Friday, May 27, 2016

Retreat Activities

The original idea for the first Men's Spring Knitting Retreat was really just supposed to be a handful of guys at Easton Mountain with their yarn and fiber and tools just socially hanging out on the mountain relaxing.

Shit Got Real

Getting together with a few guys requires virtually no planning whatsoever.  But when Easton Mountain told us we had registered over 20 guys into the first men's knitting retreat (nine years ago), Ted and I realized we needed to establish activities and an agenda.

We quickly decided to set up workshops, letting the participants volunteer any expertise they had to lead the workshops.  And we also needed a road trip, so we started that tradition as well to visit a local farm or mill or yarn store.

This year's retreat had a total of 15 workshops offered, led by 9 volunteer/participants and we also visited a local sheep farm (with a yarn store on-premises of course!).

Here are some photos of the things that kept the guys busy this year.

Tom teaching some advanced beginner techniques

Michael teaching basket weaving

More basket weaving

Alasdair presenting his expertise in double-knitting

More double-knitting

Guys learning how to spin on drop-spindles

More drop-spindle newbies

A reverent place to learn spinning on a wheel

Aaron teaching beginning spinning

New spinners absorbing it all

Dave teaching introduction to weaving

Needle tatting with Kirk

More needle tatting

Two Toe-Up Socks on Magic Loop

There were also workshops on sweater repair and revision, measuring and shaping sweater design for a better fit, basic cables, reading your knitting, knitting on DPN's and beginner's crochet.

The expertise and the generosity to share that expertise at the retreat was amazing this it has been each year.

We also had the chance to visit Foster Sheep Farm in Schuylerville, NY. 

I'm not sure why, but the sheep at this farm are by far the most photogenic sheep I've ever seen.

I could envision this little lambkin watching over the baby Jesus' manger.

Current Knitting

With all the unpacking, re-organizing, finalizing finances...etc., etc., etc., I still haven't done much knitting.

But I was able to pick up some of the Foster Sheep Farm wool in PREPARATION for knitting at some time in the future.

This is from Carole Foster's own sheep and it's a blend of Romney and Wensleydale.  It's a DK weight and I plan on adding one more color and making a simple striped pullover.

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