I've had mixed feelings about taking knitting classes due to a very bad experience at an unnamed (and now defunct) LYS in Austin several years ago. The experience has colored every subsequent thought I've had about taking another class anywhere. But time does heal, or at least make us somewhat amnesic. So when Amy Herzog announced she would be teaching her amazing Fit to Flatter class at Fiber College, the capstone experience to the series of the same name on her blog so many knitters have been raving about, I signed on, forked over my credit card, and never looked back. The long, intensive six hour format was the hook.
That the class was in MAINE was irrelevant. What's a few miles?
Well, it was a good excuse to tie in a vacation at the very least. Then I started looking at the other Fiber College classes, and there were so many enticing offerings: After agonizing for several hours, I chose Beth Brown-Reinsel's 6 hour Traditional Scottish Ganseys class, and Mary Jane Mucklestone's Fair Isle workshop. I pulled out my credit card and clicked the 'submit' button once again. Kent was thrilled at the prospect of fly-fishing to his heart's content and I would be knitting. A perfect vacation.
|Mary Jane gets into teaching|
|Amy and Nicki after FtF class|
A large component of the Fiber College experience are the social events that wrap around the class schedule, from morning to late night. A pot-luck supper on Friday is a highlight, where everyone brings a whacking big dish to share and then dines at long communal tables in the ice-breaking atmosphere of great food and drink. There's a charity fashion show benefiting a local women's shelter highlighting various fibery creations by class participants, teachers, and local community members. There's also a benefit cocktail party, a hootenanny, fiber swap, a Saturday night banquet honoring the Artist-in-Residence (this year, it's Mary Jane Mucklestone), fiber gabs, ongoing demonstrations throughout each day, and of course, a shopping arcade with dozens of marvelous and unique vendors from Maine and beyond. Many participants choose to pitch a tent or park their RV right on the campground, a distinct advantage to socializing and immersion in the entire weekend experience. Camaraderie is what it's about at Fiber College. There are many motels, inns, and rental cottages nearby, too, if roughing it isn't for you, or, like me, you make a split-second, last-minute decision to attend. Campground spaces are reserved early and sell out fast. The more popular lodging spots sell out early too, with The Yardarm Motel being a favorite among repeat participants.
Think you live too far away to join the fun? Plan your vacation around Fiber College; everyone will find something to do in the beautiful mid-coast Maine area:
string together like coastal jewels, shopping, galleries, ice cream stands (John's on Rte. 3 in Liberty, is a MUST!), beautiful picturesque drives along the shoreline, great little eateries, and local parks. Less than 90 minutes away is the majestic Acadia National Park and Bar Harbor, a day or so unto themselves. My spouse opted to fly-fish on the beautiful St.George River and surrounding ponds, and had a great week tromping the inland waters. Or just grab a girlfriend or three and have a fabulous girls getaway. You won't regret it, and will likely find yourself retracing your steps back to Fiber College year after year. I know I'll be back.