Panther River Fibre Retreat-The First

July 15, 2012

 This past weekend we escaped the heat wave, and went into the foothills to the Panther River for a fibre/knitting/horseback riding/wandering around/enjoying nature/chasing a toddler retreat.  Something for everyone!  The idea was to bring together people in the fibre community, enjoy a beautiful spot where the Panther and Red Deer River come together, to spin, knit, ride horses, eat, sit, nap, and enjoy ourselves.  Mr. J was game to come along, as did Althea, even though she didn’t have much of a choice.  She was also too young to go on the trail ride, but she still got to pat horses, look at them, and play with the local cats.  She slept well, ate a lot of food, survived the mosquitos, and made friends wherever she went as normal.  I kept wondering what we were going to “do” with her, what activities would take place.  To my surprise, we had a wonderful time wandering around.  A toddler will go here and there as the aimlessly as a little butterfly, flitting from interesting thing to interesting thing.  I realized how restricted her life is really, she can’t wander here and there due to cars, being busy, having to get places, fences, etc. etc.  At the Panther River she could go most places, just not the river, as much as she wanted to.  She practiced going up and down ramps, stairs, tiny bumps, under fences, through trees, grass, up and down hills.  She ran, crawled, was carried, rode on shoulders, played in puddles, experienced tiny minute details, and big animals like horses.

 As for the fibre portion of the weekend, I knit next to the river during Althea’s nap, we hung out in the teepee around a fire one night, and Mr. J was good enough to stay with her in the cabin in the evening so that I could join the group of spinners, felters, knitters, and learners.  It was very lively, and freeform as desired, everyone could do as they wished!  As always I enjoy getting to know folks in the fibre world, and learning new things, I made felted beads!  There are plans for next year, and so far they are pretty good.  I’m already very, very excited about this, you may want to sit down.  Next year they are thinking that during the trail ride we will stop (I think I will go riding next year instead of skipping to spend time with Althea) and gather ingredients from nature in order to do some natural dying.  Indian paintbrush and some other super, extremely cool items that will dye yarn were mentioned.  After the ride we eat, and then dye our yarn with the ingredients we’ve collected!!  I will also try and convince the owners to take their covered wagon out next year so that Althea can experience that.

We met new people, we learned some fun felting techniques, but most of all I learned about my daughter.  Letting her go to wander at her own whims taught me more about her likes, preferences, what she likes to do, where she likes to go, how she experiences the world.  Shedding all our other roles (worker, cleaner, cook) and just being parents was relaxing, rewarding, and fun.  Fun, fun, fun with our delightful little girl who can tell you a bug goes buzz, buzz, buzz, where your nose, ears, eyes, and knees are, and says “please’ for more broccoli.  We are the most proud parents that ever were!

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One Response to “Panther River Fibre Retreat-The First”

  1. Heather said

    I agree it IS fun to follow the baby around and see what s/he is delighted by. I’m so excited to do baby/toddler storytime starting in the fall. Most fun age ever!

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