also really nervous about leaving my son (yes, his dad and grandparents were watching over him night and day, but still, I am his mother :))

In the end, I chose to make the journey for the retreat. By the time Stacy and I were on the road, I had been awake for 52 straight hours (Winter update), and we were 7 hours late leaving. To Stacy’s HUGE credit, she never once balked at how crazy everything was in getting ready to go, and how behind schedule I was making us.

We left for Abiquiu, NM at 3:30pm, and arrived at the ranch a little before 1 am, exhausted and so ready to just crash. The retreat center had silent hours from 10 pm-8 am, and for anyone who knows either Stacy or I, we are not silent. We did our best to drive up the mountain without lights (so as not to wake anyone), get our luggage out of the car on a gravel path (you try rolling luggage over gravel silently), and enter our room (I, of course, had to break a Neti Pot on my way in). We crashed out until the sun broke over the red rocks at 7 am. The Ghost Ranch retreat center is located in a remote section of Abiquiu, and it is one of the most gorgeous spots I have ever seen. Our room was simple, yet it had an amazing view. As we woke, I opened the slats of the blinds to find the red rock mountain range right in front of us. It was crazy.

We made our way to breakfast, and as we entered the dining hall I met Anne Hanson. Anne and I have been working together since Shivaya first launched, and it was really special to get my first opportunity to spend time with her in person. She has been a huge influence on me, and I had a blast getting to know her. For all of you wondering, she is just as classy and gracious as you would think.

I also had the pleasure to meet everyone who was attending the retreat. Now, most of us have some expectation that when we attend something like a show or knitting retreat, that we will meet at least a few people who we relate to and who we really enjoy getting to know. Well, I have to say that I was shocked that I felt that way about the entire group. From the first meeting, I was rolling on the floor laughing at stories that were being told, and enjoying learning how each of them knew the others. This was an amazing group of talented, fun and kind women, and I will never forget any of them.

When we went to set-up the yarn, everyone wanted to help us out and it was just amazing how this small group of knitters lent such a gracious hand. We had fun adding tags and labels and getting everything organized.

I would be lying if I said that I was not thrilled at the reception that our yarn received. Everyone had something very positive to say, and it affirmed for me to continue creating and growing Shivaya.

On both Friday and Saturday we gathered for three hours a day to learn from Anne and to knit her new pattern for Spiralucious. It was a fun pattern, and the knitting/teaching time was well used. I was pretty scattered with everything going on, but at least I can say that Stacy managed to finish her gorgeous piece. The knitted pieces that many of the women brought to show were just amazing. Here are a few examples of the beauty

The rest of the retreat was spent just having fun. We visited Tierra Wools (such an amazing place), hiked the grounds, and just did a lot of relaxing and knitting. We ate our final dinner together at the Abiquiu Inn on Saturday, and if you are in the area, I would highly recommend stopping.

One of the highlights of the weekend was having an opportunity to hear Anne Hood read from her latest novel The Knitting Circle. I am already half way through the book, and it is really powerful. Anne attended the retreat as a writer for Girlfriend Getaways, and it was wonderful to have a chance to meet her. I have just ordered 3 other novels of Anne’s and I would highly recommend her work.

Lauren, the director of the retreat, put on an incredible weekend, and it was hard to say goodbye. I actually enjoyed meeting everyone so much so that I have already sent in my application for the 2009 Albuquerque Fiber Arts Festival. I am looking forward to seeing everyone again.

Most importantly I got a chance to spend four days with Stacy. Stacy kept me going through some really exhausted and frustrated moments these past few weeks, and I simply could not have done this retreat without her. In fact, I could not be doing this business with out her. As most of you know she is also an unbelievable artist, as her pictures here prove. Stacy will now be blogging here regularly, and I am so thrilled to have her as one of the main designers at Shivaya. The following is one of my personal favorites that she took from the retreat. She, Laurie and I had just finished walking the labyrinth at Ghost Ranch, and we were all sitting quietly. Stacy managed to capture me in a moment that I did not see her, and the picture feels like I did in that moment. Thank you to Stacy for letting me borrow a few of her pics to show all of you.

Since I am on thank you’s, my mom and dad deserve a gold medal for the work that they have done lately. They never cease to amaze me how giving they can be with their time, energy and encouragement. My life is just so much better for having my family with me.

We have a lot going on here at Shivaya, and I am excited to share all of it with you. There are many changes that I think that you will all be pleased to see. For now, enjoy the new winter yarn coming in, and happy knitting.

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

knitspot anne October 29, 2008 at 3:33 am

what a beautiful post; thank you for sharing your reflections on the weekend. it was really great to spend time with you and stacy in person; i can only hope that we will do so many more times in the future!


Mary October 29, 2008 at 5:59 pm

Beautiful pictures.
I had the pleasure of meeting Anne at Rhinebeck, and you are right she is everything that you would expect.

Congratulations on a good show.


Julie October 29, 2008 at 8:57 pm

Wow. That first picture is amazing. I'm glad (but knew) everyone fell in love with your yarns. Congrats!


Heather October 30, 2008 at 3:53 am

I really hope that we will all get a chance to see each other again soon as well. My family is excited about the possibilities of working with me at Rhinebeck next year, so I think that makes it a go. I know that Stacy will join us too!


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