Last weekend we packed up the family and went to Block Island, RI for a knitting retreat. We were out the door by 7:30 to drive to the end of Long Island to catch our first ferry. We then got to CT and drove to Pt. Judith, RI to catch our second ferry of the day. The ferry is such a nice way to travel with the kids. As you can see from the pictures they just love walking around the boat and seeing the water. The ferry to Block Island from Pt. Judith was a little rough because of the winds and I didn’t feel too well on it. The trip back wasn’t as windy and totally fine.
We got to Block Island and settled in walking around a little bit and then headed to North Light Fibers for a tour. Munchkin thought that on Block Island there should surely be some Lego’s as those are sometimes called blocks. The mill had a little basket of Duplo’s which were the only Lego’s we found.
Munchkin was taught how to needle felt. He made a lady bug and the sun.
The tour of the mill we saw the fiber drying racks in the downstairs were they get the fiber ready and dye it.
Upstairs they showed us where they do most of the work. They have a closet of a room where they blow the fiber around to give it air. Then they put it into this machine which takes the guard hairs out. The guard hair drops to the bottom and the good fiber comes out the other side. Munchkin was even put to work.
They put the fiber into this machine combining different fiber types as you see here to output a cotton candy like strand of fiber.
Those long fiber strands are combined to balance any imperfections.
They are then spun into a single strand. Those single strands are combined to give the yarn multiple ply’s. It was so interesting to see. All their machines were new and modern since the mill has only been in operation for about 4 years. They said they got all their machinery from Nova Scotia I think. It was pretty cool to see.
We had dinner at our hotel with the rest of the group. Our room was large with a view of the ocean and perfect.
Saturday we woke up to have breakfast and since I didn’t have class we went off to explore more of the island going to the playground, beach and downtown.
In the afternoon after lunch we went to the South Lighthouse for a tour. The boys went up to the top of the lighthouse while Pearl napped in her stroller at the bottom with me. You will see Munchkin wearing this red sweatshirt a lot. It says Block Island Rescue Team with a cross on it, so of course he had to have it.
After the lighthouse tour the owner of the animal farm gave us a tour of all the animals including some that were in his barn. Munchkin got to pet a kangaroo. It was really neat. Munchkin was convinced one of the lighter alpaca liked him as it tried to kiss him a ton. When people asked if you could pet the alpaca he went right up and pet this one alpaca like he was a champ.
Saturday night Munchkin and I went to dinner and brought it back for Nithin because Pearl’s cold had gotten a lot worse and she just needed to rest. Between teething and having a cold she has been having a tough time the past few weeks.
On Monday I had classes all day with Gundrun Johnston. In the morning we did seemless sleeves which was super interesting. In the afternoon I did Shetland lace. She was an awesome teacher and an all around great lady. Here we are in my shawl by her with my friend. While we were in class our boys and Pearl were getting lobsta rolls and frozen lemonades. Munchkin got himself a 3-in-1 push pop which he thought was so cool.
At the end of the day Sunday we headed to the beach to have a little sand play and walk on the jetty. Pearl loved to dig and wouldn’t look up for any picture except this one.
Our last morning on Tues. Munchkin and I woke up early and caught this amazing sun rise. Pearl and Nithin were already out in the car for a ride since she was up an hour earlier.
Tuesday morning I did a Fair Isle class with Mary Jane Mucklestone. She was very nice and I really enjoyed her banter about various topics around her travels and Shetland.
I wanted to go to this retreat in part for the teachers but to also see Block Island where my friend summered as a child and talked about a lot. It was a great time all around.