If you’ve been around here, either as a blog reader or insta follower, for a year or more, you would know that the last full weekend of October is one of my absolute favourites of the year. Ever since it’s inception in 2011, quilt camp has been a highlight of my year, the annual face to face catch up with my beautiful friends who all live far too far away, and for the other 361 days of the year exist only as the voices in my back pocket. Literally, quite often, as I have a bad habit of putting my phone away with the group chat still open, and managing a pocket dial video chat at least once a month.
Up until this year, there has only been one year we’ve missed camp, back in 2013, when I had a month old Beetle Baby, though we made up for it in 2014 with a double camp year. It’s my one weekend of self-indulgent escape from my responsibilities as mama, primary caregiver and housekeeper. It’s rest and recharge and shenanigans and connection and downtime all in one. And this year, it’s not a thing. A couple of months ago when the border slammed shut once again, we officially pulled the plug on the idea of camp this year. Disappointing, sure, but I thought I was cool with it.
Reader, I am very much not cool with it.
My Facebook and Instagram memories are full of roadtrip selfies and craft projects and it’s making me miss my girls something crazy. The crafting is just the tip of the iceberg, to be honest. There have been years I have done almost exactly zero beyond eating too much and staying up too late, and still consider it a successful camp. I am fully aware on a scale of one to first world when it comes to covid problems, this is totally at the “spoilt brat” end of things. It still sucks though.
So. Camp Covid it is, staying at home, swapping conversation for group chats, art openings for fire pits, counter teas for mama-made fakeaway. We are just about finished the housework, and for a change, we have absolutely nothing planned this weekend, so I plan to craft myself silly as a consolation. I’ve even tidied the craft shelf of the school trolley so I am all organised and have everything in easy reach.
I already have my first project in process. The cotton yarn I bought on Monday has had it’s first soy milk bath to prep it for dyeing, and is out on the line drying. While I wait for it to be ready for it’s next dip, I’m going to print and cut the pattern for a Sage Bush Top to sew this weekend. I really should pre-wash the fabric for it before I do the pattern, actually, so it will be dry and ready to cut once the pattern is done. Ideally I would like to get part 11 of my mandala blanket done. This week’s blackwork project needs doing too. Oh! Maybe some work on my stitchery? I also need to catch up on an embarrassing number of lacelitober prompts. There’s a couple of skillshare classes I’ve been itching to try, so I might even try and squeeze them in.
Camp at home, clearly, makes me as ambitious as camp at the coast. If I manage even half those things, I will be doing well. I can’t of course, forget the Very Important Extras. Plenty of coffee breaks. My town trip this afternoon will include a mercy dash for sugary snacks. There a fresh half of a watermelon in the fridge, waiting to be whizzed up into a big jug of mocktails ready for beer o’clock. My iThings are all fully charged ready for the very poor substitute for actual conversation that is a group chat. Before I can do that, though, I need to pull myself out of the pretense for a moment and go and hang a load of washing and put another load in. The distressing amount of housewifing required as part of camp at home may actually be the worst part…