The Yarn Retreat series wouldn't be the same if it took place in a different locale. I like to think that the weather beaten moody
buildings that make up the hotel and conference center on the edge of the Monterey Peninsula with all the clouds and fog are key
elements to the mysteries.
I loved doing the research for A TANGLED YARN and having a reason to visit the real hotel and conference center I based
Vista Del Mar on. Though I didn't it always that way. My first visit there was a disaster and I couldn't wait to leave.
I had gone to Asilomar (the real Vista Del Mar) for a writers' conference, not realizing I'd made a fatal mistake when I let them
set me up with a roommate. You know that phrase something or other from hell, well, she turned out to be that and more.
Since it was my first time to Asilomar I was unfamiliar with the accommodations. The guest building our room was in was one of the
original ones and was over 100 years old. The room was tiny and completely encased in dark wood. There was barely space for both
of us to stand up at the same time between the slender twin beds. The room had a small closet, chest of drawers and a sink - all of
which had been taken over by her by the time I got there. It also had a tiny bathroom with a stall shower, sink and toilet.
From the moment I stepped into the room, she started talking and talking and talking. Not a conversation, just a lecture on what she
wrote and how great it was. She mentioned her husband was also a writer, but he had stayed home. It didn't take me long to figure out why.
It got worse when it was time to go to sleep. She insisted on the curtains and windows being shut, though the windows looked out
into trees and the night air was refreshing. And with the lights off and all the dark wood, it felt like being inside a coffin.
I couldn't sleep and turned on the light to read. I never did fall asleep and eventually was looking forward to the morning.
Just as it was getting light I headed for the bathroom to take a shower and get dressed. Meanwhile she had awoken. What she did
next was what pushed me over the edge. First she said that I better not stay up all night again and then that she'd be using the
toilet while I was in the shower. Really?
If I hadn't been so bleary eyed from not sleeping, I might have considered asking the powers that be to change my room, instead
all I could think about was getting out of there. I made all the necessary arrangements and then sat waiting to be picked up,
never noticing the tall lanky Monterey pines, or the wind shaped Monterey Cypress trees. I missed the boardwalk through the
dunes to the silky white sand beach. I didn't see the that the water was really sea foam green. When the cab finally pulled
away, all I could think was that I never ever wanted to come there again.
But a year later when I came to the area with my family, I saw the place in a totally different light. It probably helped that
this time I wasn't tired and we had roomier accommodations. I fell in love with the area and the Monterey Peninsula became one
of my favorite spots.
There are a few corrections to the pattern included in A TANGLED YARN. The word "Recipe" doesn't belong above the directions.
Under Supplies, the knitting needle size for the Triangle Head Scarf is U.S. size 10-1/2 (6.5mm). The "13" is an error. All the
dimensions mentioned are approximate.
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