Friday, April 17, 2015

Into The Woods....To Knit

Knitting Pipeline Georgia Retreat Goodies

"So YOU'RE the one." I don't know how many times I heard this over the last few days. Yep. I was the one who arrived, unpacked the car, and discovered my suitcase had chosen to stay back at home. 

There I was, with no clothes except what I was wearing. No toiletries either. Momentary panic ensued. Then someone looked to see how far away Walmart was. There was one in the next county. I'm not complaining. It could have been worse.

Thankfully it was only the clothes I was missing. All my knitting and yarn was with me. I could buy more toothpaste and a pair of jeans. Yarn would have been harder to find. You gotta have your priorities straight—pack the knitting first.


On the plus side, I'm already packed for the next trip. I'm sure I heard this suitcase laugh at me when I got back. 


I know people wonder who on earth would travel halfway across to the country to sit and knit with strangers. Well, there were a bunch of us who did! I only drove three hours to find this spot in the middle-of-nowhere Georgia—so far out in the woods that we were mostly out of cell phone range. But there were some ladies whose drive took two days. Some flew in from far away states. There was even one knitter who came from London. All to attend the Knitting Pipeline Georgia Retreat.


But I can't think of a better way to meet new people. Instant friends since we were all knitters. There were only 28 of us who gathered for a few days. That meant we got to know each other well. 


This was not a workshop. It was truly a retreat. Away from chores. Away from phones. (Mostly because we couldn't use them.) Away from cooking. Away from schedules.


There was still plenty to learn if you wanted to watch a demonstration or try out a new technique. But you could just stay out on the porch and visit if that suited you better. Probably the most learning came from talking to the knitter sitting beside you. So much expertise gathered in one spot.


Only knitters would be excited that we had an unusual cool rainy spell the entire time we were at the Charlie Elliott Wildlife Center. That meant we could wear our hand knits. Okay...we would have probably worn them anyway, but they really did feel good in the cool weather. "Now what is that pattern?" "Which yarn is that?" "Was it hard to make?" That's how we learn best.


We spent one afternoon on the porch swapping favorite book titles—knitting away during the discussion, of course. Knitters who read. (Or, readers who knit?) Interesting people to be with.

On the first night we had the typical get acquainted time—"tell your name and why you knit/how you got started." One person told us she loved knitting because "...it can be done both in solitude and in community." This was all about community.

The plan is to do this again next year. As Paula, who hosted this retreat, always says at the end of her podcast, "Haste ye back." Or, as we in the south might say it, "Y'all come back now!"



7 comments:

Karen said...

Your blog post made me laugh. Well, you remembered the most important thing--your knitting! Clothes can be replaced, right?

Mimi said...

It's a good thing I'm not very fashion minded. :-)

goodnightgram said...

It looks like a beautiful place to go. Packing your knitting and forgetting your clothes and sundries sounds like you had your priorities in order. :-)

Mimi said...

It wasn't as bad as the first 10 minutes felt like it was going to be. I just threw a shawl over my Walmart outfits and carried on!

goodnightgram said...

Good for you!!! Cuz everyone would be looking at the shawl anyway! right?

Martha Hulse said...

What a joy it was to meet you. What wonderful memories we share. Hope to see you next year!

Mimi said...

Hi, Martha! So nice to meet you, too. And thank you for stopping by here.