We’re Home From The Retreat

Another Maryland Kite Society Kitebuilders Retreat is in the books.  We spent four days with other kite builders and non-builder friends at a resort in Maryland with the intention of bringing home a unique kite.  The presenter was Chris Hanson from Washington state and brought the plans for completing the Solar-Flier kite, a cellular kite of his own design.   To make sure the kite would be completed on time, we were to pre-cut the panels necessary and pattern them as desired.

The first day was for unloading and setting up your work station in the ballroom.  while it seems like you take a lot of “stuff” to a workshop, you never know what you will need or what will be handy at that time or what someone else may need.  And, yes, all my kite building things are in matching totes and bags.  It keeps me organized and together in a room full of people with their totes and bags and things.  On a side note, the long black container is a fishing rod holder for transporting rolls of ripstop fabric.

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Sewing didn’t begin until first thing Saturday morning.  All through out the weekend, there were short talks by several members of the host kite club.  These highlighted topics on kite building and uses of kites other than recreation.  Of course, one can’t sit in front of a sewing machine for eight-plus hours.  Especially when it was seemingly endless hours of sewing edge binding on each panel.  Everyone wandered around the room, taking breaks, talking with friends, seeing what others were working on and generally enjoying the day and the time together.  Also a bag raffle was set up in the lobby.  You could come-and-go as you please, checking on items and soul-searching as to “want” versus “need”.  “Want” usually wins out.

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Saturday night is a banquet catered by the restaurant in the resort.  A time to sit and talk and eat great food and rich dessert and drink wine.  Of course, I ate too much.  Then it was back to the ballroom for the auction.  The loud auction.  And to get the results of the bag raffle.  I came home with several new-to-me kites, some ripstop and the books I wanted.  Mostly pretty good deals.   And, I’m happy to say, I didn’t spend as much as I thought I would.

Sunday was assembly day.  Time to sew together all the panels, make the pockets for the small support rods and slide them in place, and attach end caps and bridle.  The tricky part was to make sure all the panels were facing the right way.  It was so easy to have the right side facing in instead of out.  Especially on the inner panels with the cutouts for the rods.  It felt so good to finish without any major errors.

This year there was something different.  Take-out Chinese.  Sunday night we had a Chinese buffet.  A large amount of Chinese food was brought in from a local Chinese restaurant.  Paper plates, plastic utensils and help yourself from the takeout containers.  It was fun.  And there was a variety of food to sample.  Of course, dinner could be on your own if Chinese was not to your liking.  But it was fun and I have to find out what restaurant was used for our next trip and a dinner on our own.

Monday was finish up, pack up and clean up.  And many, many good-byes.  I did get a bag made to bring my kite home.  Now, I have to make a tail to match.  Two options here – fuzzy tail or banner tail with sun motif.  Decisions, decisions!

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Chris Hanson, Me and my Solar Flier

Fair Winds All

 

 

 

 

 

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