I used to be a Girl Scout, and went camping every summer. I did most of my camping at Camp Echo Trail in Pennsylvania, although one year I went to another camp that offered sailing. I don’t remember most of the specific programs I did, although I know that I did the Camp Echo Trail Olympics almost every year, and one year I did the drama camp. The play we did was called “The Modernization of Mother Goose,” and I was Jack Be Nimble (my short hair and freckles made me a natural for the role).
Much as I loved it as a kid, camping’s no longer really my thing. I’m a big fan of things like running water and mattresses these days, not sharing my sleeping space with spiders and having an actual roof over my head when it rains. Still, there are things about camping I miss, mostly hanging out with people who have similar interests, having someone to talk and laugh with while working on goals…and having someone to commiserate with you when, for example, your painted macaroni jewelry set turns out to be an utter failure (uh, so I heard).
So, I was pretty psyched when I learned that there is a camp for people like me – all the camaraderie with none of the hardship. And it was all about yarncrafting: Camp Loopy!
How does it work? First of all, there is no travel involved. This is Virtual Camp! That also means no bugs, no hard ground to sleep on, no sand in your food, no campfire smoke in your eyes, and no swimming tests to prove that you know how to save yourself if your canoe tips. Just lots of knitting, meeting new friends, contests, challenges, and fun!
See? My kind of camp! Sheri’s blog post describes the details better than I could, but basically it’s all about people knitting and crocheting “together” online – we pick projects based on the guidelines and try to complete them in the given time frame. And there are prizes!
Project One has 2 guidelines: it has to be designed by someone from a country other than your own, and require at least 400yds of yarn. Now, I’d only heard vague references to Camp Loopy last year, so when a friend (Abi of TAAT Designs) asked me if I was going to do it, I was noncommittal.
Within a few hours, I’d picked out a pattern and purchased yarn. I’d forgotten just how persuasive Abi can be (and people think I’m an enabler. I am but a student at the feet of the master).
Unfortunately, Ravelry doesn’t let you search by designer location in the advanced pattern search, so I decided to just look for patterns I liked and then eliminate any by designers from the U.S. I put in pretty broad parameters and then began narrowing it down – first, by looking only at adult female patterns. I thought about knitting for the kids, but I do that all the time for my job. I wanted something for me. After some very enjoyable digging (I adore the advanced pattern search), I kept coming back to Abalone. I’ve wanted to knit it since I first saw the pattern, but it’s a free pattern that’s only sized for small, and at the time I wasn’t confident enough in my ability to modify it. But Abi said she’d knit one and the modifications were easy; sure enough, I looked at the pattern and they’re laid out for you. And since the designer, Beata Jezek, lives in Ireland, and the sweater would take more than 400yds, it qualified!
Then I had to pick out a yarn. Abi and the rest of the group we were knitting with agreed on a recommendation for madelinetosh tosh vintage. The Loopy Ewe carries tosh vintage in several shades of my favorite colors; I kept wavering back and forth between Creme de Menthe x, Fjord, Kelp, Lapis, Moorland, and Terrarium, and finally settled on…
Yeah. I was surprised too.
But in retrospect, it was an obvious choice. It’s a shade of brown that looks awesome with my favorite shades of green, blue, and purple, which describes most of my wardrobe, but will work with the peach and pink I also like. Then I had to sit on my new yarn and ignore my cast-on urges, because Project One didn’t start until May 27. Steve and I were on vacation over Memorial Day weekend, so I took the yarn with me and got my swatching done a few days before so I was ready…set…go!
I spent that day and the next alternating between wine touring and knitting my fingers off whenever we were in the car (bless Steve, he did all the driving) or sitting still for a bit.
That last shot was taken on the ferry home; I did that drive, but most of it was in the dark so I couldn’t have knit anyway. I did knit while on the ferry, and finished my first ball. At 200yds, I’m halfway from completing the yardage requirement…and enjoying my time “at camp” chatting with my fellow campers.
I do miss the s’mores, though…