Most of the attendees of the Men's Spring Knitting Retreat are still reeling with emotion from the amazing event we were lucky enough to attend. It must be said, though, that without the generous support of the sponsors who helped make it possible it wouldn't have been the same. I invite you to download the attached file and take a moment to visit each of these vendors - they all offer amazing and unique products - and when you buy from them, please mention that you do so because of their support of the Men's Knitting Retreat!
As far as knitting goes, I have been working like a madman on my Men's Knitting Retreat Sock! (yes, we have our own sock pattern!) - beautifully designed from one of our supporters Marlowe Crawford (Marlowec on Ravlery) - the pattern should be available for purchase after the fall retreat. I'm almost done with the first sock... see?? I really like the way the pattern moves across the foot... and this yarn? you love this yarn? well, it's from one of our sponsors....and the yarn is called Fibernatura Yummy! - the needles were a gift from Joe (one of the organizers) and the main stitch marker was a gift from another attendee.... and believe it or not, I am enjoying the proces
We are a family - chosen - joined by our craft - united by our goals and supported by the creativity, enthusiasm and honesty of our brothers. Through our adventures, we learn, grow, and share our experiences with our communities, emphasizing the impact a few guys who knit have on the world.
Where do I begin? I'm home - safe and sound - relishing in the afterglow of another amazing visit with my family of knitters (this time at Easton Mountain) -- Organized by Joe and Ted, Men's Knitting Retreats have been going on now for 2 years - I didn't go to the very first one, which was held in this same space... but this year I was lucky enough to be able to go.
(I decided to just link to a slideshow of my photos at the end of this post - so for those of you wanting photos... that's where they are!)
What can I tell you? The moment we were picked up by Dave from Easton Mountain, we knew we were in for a treat - first we went to an amazing cafe - I think it was indian food - and while I don't remember the name, they made some really great bread! This is where I saw Ted (I knew him from the MFKR'08) and met Joe and a bunch of other really fun guys... we took a slight detour to a yarnshop (in the rain!) and it was refreshing to actually feel rain. After our short visit there, we went to The Ice Cream Man - and had one of what would be many treats from this yummy place...
Settling in at Easton Mountain, we found our rooms, and I was lucky to room with Chuck, John and Vince... we had 2 bunks each and the place was comfy... Chuck and John both handed me squares for Jason's blanket (see my last posting to find out more about it) - and by the end of the retreat, I had almost 30 squares from the guys - the response has been overwhelming - and I'll write about that soon -- as a sidenote, I need to receive your squares by May 30th- email me if you need to know anything else...thanks!
(back to our regularly scheduled posting:)
The food was really good - a bit more organic than I usually eat (people who know me know that I love Taco Bell!) - one night they served "Moroccan Tomato Soup" - I thought that the chef said "Rock & Tomato Soup!" - I told him that I could be supportive of the organic food and everything, but when they start putting rocks in the food I have to draw the line! eek... (the soup was spicy and tasty) -
Meeting the boys (my brothers!) was great - I saw lots of friends I had been missing since the fall retreat at Point Bonita - including Kenny, Stephen and Ted... and got to meet some of the people I know online - including Chris, Ted and Peter! There were 42 guys there so naming them would take a while... but every single one of them (seriously, every one!) was so fun, funny, charming, smart, witty, coy, entertaining, enthusiatic, supportive and nutty!
We spent the days learning at workshops and took two field trips - one to visit the Alpacas of Easton - where Kate (our hostess) shared a brief and interesting explanation about the biology behind breeding alpaca... she did a demonstration on dyeing yarn using cake dyes, then we visited some of her flock (including "Mischeif") and then went to her shop... where we bought some yarn... had home made cookies and pink lemonade and met her 3 week old son!! (wait a minute... she just had a baby 3 weeks ago and she's this amazing and energetic?!?! We were impressed and honored by her hospitality!!!
We also went to another fiber farm and toured the owner's 18th century barn filled with looms, weaving and knitting yarns, and books! She was really fun as well - we got to see her angora rabbits, ducks and chickens and even a few barn cats! My favorite part of this trip, though, was the 15' tall lilac bush next to one of her barns! - the scent was overwhelming and brought me back to spring as a young boy - and for some reason it really made me think of my Grandmother...
Anyway, we got a LOT of knitting done - I finished the back of a sweater... and helped Joe a little with the assembly of the blanket we made for Easton Mountian. It didn't get quite finished, but it will be done soon... 3 needle bind off and crocheted edging (photos will be posted!)
There is so much to say... and the more I type the more I think of to talk about... favorite parts? the little visits and conversations between friends - learning about these men I have known online for years... sitting under the tent in the rain midnight with Jason and Chuck - listening to the rain fall and talking about whatever we talked about... Enjoying the moment in time...
And now I just look forward to next year - to another visit with my pals - to the long plane flight full of knitting time (even layovers are welcomed when you're a knitter!) and getting to once again give every one of them a big hug! If you can go, or are at all interested, be sure to go to the website and let them know... chances are the attendance will be limited to around the same 40 +/- and 21 of the 42 that attended this year were at the first year...
THANK YOU to Joe and Ted and everyone at Easton Mountain... to all the guys at the retreat who made it an amazing experience -- and to my sweet partner for taking care of my animals while I was gone and for letting me go.... it's experiences like the ones I had at Easton Mountain that make me proud to be a knitter...