What can I say that hasn't already been said? The Men's Knitting Retreats are a MUST for guys who are enthralled with all things fiber. I am proud to say this was my second trip to Easton, NY to the Spring MKR, and once again, it was overwhelming, inspiring, and empowering!
There were 44 men in attendance this year - about half of the attendees were returning members... and the only thing I might regret out of the entire trip was the inability to get to see and spend enough time with each person. I think of these retreats a lot like I do of going on vacation - I often pick one spot, and sit down and really REALLY try to get to know it - that way, when I am back in the real world, I am left with a strong understanding of at least one aspect... this makes for good memories, but there's always the tiny corner of the mind that wonders what other things were around that were missed!
I put my photos on flickr as a slideshow - to save space in the post and to be sure to offer a "view" of the retreat to those who want to re-visit as well as those who might want to attend in the future.
I am lucky to be strongly connected to 3 of the retreat attendees - Chuck, John and Kenny are my wonderful friends - my "fiber pals" - we are constantly in touch, emailing, texting and visiting each other... we are true friends and it's AMAZING to me that we get to share this passion of fiber (which is, admittedly, what brought us together!) - During the retreat, we spent a lot of time together - and as usual, this time means so much.
We all flew to Albany, NY the day before the retreat so that we could take a day trip to WEBS - in Northhampton, MA -
it's the MECCA for yarn junkies -- aisle after aisle of gorgeous yarn - we were greeted with smiles (and gift bags!), given a brief outline of the layout of the shop, and then sent off running through the aisles of gorgeous yarn! We were shown the stock area, and even the (secret) packing and shipping area! Everyone there was helpful, smart, and sensible with our money and ideas - I felt quite at home, and was thankful that we made the visit! Now, when I go to www.yarn.com, I will think of my friends at webs and know who's packing my orders! - I ended up with yarn for a sweater, and a pair of socks. I wanted to buy a LOT more but had to restrain myself... after all, we were just beginning!!
After lunch, we headed to Norhhampton Wools - owned by Linda Daniels - she was a treat to meet, and was really interested in the Men's Knitting Retreats. I spoke to her about a box I saw in her shop (there's actually 2 stores side by side!) and after a bit of coaxing, she allowed me to adopt it! - it's beautiful, amazing and HAND CARVED from South Africa! - I asked her if she had the possibility of getting more - if you would like to email her to express interest, do so HERE - and be sure to mention that I sent you!!
I LOVE this box (it's about 18" long x 8" deep x 5" high) - along with the memories and friendships created at the retreat, it's one of my prized posessions. I don't know if there will ever be another box available, but I did hint to Linda that people will probably be beating her door down to buy them! - feel free to let her know if you want one (or two!)
I will post later about what I was knitting at the retreat, and other patterns I plan to start... I could write all weekend and not have expressed all the fun and joy that results from these retreats!!
As far as the actual retreat, it was an incredible experience, and I look forward to the next time that I get to see all my fiber brothers - we are VERY lucky that Joe and Ted took the initiative to create such a nurturing and loving space - and through our repeated visits, the family is growing closer and closer; sharing knowledge, stories and love with their creative bretheren.
To those of you who just "wish" you could have attended - make the point to attend next year's retreat NOW - or go to the MFKR on the west coast - they are important to our creative development - and you'll be very glad you did.
For those of you who want to my photos - here you go - (not in any particular order!) -
So, in the end... more fun than we can put into words, or photos... it's a tradition (now) to share this time with friends... I know we just had the retreat - but I'm looking forward to next year's gathering again... who knows what we'll come up with for show and tell (my mind is already coming up with a knitalong!) - but one thing I do know - if it's possible, I'll be there!!!