Thursday, October 11, 2007

Knit 'n Kneel

That's what I'm calling my knitting weekend at the abbey. 'Twas wondrous in every way---16 very cool, very real women; one very cool, very real instructor; Lord knows how many very cool, very real nuns; and great accommodations, meals, weather, and northern Colorado scenery. Oh, and church.

Mary Gildersleeve, knitting teacher extraordinaire, gets high praise for putting together a series of workshop sessions that were just right---not too much, not too little, with just the right amount of time for one-on-one help. Mary is so generous with her time that I'm surprised she got any sleep at all. Maybe she didn't, but it didn't show. She somehow managed to coordinate the workshop schedule with the many daily services at the chapel. The weekend never felt tiring, overwhelming, or rushed.

And the nuns---what a delightful group! One nun was a former knitter who gave a great presentation on creativity and the value of just sitting and knitting; another wore a perpetually amused expression that let you know that she knew something you didn't know, and she was not about to share; and a third seemed to think we were entertaining in a puzzling sort of way.

My favorite image from the weekend, though, had nothing to do with knitting or kneeling: a nun speeding down a dirt road on an ATV, her habit and veil flapping in the considerable wind, doing her best to steer with one hand and with the other hold down the straw hat that threatened to fly off to Wyoming. It was priceless.

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