Lemme explain...no, no, is too much, lemme sum up.

Well. When last we spoke, I had just taken delivery of a copious amount of fiber and was preparing to abandon ship for the wildness of Pembrokeshire for the weekend. Having now come out the other side, I have many things to say.

I started my day here, which seemed to be appropriate in the sense that I was embarking on an unknown voyage...sadly, I had no marmelade in my luggage for sustenance.

My train was filled with a disturbing number of men in kilts who were really interested in starting the day with a beer at 10:30 am.
I chose a capuccino...I think I missed a memo or something.
I started a hat, thinking that I would manage to finish it well before the end of the weekend.
I was wrong (although it did get finished in the end!). The kilts seemed to clear off at Cardiff Central, and I continued westward. Next stop Swansea,
and then Whitland, where mostly everyone else had stopped and gotten picked up for the hotel.
Stop 2
Sadly, the necessity of my getting kids to school meant that I arrived last, and had to continue onward on my own to the train station with a taxi rank.
(hello blurry cell phone photo out of the window of a moving car)

There seems to be a generalized assumption that knitters are really just very nice people. Sort of like Minnesotans or Canadians... Nothing I experienced this past weekend at Plug and Play Pembrokeshire (P3) 2012 would argue with that assumption. I have to admit to a bit of trepidation as my cab pulled up to the hotel on Friday afternoon*, particularly as I was about to meet two people who have (unbeknownst to them) played a large role in my knitting life/obsession over the past seven years. However, I walked in just as tea and biscuits were arriving, and was warmly welcomed into the fold. And once I got over the fact that I was listening to Brenda Dayne's voice come out of an actual person instead of from my iPod, the weekend swept me up and away for the next three days.

For the summing up: there was yarn. Lots and lots of yarn. Lots of gorgeous beyond belief yarn.

There was gorgeous, glorious scenery, which I completely failed to photograph because I'm an asshole. Then there were the classes. Classes on shawl design, on top-down raglans, on how to fit small blocks of stitch patterns onto variously shaped canveses. Classes on embracing randomness in your knitting**, classes on knitting with unspun roving pulled from silk hankies. Class after class after class...

There were overwhelming amounts of really good food. And beer. And cider. And (apparantly) Scotch. There were people from England, Scotland, Ireland, Wales, Canadia, the US, and from as far away as New Zealand (I think). There were 29 women and one very, very brave man ("There's always one man..."). There was a completely delicious three month old baby. There were Today's Sweater stories that made me laugh so hard I cried. There was a double barreled ukelele singalong before twenty five people in their PJs gathered around the telly in the hotel pub to knit while watching yelling at Downton Abbey***.

All in all, I'd have to say that the weekend was made of win in every possible way. I'm thrilled to have met so many truly wonderful people. It was amazing to have three days to myself to basically sit around and knit the entire time****. It's taken me a couple of days to come back from that mindset, and it's been rough: the ability to hang out with a group of people who are all interested in the thing that you are interested in and have really cool ideas and projects and plans and suchlike is intoxicating. Strangely enough, my family does not seem to be as enthralled by a debate on the proper kind of increase to use in a top-down triangular shawl or how to keep even tension while grafting. Wierdos...

If anyone reading this evey has a chance to go to West Wales to hang out with Amy and Brenda (and presumably a hotel-full of other amazing fibery people), you should absolutely positively go. It was absolutely fantastic, and I can't wait to go back next year!

* Derek, my cab driver from the train station in Haverfordwest, was vehement in his belief that this whole "knitting retreat weekend" was a cover up for something much more diabolical. I told him we were actually planning on taking over the world. He thought I was kidding.

** My inner scientist is still curled up in a ball in the corner whimpering from that one...

*** The bartender was so far out of his element as to perhaps be the proverbial Anthropologist on Mars.

**** I may or may not have arrived home depleted of any urge to knit one more row.