Monday, September 14, 2009

Men's Fall Knitting Retreat 2009 - Third (final) Installment

Swag - 2. Loot, the 'take' from a robbery.

Not A Robbery per se...but Loot Nonetheless
When the men's knitting retreats started in 2008, we found that there were a lot of fiber-related companies, both small and large that were interested in presenting their products to a group of passionate male knitters. We started getting gifts of yarn, roving, spindles, books, buttons, patterns, wool wash, stitch markers, pens, measuring tapes, etc., etc., etc. from these companies that we could give to the participants.

The first year, with no budget for anything, I purchased 32 cloth bags at my local dollar store and ended up stuffing them with little gifties for the guys. They also got the opportunity to compete for "door prizes." The second year, I budgeted a bit for giveaways, and included the cost of a small messenger bag with the Men's Knitting Retreat logo and again stuffed it with goodies and also had a pile of wonderful items to give away as prizes.

The donors for these events are incredibly generous, and most have seen a strong response of gratitude and/or new business from the guys at the retreats.

The West Coast retreat has continued this tradition. In addition to getting a full-size backpack chock full of giveaways (including a man's sweater kit of yarn and pattern from Skacel!), we also competed for highest priority choice in a table piled high with wonderful things. You can see both the backpacks and the swag table behind Mike as he runs the contest to win these great things.

I also was extremely excited to have one these items as my prize for knowing an odd fact about Chuck from Missouri (which I had to promise NOT to divulge to anyone outside the retreat...sorry).

The yarn is just an incredibly beautiful color and luster of superwash from Girl On The Rocks, and I will definitely be checking out her shop to buy more. I was also quite excited that the stitch markers came with it...I am always looking for good stitch markers that don't snag on my knitting and these look perfect.

This deep colored superwash from is just too soft for words and beautiful as well.

This was a needle case from della Q that is part of their new colorways for men specifically. She has a whole section dedicated to MEN!

Finally, I got a VERY generous gift from WonderMike of roving and yarn from A Verb for Keeping Warm.

The fiber is a beautiful subtle color and SOFT (merino/silk blend!) and the yarn is actually in WonderMike colorway!...Who knew he had is own colorway.

I brought home even more delightful swag from the MFKR...I for one, am happy to shop at the stores/web sites of these very generous folks. A big thanks from QueerJoe!

Current Knitting
Okay...I'm on the never-ending ribbing of the first possum/merino sock. Since I didn't want to take an extra ball of yarn with me on my upcoming trip today, I started the second sock, so I could get past the contrast colored toe.

I am also VERY excited to note that I've started a new sweater for Thaddeus and believe it or not, I'm following a PATTERN!

This is the hem and a few inches of the bottom of The Expedition Pullover by Todd. You have to know that for me to follow a pattern, it must be a great sweater design, and I think Todd has outdone himself with this one. For all you women looking for sweater patterns that your husband or sons would like, this is a top contender.

I'm making mine out of Berocco's Peruvia Highland Wool. I don't have a lot of yarns in heavy worsted, but I think this yarn will be perfect for this sweater...and it came out of my stash.

Readers' Comments/Questions
Tricky Tricot writes, "That looks like a picture of Jeff holding some knitting. I'm without words..."

Yes...he finished the front and back of a full sized man's sweater and we helped him out with neck shaping and 3-needle bind-off at the shoulders. He was making a lot of progress and was very happy about it.

Susan asked, "Is Daniel wearing a Noro sweater?"'s some gorgeous Noro yarn that has been discontinued...similar to Silk Garden but much nicer and softer...he probably bought it when he was living in Tokyo...I was quite envious.

Duffy-san asks, "Did Skacel Brian bring his seven pairs of socks to work on?" was even more amazing to see 14 socks on the needles in person than the pictures on the blog...quite amazing indeed.

Buck Strong writes, "OMG! I'm so totally laughing my ass off at your picture; however, I'm also crying my ass off at mine."

I wanted to make sure that I didn't try to put myself in a better light than anyone, but I do apologize for your was the only one I had (shockingly) and Buck looks MUCH better in person than my photograph would convey.

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