Wednesday, June 11, 2014


(View from the screened porch)
First, my apologies, for this post will be full of expostulations on just how wonderful a trip to Squam can be.  I know, I've been there, done that before, but it cannot be helped.  Here goes for the third time.

 Regular readers here know that I had one heck of a late winter and spring.  I was ill and didn't know why and carrying out the simplest of tasks left me in pain, shaky and depressed.  Once the diagnosis of rheumatoid arthritis was finally reached and treatment began, things started to get better.  It's going to be awhile before medication levels are adjusted to keep me in remission, but I do feel my life is getting back on track.  Going to Squam was just about the best way in the world I could have jump-started getting back to the life that I love. 

I feel as though I have a very bad case of ADHD today.  I'm inspired to do everything ..... all at once.  I've pulled out the Brooklyn Tweed yarn I purchased from Jared Flood himself at the Squam Art Fair, then found some shetland for a full size Hap Shawl, ala Gudrun Johnston, excavated a big pile from the fabric stash for several more Cal Patch tunics, looked at (and drooled over) Elizabeth Benotti's ceramics on etsy, read facebook postings from my cabin mates, downloaded the newest Outlander book from Audible and on it goes.  I am on fire with inspiration to DO something.  The problem is narrowing it down to one or maybe two things!

This Squam was chock-full of fun and motivation to resume my crafting ways.  The Sweetest Tunic class with Cal Patch was great.  Cal designs the cutest, simple little garments, that are a snap to sew up and even easier to wear.  The tunic design is made of rectangles and is really easy to customize.  It's the perfect summer outfit and even better in the winter, layered over jeans or leggings and a long sleeved t-shirt.  I need to hem mine (I'm one of those class members who's having so much fun, I don't quite finish in the allotted time) and then I'll post a picture.  My fabric stash is comprised mainly of linen and cottons and I can see plenty more of these tops being made.  (You can find directions for Cal's designs in her book,  "Design It Yourself Clothes")

Gudrun taught the Hap Shawl class, which, because she is actually from the Shetland Islands, was wonderfully appropriate.  She told us a great deal about the history and traditions that go along with Hap shawls. I'm not much of a lace person myself (either in the wearing or the knitting), but the simple lace pattern, Old Shale, or Feather and Fan, that makes up the edging of her shawl is just right for me.  We knit mini-versions in class and I really want to make a full size one now.  Our new friend, Mary Jane Mucklestone and Gudrun are hosting a trip to the Shetland Isles in September and I would really love to go, but Mike and I are still hoping to go to Scotland in September, so the Shetland trip is definitely going on my want list for next year.

(Sun dappled, last minute picture outside the dining hall)
 Then, there were my cabin-mates.  I knew precisely one person in the cabin before Squam.  Laura-Lynn (bottom row on the left) is an irrepressible presence of happiness and I knew if she liked all these women, I surely would too.  And, did I ever.  I came home feeling as though I had added nine great women friends to my life. Though I was the only fiber farmer in the bunch, we all shared a love of knitting and crafting (and laughing).  My room-mate (I don't know who decides on room-mates, but they are genius) was a sweet, talented young woman from Minnesota and we got along famously.  I hope I never get too old to enjoy the company of people who are so much younger than me.  I'm convinced that continuing to make young friends, will help me stay younger in heart and mind.  Brienne is such a talented seamstress and knitter.  Check out her blog and her etsy shop.  I managed to snag a bag from her wares at the Squam Art Fair and I can tell you that it is beautifully made.

(Brienne and me)
I'm quite sure there was more laughter in our cabin than anywhere.  The nightly discussions around the fireplace or during afternoons spent on the screened porch ran the gamut from very serious to completely hilarious.  There was much sharing of crafting techniques, cocktail recipes and project inspirations.  There was even an Art Fair shopping Show and Tell on Saturday evening when we all got back to the cabin with our loot.

And now, it's back to the routine here on the farm.  My bottle lambs are Huge!  Just one week away from my babies (left in the care of my wonderful husband, who did a stellar job of keeping it all going) and they have turned into giants.  Weaning has started and they are not too happy with me at the moment.  I'll be back in a few days with a long over-due post on Nicola's eco-dyeing workshop and a completed Sweetest Tunic.

Til next year ....


  1. ohhh Dianne you SO deserved a deep holiday after the winter you had-- so glad you and Brienne were such a good fit (I thought that might be the case! :) xoox,e

  2. Hi Dianne! You write so beautifully. It was wonderful for me to read your reflections here. I do not believe that we could have been better matched! Take good care this summer. I'm going to have to find a way to join you for some stitching soon:)

  3. It's so great to be able to hang out with people who are interested in the same things you are--no matter what the age difference!!
    Sounds like a wonderful place and that you have a fantastic time.