Wednesday, May 25, 2011

What Actually Happens At a Men's Knitting Retreat?

In preparing for the radio interview about Men's Knitting Retreats, I was asked the question, "What actually happens at the retreat?"

Two Answers
I found it difficult to answer this question.

While I could certainly describe the logistics and the agenda, I honestly feel that what really happens at the retreat is that we establish relatively immediate community...and a close community at that.

But first the logistics/agenda description:

  1. There is registration at Easton's front desk and then we hang out in a couple of areas in the main lodge, knitting, saying hi to old friends, introducing ourselves to new ones, etc.
  2. Dinner and then the official kick-off where we meet in the main retreat room and talk about ground rules, give-away bags and contents, the door-prizes, the general philosophy of the retreat, and then do a little get-to-know-you exercise (very little this year). Then more informal knitting/socializing.
  3. Sleep/breakfast and then the Friday morning workshops. Lunch, and then the Friday afternoon road trip to a sheep farm or a workshop.
  4. Dinner and then the "Show & Tell" time where everyone gets to show off completed projects to both the retreaters and the volunteers/staff members who care to watch and/or participate (we had one staffer show off a crochet poncho he had made).
  5. Sleep, breakfast and then Saturday morning workshops. Lunch, afternoon workshops.
  6. Dinner and awarding of door prizes and then the slumber party/movie night where pajamas and other night wear is encouraged while we sit in the main retreat room and project a movie on sort-of-screen. We watched Hairspray (the original) and Waiting For Guffman this year.
  7. Sleep, breakfast and then awarding "Best In Show" prize and announce a lottery winner this year. Then we have a feedback/planning session for the next year.
  8. Lunch/check out and depart (so sad)

In between all this, there is lots of informal knitting, chatting and lots of laughing. There's a big hammock for relaxing, a hot tub, massage therapist appointments, a nightly wood-burning sauna and plenty of places to hike.

But as I started with, most of the guys don't really care about the particulars of the retreat...they really care about how incredibly loving and supportive the other guys are and how welcome they feel as a member of their own people. That part is MUCH more powerful than any workshop or massage.

Here are a bunch of photos that will help demonstrate that (hopefully it's obvious!).










Current Knitting
I have finished all the knitting on the second baby blanket and now I have about a dozen ends to weave in and blocking to be done.




I have no idea what I'll be working on next, but minimally, I will probably start a pair of socks.

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