Friday, August 28, 2009

Men's Knitting Retreats

It's been very satisfying to have helped start something that brought together communities of amazing guys.

Multiple Events
Ted came up with the initial idea of men knitting in the woods and ignited a mini-torrent of unleashed desire for community among male knitters.

We have already had two successful East Coast men's knitting retreats, and I just scheduled the third one for May of 2010 (from Thursday, May 20th to Sunday May 23rd), although registration isn't opened yet (we'll open it up in December).

WonderMike and Brian have organized two retreats now on the West Coast...the first one took place last year and the second one will be next weekend in Seattle. I'm flying out Thursday morning to finally get to meet and personally thank Mike and Brian for all their good work.

There was even a small men's knitting retreat in Australia a couple of months back.

Now Todd and Bill have created a Midwest event the weekend of November 13-15 near Chicago.

As my personal excitement grows about attending next week's event, it struck me how this idea was clearly "an idea whose time had come." While any of the event coordinators will tell you that it's a lot of work pulling one of these events together, they will also tell you that it's the guys who attend that make the events such a great time, and coming together to form this community is done effortlessly once the space for it has been created.

By simply identifying a community and offering them the opportunity to get together, the concept of Men's Knitting Retreats has really flourished. I couldn't be happier to have been a part of it.

Current Knitting
I finished knitting up the body of the handspun vest, and sewed up the side seams and the shoulders (actually, I did a three-needle bind-off on the shoulders).

The picture is a BlackBerry picture, so it doesn't show the details all that well, but it does PROVE that I finished the body of the garment. I ended up having to use some of the third hank of handspun yarn, and the color difference doesn't stick out in any offensive way given the tweediness and color gradations of the yarn/fabric. I'm very glad.

Now I just need to put a collar and sleeve-hole edgings onto it, wash and block it.

I'm thrilled I'll be able to show it off at the West Coast men's knitting retreat next week!

Readers' Comments/Questions
John asks, "What size needles are you using on the vest?"

I used US3 (3.25 mm) needles for the ribbing and I doubled the yarn in the ribbing, US4 (3.5 mm) needles for the body of the sweater. I'm thinking about using US2 needles and single strands of the dark handspun for the collar and sleeve-hole edgings.

Lillian asks, "Have you read the The Myth of the Paperless Office
book by Abigail Sellen and Richard Harper? Interesting discussion about the need of paper for some jobs, especially information-based job. It also puts out the idea that some tasks are better handled physically with paper rather than online."

No, but it looks quite interesting...I think it's funny that the book is available both digitally and on Amazon's Kindle Amazon trying to disprove the myth? I have to say that there are some things where I find paper to be just a lot easier to work with...not sure if it's just my dislike of change or whether it is just easier.

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